The bourne supremacy, p.52
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       The Bourne Supremacy, p.52
 

         Part #2 of Jason Bourne series by Robert Ludlum
Page 52

 

  He had to come down, he knew that. His silence was betraying him, betraying his astonishment. The Chinese was staring at him; the man was inching his hand beyond the edge of the booth. 'Pull that back, or your balls and your stomach will be blown away. '

  The Oriental's shoulder yanked up and his hand appeared on the table. 'What I have told you is true, the man said. The Frenchman never came to me. If he had, I would tell you everything. So would you if you were me. I protect only myself. '

  'Who sent you to make the contact? Who gave you the words to use?

  That is honestly beyond me, you must believe that. All is done by telephone through second and third parties who know only the information they carry. The proof of integrity is in the arrival of the funds I am paid. '

  How do they arrive? Someone has to give them to you. '

  'Someone who is a no one, who is hired himself. An unfamiliar host of an expensive dinner party will ask to see the manager. I will accept his compliments and during our conversation an envelope will be slipped to me. I will have ten thousand American dollars for reaching the Frenchman. '

  Then what? How do you reach him?

  'One goes to Macao, to the Kam Pek casino in the downtown area. It is mostly for the Chinese, for the games of Fan Tan and Dai Sui. One goes to Table Five and leaves the telephone number of a Macao hotel - not a private telephone - and a name - any name - not one's own, naturally. '

  'He calls you at that number?

  'He may or he may not. You stay twenty-four hours in Macao. If he has not called you by then, you have been turned down because the Frenchman has no time for you. '

  Those are the rules?

  'Yes. I was turned down twice, and the single time I was accepted he did not appear at the Calcada steps. '

  'Why do you think you were turned down? Why do you think he didn't show up?

  'I have no idea. Perhaps he has too much business for his master killer. Perhaps I said the wrong things to him on the first two occasions. Perhaps on the third he thought he saw suspicious men on the Calcada, men he believed were with me and meant him no good. There were no such people, naturally, but there is no appeal. '

  Table Five. The dealers,' said Bourne.

  The croupiers change constantly. His arrangement is with

  the table. A blanket fee, I imagine. To be divided. And certainly he does not go to the Kam Pek himself - he undoubtedly hires a whore from the streets. He is very cautious, very professional. '

  'Do you know anyone else who's tried to reach this Bourne?' asked Bourne. 'I'll know if you're lying. '

  'I think you would. You are obsessed - which is not my business - and you trapped me in my first denial. No, I do not, sir. That is the truth, for I do not care to have my intestines blown away with the sound of a champagne cork;'

  'You can't get much more basic than that. In the words of another man, I think I believe you. '

  'Believe, sir. I am only a courier - an expensive one, perhaps - but a courier, nevertheless. '

  'Your waiters are something else, I'm told. '

  They have not been noticeably observant. '

  'You'll still accompany me to the door,' he had said.

  And now there was the third name, a third man, in the downpour at Repulse Bay.

  The contact had responded to the code: 'Ecoutez, monsieur. "Cain is for Delta and Carlos is for Cain. "'

  'We were to meet in Macao!' the man had shrieked over the telephone. 'Where were you?'

  'Busy,' said Jason.

  'You may be too late. My client has very little time and he is very knowledgeable. He hears that your man moves elsewhere. He is disturbed. You promised him, Frenchman!'

  'Where does he think my man is going?

  'On another assignment, of course. He's heard the details!'

  'He's wrong. The man is available if the price is met. '

  'Call me back in several minutes. I will speak to my client and see if matters are to be pursued. '

  Bourne had called five minutes later. Consent was given, the rendezvous set. Repulse Bay. One hour. The statue of the war god halfway down the beach on the left towards the pier. The contact would wear a black kerchief around his neck; the code was to remain the same. Jason looked at his watch; it was twelve minutes past the hour. The contact was late, and the rain was not a problem; on the contrary, it was an advantage, a natural cover. Bourne had scouted every foot of the meeting ground, forty feet in every direction that had a sight line to the statue of the idol, and he had done so after the appointed time, using up minutes as he kept his eyes on the path to the statue. Nothing so far was irregular. There was no trap in the making.

  The Zhongguo ren came into view, his shoulders hunched as he dashed down the steps in the downpour as if the shape of his body would ward off the rain. He ran along the path towards the statue of the war god, stopping as he approached the huge snarling idol. He skirted the wash of the floodlights, but what could briefly be seen of his face conveyed his anger at finding no one in sight.

  'Frenchman, Frenchman?'

  Bourne raced back through the foliage towards the steps, checking once more before rendezvous, reducing his vulnerability. He edged his way around the thick stone post that bordered the steps and peered through the rain at the upper path to the hotel. He saw what he hoped to God he would not see! A man in a raincoat and hat came out of the run-down Colonial Hotel and broke into a fast walk. Halfway to the steps he stopped, pulling something out of his pocket; he turned; there was a slight glow of light. . . returned instantly by a corresponding tiny flash at one of the windows of the crowded lobby. Penlights. 'Signals. A scout was on his way to a forward post, as his relay or his back-up confirmed communications. Jason spun around and retraced the path he had made through the drenched foliage.

  'Frenchman, where are you?

  'Over here!'

  'Why did you not answer? Where?'

  'Straight ahead. The bushes in front of you. Hurry up!'

  The contact approached the foliage; he was an arm's length away. Bourne sprang up and grabbed him, spinning him around and pushing him farther into the wet bushes, as he did so clamping his left hand over the man's mouth. 'If you want to live, don't make a sound!'

  Thirty feet into the shoreline woods, Jason slammed the contact into the trunk of a tree. 'Who's with you? he asked harshly, slowly removing his hand from the man's mouth.

  'With me?' ' No one is with me!'

  'Don't Her Bourne pulled out his gun and placed it against the contact's throat. The Chinese crashed his head back into the tree, his eyes wide, his mouth gaping. 'I don't have time for traps!' continued Jason. 'I don't have timer

  'And there is no one with me! My word in these matters is my livelihood! Without it I have no profession!'

  Bourne stared at the man. He put the gun back in his belt, gripped the contact's arm and propelled him to the right. 'Be quiet. Come with me. '

  Ninety seconds later Jason and the contact had crawled through the soaking wet underbrush towards an area of the path some twenty-odd feet to the west of the massive idol. The downpour covered whatever noises might have been picked up on a dry night. Suddenly, Bourne grabbed the Oriental's shoulder, stopping him. Up ahead the scout could be seen, crouching, hugging the border of the path, a gun in his hand. For a moment he crossed through a wash of the statue's floodlight before he disappeared; it was only for an instant, but it was enough. Bourne looked at the contact.

 
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