The bourne supremacy, p.53
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       The Bourne Supremacy, p.53

         Part #2 of Jason Bourne series by Robert Ludlum
Page 53


  The Chinese was stunned. He could not take his eyes off the spot in the light where the scout had crossed. His thoughts were coming to him rapidly, the terror in him building; it was in his stare. 'Si',' he whispered. 'Jiagian!'

  'In short English words,' said Jason, speaking through the rain. That man's an executioner?' 'SI"7. . . Yes. '

  Tell me, what have you brought me?

  'Everything,' answered the contact, still in shock. 'The first money, the instructions . . . everything. '

  'A client doesn't send money if he's going to kill the man he's hiring. '

  'I know,' said the contact softly, nodding his head and closing his eyes. 'It is me they want to kill. '

  His words to Liang on the harbour walk had been prophetic, thought Bourne. 'It's not a trap for me. . . it's for you. You did your job and they can't allow any traces. . . They can't afford you any longer. ''

  There's another up at the hotel. I saw them signaling each other with flashlights. It's why I couldn't answer you for several minutes. '

  The Oriental turned and looked at Jason; there was no self-pity in his eyes. The risks of my profession,' he said simply. 'As my foolish people say, I will join my ancestors, and I hope they are not so foolish. Here. ' The contact reached into his inside pocket and withdrew an envelope. 'Here is everything. '

  'Have you checked it out?'

  'Only the money. ' It's all there. ' I would not meet with the Frenchman with less than his demands, and the rest I do not care to know. ' Suddenly the man looked hard at Bourne, blinking his eyes in the downpour. 'But you are not the Frenchman!'

  'Easy,' said Jason. Things have come pretty fast for you tonight. '

  'Who are you?'

  'Someone who just showed you where you stood. ' How much money did you bring?

  Thirty thousand American dollars. '

  'If that's the first payment, the target must be someone impressive. '

  'I assume he is. '

  'Keep it. '

  ' What? What are you saying?

  'I'm not the Frenchman, remember?

  'I do not understand. '

  'I don't even want the instructions. I'm sure someone of your professional calibre can turn them to your advantage. A man pays well for information that can help him; he pays a hell of a lot more for his life. '

  'Why would you do this?

  'Because none of it concerns me. I have only one concern. I want the man who calls himself Bourne and I can't waste time. You've got what I just offered you plus a dividend - I'll get you out of here alive if I have to leave two corpses here in the Bay, I don't care. But you've got to give me what I asked for on the phone. You said your client told you the

  Frenchman's assassin was going someplace else. Where? Where is Bourne?

  'You talk so rapidly-'

  'I told you, I haven't time! Tell me! If you refuse, I leave and your client kills you. Take your choice. '

  'Shenzhen,' said the contact, as if frightened at the name.

  'China? There's a target in Shenzhen?

  'One can assume that. My wealthy client has sources in Queen's Road. '

  'What's that? The Consulate of the People's Republic. A very unusual visa was granted. Apparently it was cleared on the highest authority in Beijing. The source did not know why, and when he questioned the decision he was promptly removed from the section. He reported this to my client. For money, of course. '

  'Why was the visa unusual?

  'Because there was no waiting period and the applicant did not appear at the consulate. Both are unheard of. '

  'Still, it was just a visa. '

  'In the People's Republic there is no such thing as "just a visa". Especially not for a white male travelling alone under a questionable passport issued in Macao. '


  'Yes. '

  'What's the entry date?'

  Tomorrow. The Lo Wu border. '

  Jason studied the contact. 'You said your client has sources in the consulate. Do you?

  'What you are thinking will cost a great deal of money, for the risk is very great. '

  Bourne raised his head and looked through the sheets of rain at the floodlit idol beyond. There was movement; the scout was searching for his target. 'Wait here,' he said.

  The early morning train from Kowloon to the Lo Wu border took barely over an hour. The realization that he was in China took less than ten seconds. Long Live the People's Republic*.

  There was no need for the exclamation point, the border guards lived it. They were rigid, staring, and abusive, pummelling passports with their rubber stamps with the fury of hostile adolescents. There was, however, an ameliorating support system. Beyond the guards a phalanx of young women in uniform stood smiling behind several long tables stacked with pamphlets extolling the beauty and virtues of their land and its system. If there was hypocrisy in their postures, it did not show.

  Bourne had paid the betrayed, marked contact the sum of $7,000 for the visa. It was good for 5 days. The purpose of the visit was listed as 'business investments in the Economic Zone', and was renewable at Shenzhen immigration with proof of investment along with the corroborating presence of a Chinese banker through whom the money was to be brokered. In gratitude, and for no additional charge, the contact had given him the name of a Shenzhen banker who could easily steer 'Mr Cruett' to investment possibilities, the said Mr Cruett being still registered at the Regent Hotel in Hong Kong. Finally, there was a bonus from the man whose life he had saved in Repulse Bay: the description of the man travelling under a Macao passport across the Lo Wu border. He was '6' 1" tall, 185 Ib, white skin, light brown hair. ' Jason had stared at the information, unconsciously recalling the data on his own government ID card. It had read: 'HT: 6' 1" WT: 187 Ibs. White male. Hair: Lt Brn. ' An odd sense of fear spread through him. Not the fear of confrontation; he wanted that, above all, for he wanted Marie back above everything. Instead, it was the horror that he had somehow created a monster: a stalker of death that came from a lethal virus he had perfected in the laboratory of his mind and body.

  It had been the first train out of Kowloon, occupied in the main by skilled labour and the executive personnel permitted - enticed - into the Free Economic Zone of Shenzhen by the People's Republic in the hope of attracting foreign investments. At each stop on the way to the border, as more and more passengers boarded, Bourne had walked through the cars, his eyes resting for an intense instant on each of the white males of whom there was a total of only fourteen by the time they reached Lo Wu. None had even vaguely fitted the description of the man from Macao - the description of himself. The new 'Jason Bourne' would be taking a later train. The original would wait on the other side of the border. He waited now.

  During the four hours that passed he explained 16 times to inquiring border personnel that he was waiting for a business associate; he had obviously misunderstood the schedule and had taken a far too early train. As with people in any foreign country, but especially in the Orient, the fact that a courteous American had gone to the trouble of making himself understood in their language was decidedly beneficial. He was offered four cups of coffee, seven hot teas, and two of the uniformed girls had giggled as they presented him with an overly sweet Chinese ice cream cone. He accepted all - to do otherwise would have been rude, and since most of the Gang of Four had lost not only their faces but their heads, rudeness was out, except for the border guards.

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