The bourne supremacy, p.56
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       The Bourne Supremacy, p.56
 

         Part #2 of Jason Bourne series by Robert Ludlum
Page 56

 

  What could he do? I can't be left this way! He's there! He's me and he's there! He's getting away! Bourne ran to the first counter and assumed the attitude of a terribly distraught man.

  'The plane that's about to take off! I'm supposed to be on it! It's going to Shanghai and the people in Beijing said I was to be on it! Stop it!'

  The clerk behind the counter picked up her telephone. She dialled quickly then exhaled through her tight lips in relief. 'That is not your plane, sir,' she said. 'It flies to Guangdong. '

  'Where?

  The Macao border, sir. '

  'Never! It must not be Macao!' the taipan had screamed. . . ' The order will be swift^ the execution swifter! Your wife will die}'

  Macao. Table Five. The Kam Pek casino.

  'If he heads for Macao,' Mr Allister had said quietly, 'he could be a terrible liability. . . '

  ' Termination!1

  'I can't use that word. '

  Chapter Fourteen

  'You will not, you cannot tell me this!' shouted Edward Newington McAllister, leaping out of his chair. 'It's unacceptable] I can't handle it. I won't hear of it!'

  'You'd better, Edward,' said Major Lin. 'It happened. '

  'It's my fault,' added the English doctor, standing in front of the desk in Victoria Peak, facing the American. 'Every symptom she exhibited led to a prognosis of rapid, neurological deterioration. Loss of concentration and visual focus; no appetite and a commensurate drop in weight - most significantly, spasms when there was a complete lack of motor controls. I honestly thought the degenerative process had reached a negative crisis-'

  'What the hell does that mean?

  'That she was dying. Oh, not in a matter of hours or even days or weeks, but that the course was irreversible. '

  'Could you have been right?'

  'I would like nothing better than to conclude that I was, that my diagnosis was at least reasonable, but I can't. Simply put, I was dragooned. '

  'You were hit?'

  'Figuratively, yes. Where it hurts the most, Mr Undersecretary. My professional pride. That bitch fooled me with a carnival act, and she probably doesn't know the difference between a femur and a fever. Everything she did was calculated, from her appeals to the nurse to clubbing and

  disrobing the guard. All her moves were planned and the only disorder was mine. '

  'Christ, I've got to reach Havilland!'

  'Ambassador Havilland? asked Lin, his eyebrows arched.

  McAllister looked at him. 'Forget you heard that. '

  'I will not repeat it, but I can't forget. Things are clearer, London's clearer. You're talking General Staff and Overlord and a large part of Olympus. '

  'Don't mention that name to anyone, Doctor,' said McAllister.

  'I've quite forgotten it. I'm not sure I even know who he is. '

  'What can I say? What are you doing?

  'Everything humanly possible,' answered the major. 'We've divided Hong Kong and Kowloon up into sections. We're questioning every hotel, thoroughly examining their registrations. We've alerted the police and the marine patrols; all personnel have copies of her description and have been instructed that finding her is the territory's priority concern-'

  'My God, what did you say! How did you explain?

  'I was able to help here,' said the doctor. 'In the light of my stupidity it was the least I could do. I issued a medical alert. By doing so, we were able to enlist the help of paramedic teams who've been sent out from all the hospitals, staying in radio contact for other emergencies, of course. They're scouring the streets. '

  'What kind of medical alert?' asked McAllister sharply.

  'Minimum information, but the sort that creates a stir. The woman was known to have visited an unnamed island in the Luzon Strait that is off limits to international travellers for reasons of a rampant disease transmitted by unclean eating utensils. '

  'By categorizing it as such,' interrupted Lin, 'our good doctor prevented any hesitation on the part of the teams to approach her and take her into custody. Not that there would be, but every basket has its less than perfect fruit and we cannot afford any. I honestly believe we'll find her, Edward. We all know she stands out in a crowd. Tall, attractive, that hair of hers - and over a thousand people looking for her. '

  'I hope to God you're right. But I worry. She received her first training from a chameleon. '

  'I beg your pardon?

  'It's nothing, Doctor,' said the major. 'A technical term in our business. '

  'Oh?

  'I've got to have the entire file, all of it!'

  'What, Edward?

  They were hunted together in Europe. Now they're apart, but still hunted. What did they do then? What will they do now?

  'A thread? A pattern?

  'It's always there,' said McAllister, rubbing his right temple. 'Excuse me, gentlemen, I must ask you to leave. I have a dreadful call to make. '

  Marie bartered clothes and paid a few dollars for others. The result was acceptable: With her hair pulled back under a floppy wide-brimmed sunhat, she was a plain-looking woman in a pleated skirt and a nondescript grey blouse that concealed any outline of a figure. The flat sandals lowered her height and the ersatz Gucci purse marked her as a gullible tourist in Hong Kong, exactly what she was not. She called the Canadian consulate and was told how to get there by bus. The offices were in the Asian House, 14th Floor, Hong Kong. She took the bus from the Chinese University through Kowloon and the tunnel over to the island; she watched the streets carefully and got off at her stop. She rode up in the elevator, satisfied that none of the men riding with her gave her a second glance; that was not the usual reaction. She had learned in Paris - taught by a chameleon - how to use the simple things to change herself. The lessons were coming back to her.

  'I realize this will sound ridiculous,' she said in a casual, humorously bewildered voice to the receptionist, 'but a second cousin of mine on my mother's side is posted here and I promised to look him up. '

  That doesn't sound ridiculous to me. '

  'It will when I tell you I've forgotten his name. ' Both women laughed. 'Of course, we've never met and he'd probably like to keep it that way, but then I'd have to answer to the family back home. '

  'Do you know what section he's in?

  'Something to do with economics, I believe. '

  'That would be the Division of Trade most likely. ' The receptionist opened a drawer and pulled out a narrow white booklet with the Canadian flag embossed on the cover. 'Here's our directory. Why don't you sit down and look through it?

  Thanks very much,' said Marie, going to a leather armchair and sitting down. 'I have this terrible feeling of inadequacy,' she added, opening the directory. 'I mean I should know his name. I'm sure you know the name of your second cousin on your mother's side of the family. '

  'Honey, I haven't the vaguest. ' The receptionist's phone rang; she answered it.

  Turning the pages, Marie read quickly, scanning down the columns looking for a name that would evoke a face. She found three but the images were fuzzy, the features not clear. Then on the twelfth page, a face and a voice leaped up at her as she read the name. Catherine Staples.

 
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