The bourne supremacy, p.63
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       The Bourne Supremacy, p.63

         Part #2 of Jason Bourne series by Robert Ludlum
Page 63


  'Yes, he did. He said that an Uzi - that's a gun-'

  'I know what it is, my dear. The same weapon was supposedly used to kill the taipan's wife and her lover in Macao, wasn't that it?'

  'That's it. '

  'But did he say anything about the men who had been killed in the cabaret over in Kowloon? Anything at all?'

  Marie thought back. 'No, I don't think so. His point was the weapon. '

  'You're positive. '

  'Yes, I am. I'd remember. '

  'I'm sure you would,' agreed Staples.

  'I've gone over that conversation a thousand times. Have you learned anything?'

  'Yes. No such killing as McAllister described to you ever took place at the Lisboa Hotel in Macao. '

  'It was covered up. The banker paid. '

  'Nowhere near what my impeccable source has paid - in more than money. In the coveted, impeccable stamp of his office which can lead to far greater profits for a very long time. In exchange for information, of course. '

  'Catherine, what are you saying?'

  'This is either the clumsiest operation I've ever heard of, or a brilliantly conceived plan to involve your husband in ways he would never have considered, certainly never agreed to. I suspect it's the latter. '

  'Why do you say that?'

  'A man flew into Kai Tak Airport this afternoon, a statesman who's always been far more than a diplomat. We all know it but the world doesn't. His arrival was on all our print-outs. He demurred when the media tried to interview him, claiming he was strictly on vacation in his beloved Hong Kong. '


  'He's never taken a vacation in his life. '

  McAllister ran out into the walled garden with its trellises and white wrought iron furniture and rows of roses and rock-filled ponds. He had put the Treadstone file in the safe, but the words were indelibly printed on his mind. Where were they? Where was he?' There they were! Sitting on two concrete benches beneath a cherry tree, Lin leaning forward, by his expression, mesmerized. McAllister could not help it; he broke into a run, out of breath when he reached the tree, staring at the major from Special Branch, MI6.

  'Lin! When Webb's wife took the call from her husband -the call you terminated - what exactly did she say?'

  'She began talking about a street in Paris where there was a row of trees, her favourite trees, I think she said,' replied Lin, bewildered. 'She was obviously trying to tell him where she was, but she was totally wrong. '

  'She was totally right! When I questioned you, you also said that she told Webb that "things had been terrible" on that street in Paris, or something like that-'

  'That's what she said,' interrupted the major.

  'But that they'd be better over here. '

  That is what she said. '

  'In Paris, a man was killed at the embassy, a man who tried to help them both!'

  'What are you trying to say, McAllister?' interrupted Havilland.

  The row of trees is insignificant, Mr Ambassador, but not her favourite tree. The maple tree, the maple leaf. Canada's symbol! There is no Canadian embassy in Hong Kong, but there is a consulate. That's their meeting ground. It's the pattern! It's Paris all over again!'

  'You didn't alert friendly embassies - consulates?'

  'Goddamn it!' exploded the undersecretary of state. 'What the hell was I going to say! I'm under an oath of silence, remember, sir!'

  'You're quite right. The rebuke is deserved. '

  'You cannot tie all our hands, Mr Ambassador,' said Lin. 'You are a person I respect greatly but a few of us, too, must be given a measure of respect if we are to do our jobs. The same respect you just gave me in your telling me of this most frightening thing. Sheng Chou Yang. Incredible!'

  'Discretion must be absolute. '

  'It will be,' said the major.

  The Canadian consulate,' said Havilland. 'Get me the roster of its entire personnel. '

  Chapter Sixteen

  The call had come at five o'clock in the afternoon and Bourne was ready for it. No names were exchanged.

  'It is arranged,' said the caller. 'We are to be at the border shortly before twenty-one hundred hours when the guard changes shifts. Your Shenzhen visa will be scrutinized and rubber stamps will fly, but none will touch it. Once inside you are on your own, but you did not come through Macao. '

  'What about getting back out? If what you told me is true and things go right, there'll be someone with me. '

  'It will not be me. I will see you over and to the location. After that, I leave you. '

  That doesn't answer my question. '

  'It is not so difficult as getting in, unless you are searched and contraband is found. '

  There won't be any. '

  Then I would suggest drunkenness. It is not uncommon. There is an airfield outside Shenzhen used by special-'

  'I know it. '

  'You were on the wrong aeroplane, perhaps, that too is not uncommon. The schedules are very bad in China. '

  'How much for tonight?'

  'Four thousand, Hong Kong, and a new watch. '

  'Agreed. '

  Some ten miles north of the village of Gongbei the hills rise, soon becoming a minor range of densely forested small mountains. Jason and his former adversary from the alley in Macao walked along the dirt road. The Chinese stopped and looked up at the hills above.

  'Another five or six kilometres and we will reach a field. We will cross it and head up into the second level of woods. We must be careful. '

  'You're sure they'll be there?'

  'I carried the message. If there is a campfire, they will be there. '

  'What was the message?'

  'A conference was demanded. '

  'Why across the border?'

  'It could only be across the border. That, too, was part of the message. '

  'But you don't know why. '

  'I am only the messenger. Things are not in balance. '

  'You said that last night. Can't you explain what you mean?'

  'I cannot explain it to myself. '

  'Could it be because the conference had to take place over here? In China?'

  That is part of it, certainly. '

  There's more?'

  ' Wen fi',' said the guide. 'Questions that arise from feelings. '

  'I think I understand. ' And Jason did. He had had the same questions, the same feelings, when it became clear to him that the assassin who called himself Bourne was riding in an official vehicle of the People's Republic.

  'You were too generous with the guard. The watch was too expensive. '

  'I may need him. ' 'He may not be in the same post. '

  'I'll find him. '

  'He'll sell the watch. '

  'Good. I'll bring him another. '

  Crouching, they ran through the tall grass of the field one section at a time, Bourne following the guide, his eyes constantly roving over their flanks and up ahead, finding shadows in the darkness - and yet not total darkness. Fast, low-flying clouds obscured the moon, filtering the light, but every now and then shafts streamed down for brief moments illuminating the landscape. They reached a rising stretch of tall trees and began making their way up. The Chinese stopped and turned, both hands raised.

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