The bourne supremacy, p.80
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       The Bourne Supremacy, p.80

         Part #2 of Jason Bourne series by Robert Ludlum
 
Page 80

 

  Chapter Nineteen

  Leaning forward in the chair, Bourne snapped the trigger housing out of its recess and checked the weapon's bore under the light of the floor-lamp above him. It was a repetitive, pointless exercise; the bore was spotless. During the past four hours he had cleaned d'Anjou's gun three times, dismantling it three times and each time oiling each mechanism until each part of the dark metal glistened. The process occupied his time. He had studied d'Anjou's arsenal of weapons and explosives, but since most of the equipment was in sealed boxes, conceivably tripped against theft, he let them be and concentrated on the single gun. There was only so much pacing one could do in the Frenchman's flat on the Rua das Lorchas overlooking Macao's Porto Interiore - or Inner Harbour - and they had agreed he was not to go outside in daylight. Inside, he was as safe as he could be anywhere in Macao. D'Anjou, who changed residences at will and whim, had rented the waterfront apartment less than two weeks before, using a false name and a lawyer he had never met, who in turn employed a 'rentor' to sign the lease which the attorney sent by messenger to his unknown client by way of the checkroom at the crowded Floating Casino. Such were the ways of Philippe d'Anjou, formerly Echo of Medusa.

  Jason reassembled the weapon, depressed the shells in the magazine and cracked it up through the handle. He got out of the chair and walked to the window, the gun in his hand.

  Across the expanse of water was the People's Republic, so accessible for anyone who knew the procedures arising from simple human greed. There was nothing new under the sun since the time of the pharaohs where borders were concerned. They were erected to be crossed one way or another.

  He looked at his watch. It was close to five o'clock; the afternoon sun was descending. D'Anjou had called him from Hong Kong at noon. The Frenchman had gone to the Peninsula with Bourne's room key, packed his suitcase without checking out, and was taking the one o'clock jetfoil back to Macao. Where was he? The trip took barely an hour, and from the Macao pier to the Rua das Lorchas was no more than ten minutes by cab. But then predictability was not Echo's strong suit.

  Fragments of the Medusa memories came back to Jason, triggered by the presence of d'Anjou. Although painful and frightening, certain impressions provided a certain comfort, again thanks to the Frenchman. Not only was d'Anjou a consummate liar when it counted most and an opportunist of the first rank, but he was extraordinarily resourceful. Above all, the Frenchman was a pragmatist. He had proved that in Paris and those memories were clear. If he was delayed, there was a good reason. If he did not appear, he was dead. And this last was unacceptable to Bourne. D'Anjou was in a position to do something Jason wanted above all to do himself but dared not risk Marie's life in doing it. It was risk enough that the trail of the impostor assassin had brought him to Macao in the first place, but as long as he stayed away from the Lisboa Hotel he trusted his instincts. He would remain hidden from those looking for him - looking for someone who even vaguely resembled him in height, or build or colouring. Someone asking questions in the Lisboa Hotel.

  One call from the Lisboa to the taipan in Hong Kong and Marie was dead. The taipan had not merely threatened -threats were too often a meaningless ploy - he had used a far more lethal expedient. After shouting and crashing his large hand on the arm of the fragile chair, he had quietly given his word: Marie would die. It was a promise made by a man who kept his promises, kept his word.

  Yet for all that, David Webb sensed something he could not define. There was about the huge taipan something a bit larger than life, too operatic, that had nothing to do with his size. It was as if he had used his immense girth to advantage in a way that large men rarely do, preferring to let only their sheer size do the impressing. Who was the taipan? The answer was at the Lisboa Hotel, and since he dared not go there himself, d'Anjou's skills could serve him. He had told the Frenchman very little; he would tell him more now. He would describe a brutal double killing, the weapon an Uzi, and say that one of the victims was a powerful taipan's wife. D'Anjou would ask the questions he could not ask, and if there were answers he would take another step towards Marie.

  Play the scenario. Alexander Conklin.

  Whose scenario! David Webb.

  You're wasting time Jason Bourne. Find the impostor. Take him!

  Quiet footsteps in the outside hallway. Jason spun away from the window and raced silently to the wall, pressing his back against it, the gun levelled at the door where the swinging panel would conceal him. A key was cautiously, quietly inserted. The door swung slowly open.

  Bourne crashed it back into the intruder, spinning around and grabbing the stunned figure in the frame. He yanked him inside and kicked the door shut, the weapon aimed at the head of the fallen man, who had dropped a suitcase and a very large package. It was d'Anjou.

  That's one way to get your head blown off, Echo!'

  'Sacre bleu! It is also the last time I will ever be considerate of you! You don't see yourself, Delta. You look as you did in Tarn Quan, without sleep for days. I thought you might be resting. '

  Another memory briefly flashed. 'In Tarn Quan,' said Jason, 'you told me I had to sleep, didn't you? We hid in the brush and you formed a circle around me and damn near gave me an order to get some rest. '

  'It was purely a self-enlightened request. We couldn't get ourselves out of there, only you could. '

  'You said something to me then. What was it? I listened. '

  'I explained that rest was as much a weapon as any blunt instrument or firing mechanism man had ever devised. '

  'I used a variation later. It became an axiom for me. '

  'I'm so glad you had the intelligence to listen to your elders. May I please rise? Will you please lower that damned gun?'

  'Oh, sorry. '

  'We have no time,' said d'Anjou, getting up and leaving the suitcase on the floor. He tore the brown paper off his package. Inside were pressed khaki clothes, two belted holsters and two visored hats; he threw them all on a chair. 'These are uniforms. I have the proper identifications in my pocket. I am afraid I outrank you, Delta, but then age has its privileges. '

  'They're uniforms of the Hong Kong police. '

  'Kowloon, to be precise. We may have our chance, Delta! It's why I was so long getting back. Kai Tak Airport! The security is enormous, just what the impostor wants in order to show he's better than you ever were! There's no guarantee, of course, but I'd stake my life on it - it's the classic challenge for an obsessed maniac. "Mount your forces, I'll break through them!" With one kill like that he re-establishes the legend of his utter invincibility. It's him, I'm sure of it!'

  'Start from the beginning,' ordered Bourne.

  'As we dress, yes,' agreed the Frenchman, removing his shirt and unbuckling his trousers. 'Hurry! I have a motor launch across the road. Four hundred horsepower. We can be in Kowloon in forty-five minutes. Here! This is yours! Man Dieu, the money I've spent makes me want to vomit!'

  'The PRC patrols,' said Jason, peeling off his clothes and reaching for the uniform. 'They'll shoot us out of the water!' 'Idiot, certain known boats are negotiated with by radio in code. There is, after all, honour among us. How do you think we run our merchandise? How do you think we survive? We meet in coves at the Chinese islands of Teh Sa Wei and payments are made. Hurry?

 
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