The bourne supremacy, p.91
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       The Bourne Supremacy, p.91

         Part #2 of Jason Bourne series by Robert Ludlum
 
Page 91

 

  'Don't try to fathom his Swiss accounts,' said d'Anjou. 'Instead, let's concentrate on why Gamma has made us such a pleasant retreat in the rainstorm. ' The Frenchman took the bottle and drank.

  'It will cost you, Echo,' said the Chinese.

  'With you what doesn't? What is it?' D'Anjou passed the bottle to Jason.

  'I may speak in front of your companion?'

  'Anything. '

  'You'll want the information. I guarantee it. The price is one thousand American. '

  That's it?'

  'It should be enough,' said the Chinese officer taking the bottle of Scotch from Bourne. There are two of you and my patrol boat is half a mile away in the south cove. My crew thinks I'm holding a secret meeting with our undercover people in the colony. '

  'I'll want the information, and you'll guarantee it. ' For those words I'm to produce a thousand dollars without a struggle when it's entirely possible you have a dozen Zhongguo ren outside in the bush. '

  'Some things must be taken on faith. '

  'Not my money,' countered the Frenchman. 'You don't get a sou until I have an idea what you're selling. '

  'You are Gallic to the core,' said Gamma, shaking his head. 'Very well. It concerns your disciple, the one who no longer follows his master but instead picks up his thirty pieces of silver and a great deal more. '

  The assassin!'

  'Pay him!' ordered Bourne, rigid, staring at the Chinese officer.

  D'Anjou looked at Jason and the man called Gamma, then pulled up his sweater and unbuckled his soaking wet trousers. He reached below his waist and forced up an oilcloth money belt; he unzipped the centre pocket, slipped out the bills one after another with his fingers and held them out for the Chinese officer. 'Three thousand for tonight and one for this new information. The rest is counterfeit. I always carry an extra thousand for contingencies, but only a thousand-' 'The information? broke in Jason Bourne. 'He paid for it,' replied Gamma. 'I shall address him. ' 'Address whomever the hell you like, just talk. ' 'Our mutual friend in Guangzhou - Canton-' began the officer, speaking to d'Anjou. The radioman at Headquarters

  One. '

  'We've done business,' said the Frenchman guardedly.

  'Knowing I'd be meeting you here at this hour I refuelled at the pumps in Zhuhai Shi shortly after ten-thirty. There was a message for me to reach him - we have a safe relay. He told me a call was rerouted through Beijing with an unidentified Jade Tower priority code. It was for Soo Jiang-'

  D'Anjou bolted forward, both hands on the ground. The Pig!' 'Who is he?' asked Bourne quickly.

  'Supposedly Chief of Intelligence for Macao operations,' replied the Frenchman, 'but he would sell his mother to a brothel if the price were right. At the moment he is the conduit to my once and former disciple. My Judas!'

  'Who's suddenly been summoned to Beijing,' interrupted the man called Gamma.

  'You're sure of that?' said Jason.

  'Our mutual friend is sure,' answered the Chinese, still looking at d'Anjou. 'An aide to Soo came to Headquarters One and checked all tomorrow's flights from Kai Tak to Beijing. Under his department's authorization he reserved space - a single space - on every one. In several cases it meant that an original passenger was reduced to stand-by status. When an officer at Headquarters One asked for Soo's personal confirmation, the aide said he had left for Macao on urgent business. Who has business in Macao at midnight? Everything's closed. '

  'Except the casinos,' volunteered Bourne. Table Five. The Kam Pek. Totally controlled circumstances. '

  'Which, in view of the reserved spaces,' said the

  Frenchman, 'means that Soo isn't sure when he will reach the assassin. '

  'But he is sure he'll reach him. Whatever message he's carrying is nothing short of an order that has to be complied with. ' Jason looked at the Chinese officer. 'Get us into Beijing,' he said. The airport, the earliest flight. You'll be rich, I guarantee it. '

  'Delta, you're mad? cried d'Anjou. 'Peking is out of the question!'

  'Why? No one's looking for us and there are French, English, Italians, Americans - God knows who else - all over the city. We've both got passports that'll get us through. '

  'Be reasonable!' pleaded Echo. 'We'll be in their nets. Knowing what we know, if we're spotted in the vaguest questionable circumstances we'll be killed on the spot! He'll show up again down here, most likely in a matter of days. '

  'I don't have days,' said Bourne coldly. 'I've lost your creation twice. I'm not going to lose him a third time. '

  'You think you can possibly take him in China?

  'Where else would he least expect a trap?'

  'Madness! You are mad!'

  'Make the arrangements,' Jason ordered the Chinese officer. The first flight out of Kai Tak. When I've got the tickets I'll hand over fifty thousand dollars American to whomever gives them to me. Send someone you can trust. '

  'Fifty thousand. . . ?' The man called Gamma stared at Bourne.

  The skies over Peking were hazy, the dust travelling on the winds from the North China Plains creating pockets of vapid yellows and dull browns in the sunlight. The airport, like all internationals, was immense, the runways a criss-crossing patchwork of black avenues, several over two miles in length. If there was a difference between Peking airport and its Western counterparts, it was in the huge dome-shaped terminal with its adjacent hotel and various freeways leading into the complex. Although contemporary in design there was an underlying sense of function and an absence of eye-pleasing touches. It was an airport to be used and admired for its efficiency, not for its beauty.

  Bourne and d'Anjou went through customs with a minimum of effort, the way eased for them by their fluent Chinese. The guards were actually pleasant, barely glancing at their minimal luggage, more curious about their linguistic ability than their possessions. The chief official accepted without question the story of two Oriental scholars on a holiday from which pleasant tales of travel would no doubt find their way into the lecture halls. They converted a thousand dollars each into renminbi, literally the People's Money, and were given nearly two thousand Yuan apiece in return. And Bourne took off the glasses he had purchased in Washington from his friend Cactus.

  'One thing bewilders me,' said the Frenchman as they stood in front of an electronic sign showing the next three hours of arrivals and departures. 'Why would he be flown in on a commercial plane? Certainly, whoever is paying him has government or military aircraft at his disposal. '

  'Like ours, those aircraft have to be signed out and accounted for,' answered Jason. 'And whoever it is has to keep his distance from your assassin. He comes in as a tourist or a businessman and then the convoluted process of making contact begins. At least that's what I'm counting on. '

  'Madness! Tell me, Delta, if you do take him - and I add that it's a significant "if because he's extraordinarily capable - have you any idea how to get him out?

  'I've got money, American money, large bills, more than you can imagine. It's in the lining of my jacket. '

 
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