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9
   He reached an intersection, the traffic light red. Lights. On the left, several blocks east, he could see lights arching gently into the night sky. A bridge! The Limmat! The signal turned green; he swung the sedan to the left.
   He was back on the Bahnhofstrasse; the start of the Guisan Quai was only minutes away. The wide avenue curved around the water’s edge, riverbank and lakefront merging. Moments later, on his left was the silhouetted outline of a park, in summer a stroller’s haven, now dark, devoid of tourists and Zurichers. He passed an entrance for vehicles; there was a heavy chain across the white pavement, suspended between two stone posts. He came to a second, another chain prohibiting access. But it was not the same; something was different, something odd. He stopped the car and looked closer, reaching across the seat for the flashlight he had taken from his would-be executioner.
   He snapped it on and shot the beam over the heavy chain. What was it? What was different?
   It was not the chain. It was beneath the chain. On the white pavement kept spotless by maintenance crews. There were tire marks, at odds with the surrounding cleanliness. They would not be noticed during the summer months; they were now. It was as if the filth of the Steppdeckstrasse had traveled too well.
   Bourne switched off the flashlight and dropped it on the seat. The pain in his battered left hand suddenly fused with the agony in his shoulder and his arm; he had to push all pain out of his mind; he had to curtail the bleeding as best he could. His shirt had been ripped; he reached inside and ripped it further, pulling out a strip of cloth which he proceeded to wrap around his left hand, knotting it with teeth and fingers. He was as ready as he would ever be.
   He picked up the gun--his would-be executioner’s gun--and checked the clip: full. He waited until two cars had passed him, then extinguished the headlights and made a U-turn, parking next to the chain. He got out, instinctively testing his leg on the pavement, then favoring it as he limped to the nearest post and lifted the hook off the iron circle protruding from the stone. He lowered the chain, making as little noise as possible, and returned to the car.
   He pulled at the gearshift, gently pressed the accelerator, then released it. He was now coasting into the wide expanse of an unlit parking area, made darker by the abrupt end of the white entrance road and the start of a field of black asphalt. Beyond, two-hundred-odd yards in the distance, was the straight dark line of the seawall, a wall that contained no sea but, instead, the currents of the Limmat as they poured into the waters of Lake Zurich. Farther away were the lights of the boats, bobbing in stately splendor. Beyond these were the stationary lights of the Old City, the blurred floodlights of darkened piers. Jason’s eyes took everything in, for the distance was his backdrop; he was looking for shapes in front of it.
   To the right. The right. A dark outline darker than the wall, an intrusion of black on lesser black-– obscure, faint, barely discernible, but there. A hundred yards away ... now ninety, eighty-five; he cut off the engine and brought the car to a stop. He sat motionless by the open window, staring into the darkness, trying to see more clearly. He heard the wind coming off the water; it covered any sound the car had made.
   Sound. A cry. Low, throated ... delivered in fear. A harsh slap followed, then another, and another. A scream was formed, then swallowed, broken, echoing off into silence.
   Bourne got out of the car silently, the gun in his right hand, the flashlight awkward in the bloody
   fingers of his left. He walked toward the obscure black shape, each step, each limp a study in silence. What he saw first was what he had seen last when the small sedan had disappeared in the shadows of the Steppdeckstrasse. The shining metal of the twisted chrome bumper; it glistened now in the night light.
   Four slaps in rapid succession, flesh against flesh, blows maniacally administered, received with muted screams of terror. Cries terminated, gasps permitted, thrashing movement part of it all. Inside the car!
   Jason crouched as best he could, sidestepping around the trunk toward the right rear window. He rose slowly, then suddenly, using sound as a weapon of shock, shouted as he switched on the powerful flashlight.
   “You move, you’re dead!”
   What he saw inside filled him with revulsion and fury. Marie St. Jacques’ clothes were torn away, shredded into strips. Hands were poised like claws on her half-naked body, kneading her breasts, separating her legs. The executioner’s organ protruded from the cloth of his trousers; he was inflicting the final indignity before he carried out the sentence of death.
   “Get out, you son of a bitch!”
   There was a massive shattering of glass; the man raping Marie St. Jacques saw the obvious.
   Bourne could not fire the gun for fear of killing the woman; he had spun off her, crashing the heel of his shoe into the window of the small car. Glass flew out, sharp fragments blanketing Jason’s face. He closed his eyes, limping backward to avoid the spray.
   The door swung open; a blinding spit of light accompanied the explosion. Hot, searing pain spread through Bourne’s right side. The fabric of his coat was blown away, blood matting what remained of his shirt. He squeezed the trigger, only vaguely able to see the figure rolling on the ground; he fired again, the bullet detonating the surface of the asphalt. The executioner had rolled and lurched out of sight ... into the darker blackness, unseen.
   Jason knew he could not stay where he was; to do so was his own execution. He raced, dragging his leg, to the cover of the open door.
   “Stay inside!” he yelled to Marie St. Jacques; the woman had started to move in panic. “Goddamn it! Stay in there!”
   A gunshot; the bullet imbedded in the metal of the door. A running figure was silhouetted above the wall. Bourne fired twice, grateful for an expulsion of breath in the distance. He had wounded the man; he had not killed him. But the executioner would function less well than he had sixty seconds ago.
   Lights. Dim lights ... squared, frames. What was it? What were they? He looked to the left and saw what he could not possibly have seen before. A small brick structure, some kind of dwelling by the seawall. Lights had been turned on inside. A watchman’s station; someone inside had heard the gunshots.
   “Was ist los? Wer ist da?” The shouts came from the figure of a man--a bent-over, old man-– standing in a lighted doorway. Then the beam of a flashlight pierced the blacker darkness. Bourne followed it with his eyes, hoping it would shine on the executioner.
   It did. He was crouched by the wall. Jason stood up and fired; at the sound of his gun, the beam swung over to him. He was the target; two shots came from the darkness, a bullet ricocheting off a metal strip in the window. Steel punctured his neck; blood erupted.
   Racing footsteps. The executioner was running toward the source of the light.
   “Nein!”
   He had reached it; the figure in the doorway was lashed by an arm that was both his leash and his cage. The beam went out; in the light of the windows Jason could see the killer pulling the watchman away, using the old man as a shield, dragging him back into darkness.
   Bourne watched until he could see no more, his gun raised helplessly over the hood. As he was helpless, his body draining.
   There was a final shot, followed by a guttural cry and, once again, racing footsteps. The executioner had carried out a sentence of death, not with the condemned woman, but with an old man. He was running; he had made his escape.
   Bourne could run no longer; the pain had finally immobilized him, his vision too blurred, his sense of survival exhausted. He lowered himself to the pavement. There was nothing; he simply did not care.
   Whatever he was, let it be. Let it be.
   The St. Jacques woman crawled out of the car, holding her clothes, every move made in shock.
   She stared at Jason, disbelief, horror and confusion coming together in her eyes.
   “Go on,” he whispered, hoping she could hear him. “There’s a car back there, the keys are in it.
   Get out of here. He may bring others, I don’t know.”
   “You came for me,” she said, her voice echoing through a tunnel of bewilderment.
   “Get out! Get in that car and go like hell, Doctor. If anyone tries to stop you, run him down.
   Reach the police ... real ones, with uniforms, you damn fool.” His throat was so hot, his stomach so cold. Fire and ice; he’d felt them before. Together. Where was it?
   “You saved my life,” she continued in that hollow tone, the words floating in the air. “You came for me. You came back for me, and saved ... my ... life.”
   “Don’t make it what it wasn’t” You are incidental, Doctor. You are a reflex, an instinct born of forgotten memories, conduits electrically prodded by stress. You see, I know the words ... I don’t care anymore. I hurt--oh my God, I hurt.
   “You were free. You could have kept going but you didn’t. You came back for me.” He heard her through mists of pain. He saw her, and what he saw was unreasonable--as unreasonable as the pain. She was kneeling beside him, touching his face, touching his head. Stop it!
   Do not touch my head! Leave me.
   “Why did you do that?” It was her voice, not his.
   She was asking him a question. Didn’t she understand? He could not answer her.
   What was she doing? She had torn a piece of cloth and was wrapping it around his neck ... and now another, this larger, part of her dress. She had loosened his belt and was pushing the soft smooth cloth down into the boiling hot skin on his right hip.
   “It wasn’t you.” He found words and used them quickly. He wanted the peace of darkness--as he had wanted it before but could not remember when. He could find it if she left him. “That man ...
   he’d seen me. He could identify me. It was him. I wanted him. Now get out!”
   “So could half a dozen others,” she replied, another note in her voice. “I don’t believe you.”
   “Believe me!”
   She was standing above him now. Then she was not there. She was gone. She had left him. The peace would come quickly now; he would be swallowed up in the dark crashing waters and the pain would be washed away. He leaned back against the car and let himself drift with the currents of his mind.
   A noise intruded. A motor, rolling and disruptive. He did not care for it; it interfered with the freedom of his own particular sea. Then a hand was on his arm. Then another, gently pulling him up. “Come on,” said the voice, “help me.”
   “Let go of me!” The command was shouted; he had shouted it. But the command was not obeyed. He was appalled; commands should be obeyed. Yet not always; something told him that.
   The wind was there again, but not a wind in Zurich. In some other place, high in the night sky. And a signal came, a light flashed on, and he leaped up, whipped by furious new currents.
   “All right. You’re all right,” said the maddening voice that would not pay attention to his commands. “Lift your foot up. Lift it! ... That’s right. You did it. Now, inside the car. Ease yourself back ... slowly. That’s right.”
   He was falling ... falling in the pitch black sky. And then the falling stopped, everything stopped, and there was stillness; he could hear his own breathing. And footsteps, he could hear footsteps ...
   and the sound of a door closing, followed by the rolling, disruptive noise beneath him, in front of him, somewhere.
   Motion, swaying in circles. Balance was gone and he was falling again, only to be stopped again, another body against his body, a hand holding him, lowering him. His face felt cool; and then he felt nothing. He was drifting again, currents gentler now, darkness complete.

   There were voices above him, in the distance, but not so far away. Shapes came slowly into focus, lit by the spill of table lamps. He was in a fairly large room, and on a bed, a narrow bed, blankets covering him. Across the room were two people, a man in an overcoat and a woman ... dressed in a dark red skirt beneath a white blouse. Dark red, as the hair was. ...
   The St. Jacques woman? It was she, standing by a door talking to a man holding a leather bag in his left hand. They were speaking French.
   “Rest, mainly,” the man was saying. “If you’re not accessible to me, anyone can remove the sutures. They can be taken out in a week, I’d guess.”
   “Thank you, Doctor.”
   “Thank you. You’ve been most generous. I’ll go now. Perhaps I’ll hear from you, perhaps not.” The doctor opened the door and let himself out. When he was gone the woman reached down and slid the bolt in place. She turned and saw Bourne looking at her. She walked slowly, cautiously, toward the bed.
   “Can you hear me?” she asked.
   He nodded.
   “You’re hurt,” she said, “quite badly; but if you stay quiet, it won’t be necessary for you to get to a hospital. That was a doctor ... obviously. I paid him out of the money I found on you; quite a bit more than might seem usual, but I was told he could be trusted. It was your idea, incidentally. While we were driving, you kept saying you had to find a doctor, one you could pay to keep quiet. You were right. It wasn’t difficult.”
   “Where are we?” He could hear his voice; it was weak, but he could hear it.
   “A village called Lenzburg, about twenty miles outside of Zurich. The doctor’s from Wohlen; it’s a nearby town. He’ll see you in a week, if you’re here.”
   “How? ...” He tried to raise himself but the strength wasn’t there. She touched his shoulder; it was an order to lie back down.
   “I’ll tell you what happened, and perhaps that will answer your questions. At least I hope so, because if it doesn’t, I’m not sure I can.” She stood motionless, looking down at him, her tone controlled. “An animal was raping me--after which he had orders to kill me. There was no way I was going to live. In the Steppdeckstrasse, you tried to stop them, and when you couldn’t, you told me to scream, to keep screaming. It was all you could do, and by shouting to me, you risked being killed at that moment yourself. Later, you somehow got free--I don’t know how, but I know you were hurt very badly doing so--and you came back to find me.”
   “Him,” interrupted Jason, “I wanted him.”
   “You told me that, and I’ll say what I said before. I don’t believe you. Not because you’re a poor liar, but because it doesn’t conform with the facts. I work with statistics, Mr. Washburn, or Mr.
   Bourne, or whatever your name is. I respect observable data and I can spot inaccuracies; I’m trained to do that. Two men went in that building to find you, and I heard you say they were both alive.
   They could identify you. And there’s the owner of the Drei Alpenhäuser; he could too. Those are the facts, and you know them as well as I do. No, you came back to find me. You came back and saved my life.”
   “Go on,” he said, his voice gaining strength. “What happened?”
   “I made a decision. It was the most difficult decision I’ve ever made in my life. I think a person can only make a decision like that if he’s nearly lost his life by an act of violence, his life saved by someone else. I decided to help you. Only for a while--for just a few hours, perhaps--but I would help you get away.”
   “Why didn’t you go to the police?”
   “I almost did, and I’m not sure I can tell you why I didn’t. Maybe it was the rape, I don’t know.
   I’m being honest with you. I’ve always been told it’s the most horrible experience a woman can go through. I believe it now. And I heard the anger--the disgust--in your own voice when you shouted at him. I’ll never forget that moment as long as I live, as much as I may want to.”
   “The police?” he repeated.
   “That man at the Drei Alpenhäuser said the police were looking for you. That a telephone number had been set up in Zurich.” She paused. “I couldn’t give you to the police. Not then. Not after what you did.”
   “Knowing what I am?” he asked.
   “I know only what I’ve heard, and what I’ve heard doesn’t correspond with the injured man who came back for me and offered his life for mine.”
   “That’s not very bright.”
   “That’s the one thing I am, Mr. Bourne--I assume it’s Bourne, it’s what he called you. Very bright.”
   “I hit you. I threatened to kill you.”
   “If I’d been you, and men were trying to kill me, I probably would have done the same--if I were capable.”
   “So you drove out of Zurich?”
   “Not at first, not for a half hour or so. I had to calm down, reach my decision. I’m methodical.”
   “I’m beginning to see that.”
   “I was a wreck, a mess; I needed clothes, hairbrush, makeup. I couldn’t walk anywhere. I found a
   telephone booth down by the river, and there was no one around, so I got out of the car and called a
   colleague at the hotel--“
   “The Frenchman? The Belgian?” interrupted Jason.
   “No. They’d been at the Bertinelli lecture, and if they had recognized me up on the stage with you, I assumed they’d given my name to the police. Instead, I called a woman who’s a member of our delegation; she loathes Bertinelli and was in her room. We’ve worked together for several years and were friends. I told her that if she heard anything about me to disregard it, I was perfectly all right. As a matter of fact, if anyone asked about me, she was to say I was with a friend for the evening--for the night, if pressed. That I’d left the Bertinelli lecture early.”
   “Methodical,” said Bourne.
   “Yes.” Marie allowed herself a tentative smile. “I asked her to go to my room--we’re only two doors away from each other and the night maid knows we’re friends. If no one was there she was to put some clothes and makeup in my suitcase and come back to her room. I’d call her in five minutes.”
   “She just accepted what you said?”
   “I told you, we’re friends. She knew I was all right, excited perhaps, but all right. And that I wanted her to do as I asked.” Marie paused again. “She probably thought I was telling her the truth.”
   “Go ahead.”
   “I called her back and she had my things.”
   “Which means the two other delegates didn’t give your name to the police. Your room would have been watched, sealed off.”
   “I don’t know whether they did or not. But if they did, my friend was probably questioned quite a while ago. She’d simply say what I told her to say.”
   “She was at the Carillon, you were down at the river. How did you get your things?”
   “It was quite simple. A little tacky, but simple. She spoke to the night maid, telling her I was avoiding one man at the hotel, seeing another outside. I needed my overnight case and could she suggest a way to get it to me. To an automobile ... down at the river. An off-duty waiter brought it to me.”
   “Wasn’t he surprised at the way you looked?”
   “He didn’t have much of a chance to see anything. I opened the trunk, stayed in the car, and told him to put it in the back. I left a ten-franc note on the spare tire.”
   “You’re not methodical, you’re remarkable.”
   “Methodical will do.”
   “How did you find the doctor?”
   “Right here. The concierge, or whatever he’s called in Switzerland. Remember, I’d wrapped you up as best I could, reduced the bleeding as much as possible. Like most people, I have a working knowledge of first aid; that meant I had to remove some of your clothing. I found the money and then I understood what you meant by finding a doctor you could pay. You have thousands and thousands of dollars on you; I know the rates of exchange.”
   “That’s only the beginning.”
   “What?”
   “Never mind.” He tried to rise again; it was too difficult. “Aren’t you afraid of me? Afraid of what you’ve done?”
   “Of course I am. But I know what you did for me.”
   “You’re more trusting than I’d be under the circumstances.”
   “Then perhaps you’re not that aware of the circumstances. You’re still very weak and I have the gun. Besides, you don’t have any clothes.”
   “None?”
   “Not even a pair of shorts. I’ve thrown everything away. You’d look a little foolish running down the street in a plastic money belt.”
   Bourne laughed through his pain, remembering La Ciotat and the Marquis de Chamford.
   “Methodical,” he said.
   “Very.”
   “What happens now?”
   “I’ve written out the name of the doctor and paid a week’s rent for the room. The concierge will bring you meals starting at noon today. I’ll stay here until midmorning. It’s nearly six o’clock; it should be light soon. Then I’ll return to the hotel for the rest of my things and my airline tickets, and do my best to avoid any mention of you.”
   “Suppose you can’t? Suppose you were identified?”
   “I’ll deny it. It was dark. The whole place was in panic.”
   “Now you’re not being methodical. At least, not as methodical as the Zurich police would be. I’ve got a better way. Call your friend and tell her to pack the rest of your clothes and settle your bill.
   Take as much money as you want from me and grab the first plane to Canada. It’s easier to deny long-distance.”
   She looked at him in silence, then nodded. “That’s very tempting.”
   “It’s very logical.”
   She continued to stare at him a moment longer, the tension inside her building, conveyed by her
   eyes. She turned away and walked to the window, looking out at the earliest rays of the morning sun. He watched her, feeling the intensity, knowing its roots, seeing her face in the pale orange glow of dawn. There was nothing he could do; she had done what she felt she had to do because she had been released from terror. From a kind of terrible degradation no man could really understand.
   From death. And in doing what she did, she had broken all the rules. She whipped her head toward him, her eyes glaring.
   “Who are you?”
   “You heard what they said.”
   “I know what I saw! What I feel!”
   “Don’t try to justify what you did. You simply did it, that’s all. Let it be.”
   Let it be. Oh, God, you could have let me be. And there would have been peace. But now you have given part of
   my life back to me, and I’ve got to struggle again, face it again.
   Suddenly she was standing at the foot of the bed, the gun in her hand. She pointed it at him and her voice trembled. “Should I undo it then? Should I call the police and tell them to come and take you?”
   “A few hours ago I would have said go ahead. I can’t bring myself to say it now.”
   “Then who are you?”
   ‘”They say my name is Bourne. Jason Charles Bourne.”
   “What does that mean? ‘They say’?”
   He stared at the gun, at the dark circle of its barrel There was nothing left but the truth--as he knew the truth. “What does it mean?” he repeated. “You know almost as much as I do, Doctor.”
   “What?”
   “You might as well hear it. Maybe it’ll make you feel better. Or worse, I don’t know. But you may as well, because I don’t know what else to tell you.”
   She lowered the gun. “Tell me what?”
   “My life began five months ago on a small island in the Mediterranean called Ile de Port Noir. ...” The sun had risen to the midpoint of the surrounding trees, its rays filtered by windblown branches, streaming through the windows and mottling the walls with irregular shapes of light.
   Bourne lay back on the pillow, exhausted. He had finished; there was nothing more to say.
   Marie sat across the room in a leather armchair, her legs curled up under her, cigarettes and the gun on a table to her left. She had barely moved, her gaze fixed on his face; even when she smoked, her eyes never wavered, never left his. She was a technical analyst, evaluating data, filtering facts as the trees filtered the sunlight.
   “You kept saying it,” she said softly, spacing out her next words. “ ‘I don’t know.’ ... ‘I wish I knew.’ You’d stare at something, and I was frightened. I’d ask you, what was it? What were you going to do? And you’d say it again, ‘I wish I knew.’ My God, what you’ve been through. ... What you’re going through.”
   “After what I’ve done to you, you can even think about what’s happened to me?”
   “They’re two separate lines of occurrence,” she said absently, frowning in thought.
   “Separate--“
   “Related in origin, developed independently; that’s economics nonsense. ... And then on the Löwenstrasse, just before we went up to Chernak’s flat, I begged you not to make me go with you. I was convinced that if I heard any more you’d kill me. That’s when you said the strangest thing of all.
   You said, ‘What you heard makes no more sense to me than it does to you. Perhaps less ...’ I thought you were insane.”
   “What I’ve got is a form of insanity. A sane person remembers. I don’t.”
   “Why didn’t you tell me Chernak tried to kill you?”
   “There wasn’t time and I didn’t think it mattered.”
   “It didn’t at that moment--to you. It did to me.”
   “Why?”
   “Because I was holding on to an outside hope that you wouldn’t fire your gun at someone who hadn’t tried to kill you first.”
   “But he did. I was wounded.”
   “I didn’t know the sequence; you didn’t tell me.”
   “I don’t understand.”
   Marie lit a cigarette. “It’s hard to explain, but during all the time you kept me hostage, even when you hit me, and dragged me and pressed the gun into my stomach and held it against my head--
   God knows, I was terrified--but I thought I saw something in your eyes. Call it reluctance. It’s the best I can come up with.”
   “It’ll do. What’s your point?”
   “I’m not sure. Perhaps, it goes back to something else you said in the booth at the Drei Alpenhäuser. That fat man was coming over and you told me to stay against the wall, cover my face with my hand. ‘For your own good,’ you said. ‘There’s no point in his being able to identify you.’ “ “There wasn’t.”
   “ ‘For your own good.’ That’s not the reasoning of a pathological killer. I think I held on to that--for my own sanity, maybe--that and the look in your eyes.”
   “I still don’t get the point.”
   “The man with the gold-rimmed glasses who convinced me he was the police said you were a brutal killer, who had to be stopped before he killed again. Had it not been for Chernak I wouldn’t have believed him. On either point. The police don’t behave like that; they don’t use guns in dark, crowded places. And you were a man running for your life--are running for your life--but you’re not a killer.”
   Bourne held up his hand. “Forgive me, but that strikes me as a judgment based on false gratitude.
   You say you have a respect for facts--then look at them. I repeat: you heard what they said-– regardless of what you think you saw and feel--you heard the words. Boiled down, envelopes were filled with money and delivered to me to fulfill certain obligations. I’d say those obligations were pretty clear, and I accepted them. I had a numbered account at the Gemeinschaft Bank totaling about five million dollars. Where did I get it? Where does a man like me--with the obvious skills I have--get that kind of money?” Jason stared at the ceiling. The pain was returning, the sense of futility also. “Those are the facts, Dr. St. Jacques. It’s time you left.” Marie rose from the chair and crushed out her cigarette. Then she picked up the gun and walked toward the bed. “You’re very anxious to condemn yourself, aren’t you?”
   “I respect facts.”
   “Then if what you say is true, I have an obligation, too, don’t I? As a law-abiding member of the social order I must call the Zurich police and tell them where you are.” She raised the gun.
   Bourne looked at her. “I thought--“
   “Why not?” she broke in. “You’re a condemned man who wants to get it over with, aren’t you?
   You lie there talking with such finality--with, if you’ll forgive me, not a little self-pity, expecting to appeal to my ... what was it? False gratitude? Well, I think you’d better understand something. I’m not a fool; if I thought for a minute you’re what they say you are, I wouldn’t be here and neither would you. Facts that cannot be documented aren’t facts at all. You don’t have facts, you have conclusions, your own conclusions based on statements made by men you know are garbage.”
   “And an unexplained bank account with five million dollars in it. Don’t forget that.”
   “How could I? I’m supposed to be a financial whiz. That account may not be explained in ways that you’d like, but there’s a proviso attached that lends a considerable degree of legitimacy to it. It can be inspected--probably invaded--by any certified director of a corporation called something-or-other Seventy-One. That’s hardly an affiliation for a hired killer.”
   “The corporation may be named; it isn’t listed.”
   “In a telephone book? You are naive. But let’s get back to you. Right now. Shall I really call the police?”
   “You know my answer. I can’t stop you, but I don’t want you to.” Marie lowered the gun. “And I won’t. For the same reason you don’t want me to. I don’t believe what they say you are any more than you do.”
   “Then what do you believe?”
   “I told you, I’m not sure. All I really know is that seven hours ago I was underneath an animal, his mouth all over me, his hands clawing me ... and I knew I was going to die. And then a man came back for me--a man who could have kept running--but who came back for me and offered to die in my place. I guess I believe in him.”
   “Suppose you’re wrong?”
   “Then I’ll have made a terrible mistake.”
   “Thank you. Where’s the money?”
   “On the bureau. In your passport case and billfold. Also the name of the doctor and the receipt for the room.”
   “May I have the passport, please? That’s the Swiss currency.”
   “I know.” Marie brought them to him. “I gave the concierge three hundred francs for the room and two hundred for the name of the doctor. The doctor’s services came to four hundred and fifty, to which I added another hundred and fifty for his cooperation. Altogether I paid out eleven hundred francs.”
   “You don’t have to give me an accounting,” he said.
   “You should know. What are you going to do?”
   “Give you money so you can get back to Canada.”
   “I mean afterwards.”
   “See how I feel later on. Probably pay the concierge to buy me some clothes. Ask him a few questions. I’ll be all right.” He took out a number of large bills and held them out for her.
   “That’s over fifty thousand francs.”
   “I’ve put you through a great deal.”
   Marie St. Jacques looked at the money, then down at the gun in her left hand. “I don’t want your money,” she said, placing the weapon on the bedside table.
   “What do you mean?”
   She turned and walked back to the armchair, turning again to look at him as she sat down. “I think I want to help you.”
   “Now wait a minute--“
   “Please,” she interrupted. “Please don’t ask me any questions. Don’t say anything for a while.”
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BOOK II

10
   Neither of them knew when it happened, or, in truth, whether it had happened. Or, if it had, to what lengths either would go to preserve it, or deepen it. There was no essential drama, no conflicts to overcome or barriers to surmount. All that was required was communication, by words and looks, and, perhaps as vital as either of these, the frequent accompaniment of quiet laughter.
   Their living arrangements in the room at the village inn were as clinical as they might have been in the hospital ward it replaced. During the daylight hours Marie took care of various practical matters such as clothes, meals, maps, and newspapers. On her own she had driven the stolen car ten miles south to the town of Reinach where she had abandoned it, taking a taxi back to Lenzburg.
   When she was out Bourne concentrated on rest and mobility. From somewhere in his forgotten past he understood that recovery depended upon both and he applied rigid discipline to both; he had been there before ... before Port Noir.
   When they were together they talked, at first awkwardly, the thrusts and parries of strangers thrown together and surviving the shock waves of cataclysm. They tried to insert normalcy where none could exist, but it was easier when they both accepted the essential abnormality: there was nothing to say not related to what had happened. And if there was, it would begin to appear only during those moments when the probing of what-had-happened was temporarily exhausted, the silences springboards to relief, to other words and thoughts.
   It was during such moments that Jason learned the salient facts about the woman who had saved his life. He protested that she knew as much about him as he did, but he knew nothing about her.
   Where had she sprung from? Why was an attractive woman with dark red hair and skin obviously nurtured on a farm somewhere pretending to be a doctor of economics?
   “Because she was sick of the farm,” Marie replied.
   “No kidding? A farm, really?”
   “Well, a small ranch would be more like it. Small in comparison to the king-sized ones in Alberta.
   In my father’s time, when a Canuck went west to buy land, there were unwritten restrictions. Don’t compete in size with your betters. He often said that if he’d used the name St. James rather than St.
   Jacques, he’d be a far wealthier man today.”
   “He was a rancher?”
   Marie had laughed. “No, he was an accountant who became a rancher by way of a Vickers bomber in the war. He was a pilot in the Royal Canadian Air Force. I guess once he saw all that sky, an accounting office seemed a little dull.”
   “That takes a lot of nerve.”
   “More than you know. He sold cattle he didn’t own on land he didn’t have before he bought the ranch. French to the core, people said.”
   “I think I’d like him.”
   “You would.”
   She had lived in Calgary with her parents and two brothers until she was eighteen, when she went to McGill University in Montreal and the beginnings of a life she had never contemplated. An indifferent student who preferred racing over the fields on the back of a horse to the structured boredom of a convent school in Alberta discovered the excitement of using her mind.
   “It was really as simple as that,” she told him. “I’d looked at books as natural enemies, and suddenly, here I was in a place surrounded by people who were caught up in them, having a marvelous time. Everything was talk. Talk all day, talk all night--in classrooms and seminars, in crowded booths over pitchers of beer; I think it was the talk that turned me on. Does that make sense to you?”
   “I can’t remember, but I can understand,” Bourne said. “I have no memories of college or friends like that, but I’m pretty sure I was there.” He smiled. “Talking over pitchers of beer is a pretty strong impression.”
   She smiled back. “And I was pretty impressive in that department. A strapping girl from Calgary with two older brothers to compete with could drink more beer than half the university boys in Montreal.”
   “You must have been resented.”
   “No, just envied.”
   A new world had been presented to Marie St. Jacques; she never returned to her old one. Except for proscribed midterm holidays, prolonged trips to Calgary grew less and less frequent. Her circles in Montreal expanded, the summers taken up with jobs in and outside the university. She gravitated first to history, then reasoned that most of history was shaped by economic forces--power and significance had to be paid for--and so she tested the theories of economics. And was consumed.
   She remained at McGill for five years,. receiving her masters degree and a Canadian government fellowship to Oxford.
   “That was a day, I can tell you. I thought my father would have apoplexy. He left his precious cattle to my brothers long enough to fly east to talk me out of it.”
   “Talk you out of it? Why? He was an accountant; you were going after a doctorate in economics.”
   “Don’t make that mistake,” Marie exclaimed. “Accountants and economists are natural enemies.
   One views trees, the other forests, and the visions are usually at odds, as they, should be. Besides, my father’s not simply Canadian, he’s French-Canadian. I think he saw me as a traitor to Versailles.
   But he was mollified when I told him that a condition of the fellowship was a commitment to work for the government for a minimum of three years. He said I could ‘serve the cause better from within.’ Vive Québec libre--vive la France!”
   They both laughed.
   The three-year commitment to Ottawa was extended for all the logical reasons: whenever she thought of leaving, she was promoted a grade, given a large office and an expanded staff.
   “Power corrupts, of course”--she smiled--“and no one knows it better than a ranking
   bureaucrat whom banks and corporations pursue for a recommendation. But I think Napoleon said
   it better. ‘Give me enough medals and I’ll win you any war.’ So I stayed. I enjoy my work immensely.
   But then it’s work I’m good at and that helps.”
   Jason watched her as she talked. Beneath the controlled exterior there was an exuberant, childlike quality about her. She was an enthusiast, reining in her enthusiasm whenever she felt it becoming too pronounced. Of course she was good at what she did; he suspected she never did anything with less than her fullest application. “I’m sure you are--good, I mean--but it doesn’t leave much time for other things, does it?”
   “What other things?”
   “Oh, the usual. Husband, family, house with the picket fence.”
   “They may come one day; I don’t rule them out.”
   “But they haven’t.”
   “No. There were a couple of close calls, but no brass ring. Or diamond, either.”
   “Who’s Peter?”
   The smile faded. “I’d forgotten. You read the cable.”
   “I’m sorry.”
   “Don’t be. We’ve covered that. ... Peter? I adore Peter. We lived together for nearly two years, but it didn’t work out.”
   “Apparently he doesn’t hold any grudges.”
   “He’d better not!” She laughed again. “He’s director of the section, hopes for a cabinet appointment soon. If he doesn’t behave himself, I’ll tell the Treasury Board what he doesn’t know and he’ll be back as an SX-Two”
   “He said he was going to pick you up at the airport on the twenty-sixth. You’d better cable him.”
   “Yes, I know.”
   Her leaving was what they had not talked about; they had avoided the subject as though it were a distant eventuality. It was not related to what-had-happened; it was something that was going to be.
   Marie had said she wanted to help him; he had accepted, assuming she was driven by false gratitude into staying with him for a day or so--and he was grateful for that. But anything else was unthinkable.
   Which was why they did not talk about it. Words and looks had passed between them, quiet laughter evoked, comfort established. At odd moments there were tentative rushes of warmth and they both understood and backed away. Anything else was unthinkable.
   So they kept returning to the abnormality, to what-had-happened. To him more than to them, for he was the irrational reason for their being together ... together in a room at a small village inn in Switzerland. Abnormality. It was not part of the reasonable, ordered world of Marie St. Jacques, and because it was not, her orderly, analytical mind was provoked. Unreasonable things were to be examined, unraveled, explained. She became relentless in her probing, as insistent as Geoffrey Washburn had been on the Ile de Port Noir, but without the doctor’s patience. For she “ did not have the time; she knew it and it drove her to the edges of stridency.
 
   “When you read the newspapers, what strikes you?”
   “The mess. Seems it’s universal.”
   “Be serious. What’s familiar to you?”
   “Most everything, but I can’t tell you why.”
   “Give me an example.”
   “This morning. There was a story about an American arms shipment to Greece and the subsequent debate in the United Nations; the Soviets protested. I understand the significance, the Mediterranean power struggle, the Mid East spillover.”
   “Give me another.”
   “There was an article about East German interference with the Bonn government’s liaison office in Warsaw. Eastern bloc, Western bloc; again I understood.”
   “You see the relationship, don’t you? You’re politically--geo-politically--receptive.”
   “Or I have a perfectly normal working knowledge of current events. I don’t think I was ever a diplomat. The money at the Gemeinschaft would rule out any kind of government employment.”
   “I agree. Still, you’re politically aware. What about maps? You asked me to buy you maps. What comes to mind when you look at them?”
   “In some cases names trigger images, just as they did in Zurich. Buildings, hotels, streets ...
   sometimes faces. But never names. The faces don’t have any.”
   “Still you’ve traveled a great deal.”
   “I guess I have.”
   “You know you have.”
   “All right, I’ve traveled.”
   “How did you travel?”
   “What do you mean, how?”
   “Was it usually by plane, or by car--not taxis but driving yourself?”
   “Both, I think. Why?”
   “Planes would mean greater distances more frequently. Did people meet you? Are there faces at airports, hotels?”
   “Streets,” he replied involuntarily.
   “Streets? Why streets?”
   “I don’t know. Faces met me in the streets ... and in quiet places. Dark places.”
   “Restaurants? Cafés?”
   “Yes. And rooms.”
   “Hotel rooms?”
   “Yes.”
   “Not offices? Business offices?”
   “Sometimes. Not usually.”
   “All right People met you. Faces. Men? Women? Both?”
   “Men mostly. Some women, but mostly men.”
   “What did they talk about?”
   “I don’t know.”
   “Try to remember.”
   “I can’t. There aren’t any voices; there aren’t any words.”
   “Were there schedules? You met with people, that means you had appointments. They expected to meet with you and you expected to meet with them. Who scheduled those appointments?
   Someone had to.”
   “Cables. Telephone calls.”
   “From whom? From where?”
   “I don’t know. They would reach me.”
   “At hotels?”
   “Mostly, I imagine.”
   “You told me the assistant manager at the Carillon said you did receive messages.”
   “Then they came to hotels.”
   “Something-or-other Seventy-One?”
   “Treadstone.”
   “Treadstone. That’s your company, isn’t it?”
   “It doesn’t mean anything. I couldn’t find it.”
   “Concentrate!”
   “I am. It wasn’t listed. I called New York.”
   “You seem to think that’s so unusual. It’s not.”
   “Why not?”
   “It could be a separate in-house division, or a blind subsidiary--a corporation set up to make purchases for a parent company whose name would push up a negotiating price. It’s done every day.”
   “Whom are you trying to convince?”
   “You. It’s entirely possible that you’re a roving negotiator for American financial interests.
   Everything points to it: funds set up for immediate capital, confidentiality open for corporate approval, which was never exercised. These facts, plus your own antenna for political shifts, point to a trusted purchasing agent, and quite probably a large shareholder or part owner of the parent company.”
   “You talk awfully fast.”
   “I’ve said nothing that isn’t logical.”
   “There’s a hole or two.”
   “Where?”
   “That account didn’t show any withdrawals. Only deposits. I wasn’t buying, I was selling.”
   “You don’t know that; you can’t remember. Payments can be made with shortfall deposits.”
   “I don’t even know what that means.”
   “A treasurer aware of certain tax strategies would. What’s the other hole?”
   “Men don’t try to kill someone for buying something at a lower price. They may expose him; they don’t kill him.”
   “They do if a gargantuan error has been made. Or if that person has been mistaken for someone else. What I’m trying to tell you is that you can’t be what you’re not! No matter what anyone says.”
   “You’re that convinced.”
   “I’m that convinced. I’ve spent three days with you. We’ve talked, I’ve listened. A terrible error has been made. Or it’s some kind of conspiracy.”
   “Involving what? Against what?”
   “That’s what you have to find out.”
   “Thanks.”
   “Tell me something. What comes to mind when you think of money?”
   Stop it! Don’t do this! Can’t you understand? You’re wrong. When I think of money I think of killing. “I don’t know,” he said. “I’m tired. I want to sleep. Send your cable in the morning. Tell Peter you’re flying back.”
   It was well past midnight, the beginning of the fourth day, and still sleep would not come.
   Bourne stared at the ceiling, at the dark wood that reflected the light of the table lamp across the room. The light remained on during the nights; Marie simply left it on, no explanation sought, none offered.
   In the morning she would be gone and his own plans had to crystallize. He would stay at the inn for a few more days, call the doctor in Wohlen and arrange to have the stitches removed. After that, Paris. The money was in Paris, and so was something else; he knew it, he felt it. A final answer; it was in Paris.
   You are not helpless. You will find your way.
   What would he find? A man named Carlos? Who was Carlos and what was he to Jason Bourne?
   He heard the rustle of cloth from the couch against the wall. He glanced over, startled to see that Marie was not asleep. Instead, she was looking at him, staring at him really.
   “You’re wrong, you know,” she said.
   “About what?”
   “What you’re thinking.”
   “You don’t know what I’m thinking.”
   “Yes, I do. I’ve seen that look in your eyes, seeing things you’re not sure are there, afraid that they may be.”
   “They have been,” he replied. “Explain the Steppdeckstrasse. Explain a fat man at the Drei Alpenhäuser.”
   “I can’t, but neither can you.”
   “They were there. I saw them and they were there.”
   “Find out why. You can’t be what you’re not, Jason. Find out.”
   “Paris,” he said.
   “Yes, Paris.” Marie got up from the couch. She was in a soft yellow nightgown, nearly white, pearl buttons at the neck; it flowed as she walked toward the bed in her bare feet. She stood beside him, looking down, then raised both her hands and began unbuttoning the top of the gown. She let it fall away, as she sat on the bed, her breasts above him. She leaned toward him, reaching for his face, cupping it, holding him gently, her eyes as so often during the past few days unwavering, fixed on his. “Thank you for my life,” she whispered.
   “Thank you for mine,” he answered, feeling the longing he knew she felt, wondering if an ache accompanied hers, as it did his. He had no memory of a woman and, perhaps because he had none she was everything he could imagine; everything and much, much more. She repelled the darkness for him. She stopped the pain.
   He had been afraid to tell her. And she was telling him now it was all right, if only for a while, for an hour or so. For the remainder of that night, she was giving him a memory because she too longed for release from the coiled springs of violence. Tension was suspended, comfort theirs for an hour or so. It was all he asked for, but God in heaven, how he needed her!
   He reached for her breast and pulled her lips to his lips, her moisture arousing him, sweeping away the doubts.
   She lifted the covers and came to him.
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She lay in his arms, her head on his chest, careful to avoid the wound in his shoulder. She slid back gently, raising herself on her elbows. He looked at her, their eyes locked, and both smiled. She lifted her left hand, pressing her index finger over his lips, and spoke softly.
   “I have something to say and I don’t want you to interrupt. I’m not sending the cable to Peter.
   Not yet.”
   “Now, just a minute.” He took her hand from his face. “Please, don’t interrupt me. I said ‘not yet.’ That doesn’t mean I won’t send it, but not for a while. I’m staying with you. I’m going to Paris with you.”
   He forced the words. “Suppose I don’t want you to.”
   She leaned forward brushing her lips against his cheek. “That won’t wash. The computer just rejected it.”
   “I wouldn’t be so certain, if I were you.”
   “But you’re not me. I’m me, and I know the way you held me, and tried to say so many things you couldn’t say. Things I think we both wanted to say to each other for the past several days. I can’t explain what’s happened. Oh, I suppose it’s there in some obscure psychological theory somewhere, two reasonably intelligent people thrown into hell together and crawling out ... together.
   And maybe that’s all it is. But it’s there right now and I can’t run away from it. I can’t run away from you. Because you need me, and you gave me my life.”
   “What makes you think I need you?”
   “I can do things for you that you can’t do for yourself. It’s all I’ve thought about for the past two hours.” She raised herself further, naked beside him. “You’re somehow involved with a great deal of money, but I don’t think you know a debit from an asset. You may have before, but you don’t now.
   I do. And there’s something else. I have a ranking position with the Canadian government. I have clearance and access to all manner of inquiries. And protection. International finance is rotten and Canada has been raped. We’ve mounted our own protection and I’m part of it. It’s why I was in Zurich. To observe and report alliances, not to discuss abstract theories.”
   “And the fact that you have this clearance, this access, can help me?”
   “I think it can. And embassy protection, that may be the most important. But I give you my word that at the first sign of violence, I’ll send the cable and get out. My own fears aside, I won’t be a burden to you under those conditions.”
   “At the first sign,” repeated Bourne, studying her. “And I determine when and where that is?”
   “If you like. My experience is limited. I won’t argue.”
   He continued to hold her eyes, the moment long, magnified by silence. Finally he asked, “Why are you doing this? You just said it. We’re two reasonably intelligent people who crawled out of some kind of hell. That may be all we are. Is it worth it?”
   She sat motionless. “I also said something else; maybe you’ve forgotten. Four nights ago a man who could have kept running came back for me and offered to die in my place. I believe in that man. More than he does, I think. That’s really what I have to offer.”
   “I accept,” he said, reaching for her. “I shouldn’t, but I do. I need that belief very badly.”
   “You may interrupt now,” she whispered, lowering the sheet, her body coming to his. “Make love to me, I have needs too.”

   Three more days and nights went by, filled by the warmth of their comfort, the excitement of discovery. They lived with the intensity of two people aware that change would come. And when it came, it would come quickly; so there were things to talk about which could not be avoided any longer.
   Cigarette smoke spiraled above the table joining the steam from the hot, bitter coffee. The concierge, an ebullient Swiss whose eyes took in more than his lips would reveal, had left several minutes before, having delivered the petit déjeuner and the Zurich newspapers, in both English and French. Jason and Marie sat across from each other, both had scanned the news.
   “Anything in yours?” asked Bourne.
   “That old man, the watchman at the Guisan Quai, was buried the day before yesterday. The police still have nothing concrete. ‘Investigation in progress,’ it says.”
   “It’s a little more extensive here,” said Jason, shifting his paper awkwardly in his bandaged left hand.
   “How is it?” asked Marie, looking at the hand.
   “Better. I’ve got more play in the fingers now.”
   “I know.”
   “You’ve got a dirty mind.” He folded the paper. “Here it is. They repeat the things they said the other day. The shells and blood scrapings are being analyzed.” Bourne looked up. “But they’ve added something. Remnants of clothing; it wasn’t mentioned before.”
   “Is that a problem?”
   “Not for me. My clothes were bought off a rack in Marseilles. What about your dress? Was it a special design or fabric?”
   “You embarrass me; it wasn’t. All my clothes are made by a woman in Ottawa.”
   “It couldn’t be traced, then?”
   “I don’t see how. The silk came from a bolt an FS-Three in our section brought back from Hong Kong.”
   “Did you buy anything at the shops in the hotel? Something you might have had on you. A kerchief, a pin, anything like that?”
   “No. I’m not much of a shopper that way.”
   “Good. And your friend wasn’t asked any questions when she checked out?”
   “Not by the desk, I told you that. Only by the two men you saw me with in the elevator.”
   “From the French and Belgian delegations.”
   “Yes. Everything was fine.”
   “Let’s go over it again.”
   “There’s nothing to go over. Paul--the one from Brussels--didn’t see anything. He was knocked off his chair to the floor and stayed there. Claude--he tried to stop us, remember?--at first thought it was me on the stage, in the light, but before he could get to the police he was hurt in the crowd and taken to the infirmary--“ “And by the time he might have said something,” interrupted Jason, recalling her words, “he wasn’t sure.”
   “Yes. But I have an idea he knew my main purpose for being at the conference; my presentation didn’t fool him. If he did, it would reinforce his decision to stay out of it.” Bourne picked up his coffee. “Let me have that again,” he said. “You were looking for ...
   alliances?”
   “Well, hints of them, really. No one’s going to come out and say there are financial interests in his country working with interests in that country so they can buy their way into Canadian raw materials or any other market. But you see who meets for drinks, who has dinner together. Or sometimes it’s as dumb as a delegate from, say, Rome--whom you know is being paid by Agnelli-– coming up and asking you how serious Ottawa is about the declaration laws.”
   “I’m still not sure I understand.”
   “You should. Your own country’s very touchy about the subject. Who owns what? How many American banks are controlled by OPEC money? How much industry is owned by European and Japanese consortiums? How many hundreds of thousands of acres have been acquired by capital that’s fled England and Italy and France? We all worry.”
   “We do?”
   Marie laughed. “Of course. Nothing makes a man more nationalistic than to think his country’s owned by foreigners. He can adjust in time to losing a war--that only means the enemy was stronger--but to lose his economy means the enemy was smarter. The period of occupation lasts longer, and so do the scars.”
   “You’ve given these things a lot of thought, haven’t you?”
   For a brief moment the look in Marie’s eyes lost its edge of humor; she answered him seriously.
   “Yes, I have. I think they’re important.”
   “Did you learn anything in Zurich?”
   “Nothing startling,” she said. “Money’s flying all over; syndicates are trying to find internal investments where bureaucratic machineries look the other way.”
   “That cablegram from Peter said your daily reports were first rate. What did he mean?”
   “I found a number of odd economic bedfellows who I think may be using Canadian figureheads to buy up Canadian properties. I’m not being elusive; it’s just that they wouldn’t mean anything to you.”
   “I’m not trying to pry,” countered Jason, “but I think you put me in one of those beds. Not with respect to Canada, but in general.”
   “I don’t rule you out; the structure’s there. You could be part of a financial combine that’s looking for all manner of illegal purchases. It’s one thing I can put a quiet trace on, but I want to do it over a telephone. Not words written out in a cable.”
   “Now I am prying. What do you mean and how?”
   “If there’s a Treadstone Seventy-One behind a multinational corporate door somewhere, there are ways to find which company, which door. I want to call Peter from one of those public telephone stations in Paris. I’ll tell him that I ran across the name Treadstone Seventy-One in Zurich and it’s been bothering me. I’ll ask him to make a CS--a covert search--and say that I’ll call him back.”
   “And if he finds it?”
   “If it’s there, he’ll find it.”
   “Then I get in touch with whoever’s listed as the ‘certified directors’ and surface.”
   “Very cautiously,” added Marie. “Through intermediaries. Myself, if you like.”
   “Why?”
   “Because of what they’ve done. Or not done, really.”
   “Which is?”
   “They haven’t tried to reach you in nearly six months.”
   “You don’t know that--I don’t know that.”
   “The bank knows it. Millions of dollars left untouched, unaccounted for, and no one has bothered to find out why. That’s what I can’t understand. It’s as though you were being abandoned It’s where the mistake could have been made.”
   Bourne leaned back in the chair, looking at his bandaged left hand, remembering the sight of the weapon smashing repeatedly downward-in the shadows of a racing car in the Steppdeckstrasse. He raised his eyes and looked at Marie. “What you’re saying is that if I was abandoned, it’s because that mistake is thought to be the truth by the directors at Treadstone.”
   “Possibly. They might think you’ve involved them in illega l transactions--with criminal elements--that could cost them millions more. Conceivably risking expropriation of entire companies by angry governments. Or that you joined forces with an international crime syndicate, probably not knowing it. Anything. It would account for their not going near the bank. They’d want no guilt by association.”
   “So, in a sense, no matter what your friend Peter learns, I’m still back at square one.”
   “We’re back, but it’s not square one, more like four-and-a-half to five on a scale of ten.”
   “Even if it were nine, nothing’s really changed. Men want to kill me and I don’t know why.
   Others could stop them but they won’t. That man at the Drei Alpenhäuser said Interpol has its nets out for me, and if I walk into one I don’t have any answers. I’m guilty as charged because I don’t know what I’m guilty of. Having no memory isn’t much of a defense, and it’s possible that I have no defense, period.”
   “I refuse to believe that, and so must you.”
   “Thanks.”
   “I mean it, Jason. Stop it.”
   Stop it. How many times do I say that to myself? You are my love, the only woman I have ever known, and you believe in me. Why can’t I believe in myself?
   Bourne got up, as always testing his legs. Mobility was coming back to him, the wounds less severe than his imagination had permitted him to believe. He had made an appointment that night with the doctor in Wohlen to remove the stitches. Tomorrow, change would come.
   “Paris,” said Jason. “The answer’s in Paris. I know it as surely as I saw the outline of those triangles in Zurich. I just don’t know where to begin. It’s crazy. I’m a man waiting for an image, for a word or a phrase--or a book of matches--to tell me something. To send me somewhere else.”
   “Why not wait until I hear from Peter? I can call him tomorrow; we can be in Paris tomorrow.”
   “Because it wouldn’t make any difference, don’t you see? No matter what he came up with, the one thing I need to know wouldn’t be there. For the same reason Treadstone hasn’t gone near the bank. Me. I have to know why men want to kill me, why someone named Carlos will pay ... what was it ... a fortune for my corpse.”
   It was as far as he got, interrupted by the crash at the table. Marie had dropped her cup and was staring at him, her face white, as if the blood had drained from her head. “What did you just say?” she asked.
   “What? I said I have to know ...”
   “The name. You just said the name Carlos.”
   “That’s right.”
   “In all the hours we’ve talked, the days we’ve been together, you never mentioned him.” Bourne looked at her, trying to remember. It was true; he had told her everything that had come to him, yet somehow he had omitted Carlos ... almost purposely, as if blocking it out.
   “I guess I didn’t,” he said. “You seem to know. Who’s Carlos?”
   “Are you trying to be funny? If you are, the joke’s not very good.”
   “I’m not trying to be funny. I don’t think there’s anything to be funny about. Who’s Carlos?”
   “My God--you don’t know!” she exclaimed, studying his eyes. “It’s part of what was taken from you.”
   “Who is Carlos?”
   “An assassin. He’s called the assassin of Europe. A man hunted for twenty years, believed to have killed between fifty and sixty political and military figures. No one knows what he looks like ... but it’s said he operates out of Paris.”
   Bourne felt a wave of cold going through him.

   The taxi to Wohlen was an English Ford belonging to the concierge’s son-in-law. Jason and Marie sat in the back seat, the dark countryside passing swiftly outside the windows. The stitches had been removed, replaced by soft bandages held by wide strips of tape.
   “Get back to Canada,” said Jason softly, breaking the silence between them.
   “I will, I told you that. I’ve a few more days left. I want to see Paris.”
   “I don’t want you in Paris. I’ll call you in Ottawa. You can make the Treadstone search yourself and give me the information over the phone.”
   “I thought you said it wouldn’t make any difference. You had to know the why; the who was meaningless until you understood.”
   “I’ll find a way. I just need one man; I’ll find him.”
   “But you don’t know where to begin. You’re a man waiting for an image, for a phrase, or a book of matches. They may not be there.”
   “Something will be there.”
   “Something is, but you don’t see it. I do. It’s why you need me. I know the words, the methods.
   You don’t.”
   Bourne looked at her in the rushing shadows. “I think you’d better be clearer.”
   “The banks, Jason. Treadstone’s connections are in the banks. But not in the way that you might think.”

   The stooped old man in the threadbare overcoat, black beret in hand, walked down the far left aisle of the country church in the village of Arpajon, ten miles south of Paris. The bells of the evening Angelus echoed throughout the upper regions of stone and wood; the man held his place at the fifth row and waited for the ringing to stop. It was his signal; he accepted it, knowing that during the pealing of the bells another, younger man--as ruthless as any man alive--had circled the small church and studied everyone inside and outside. Had that man seen anything he did not expect to see, anyone he considered a threat to his person, there would be no questions asked, simply an execution. That was the way of Carlos, and only those who understood that their lives could be snuffed out because they themselves had been followed accepted money to act as the assassin’s messenger. They were all like himself, old men from the old days, whose lives were running out, months remaining limited by age, or disease, or both.
   Carlos permitted no risks whatsoever, the single consolation being that if one died in his service--or by his hand--money would find its way to old women, or the children of old women, or their children. It had to be said: there was a certain dignity to be found in working for Carlos.
   And there was no lack of generosity. This was what his small army of infirm old men understood; he gave a purpose to the ends of their lives.
   The messenger clutched his beret and continued down the aisle to the row of confessional booths against the left wall. He walked to the fifth booth, parted the curtain, and stepped inside, adjusting his eyes to the light of a single candle that glowed from the other side of the translucent drape separating priest from sinner. He sat down on the small wooden bench and looked at the silhouette in the holy enclosure. It was as it always was, the hooded figure of a man in a monk’s habit. The messenger tried not to imagine what that man looked like; it was not his place to speculate on such things.
   “Angelus Domini,” he said.
   “Angelus Domini, child of God,” whispered the hooded silhouette. “Are your days comfortable?”
   “They draw to an end,” replied the old man, making the proper response, “but they are made comfortable.”
   “Good. It’s important to have a sense of security at your age,” said Carlos. “But to business. Did you get the particulars from Zurich?”
   “The owl is dead; so are two others, possibly a third. Another’s hand was severely wounded; he cannot work. Cain disappeared. They think the woman is with him.”
   “An odd turn of events,” said Carlos.
   “There’s more. The one ordered to kill her has not been heard from. He was to take her to the Guisan Quai; no one knows what happened.”
   “Except that a watchman was killed in her place. It’s possible she was never a hostage at all, but instead, bait for a trap. A trap that snapped back on Cain. I want to think about that. In the meantime, here are my instructions. Are you ready?”
   The old man reached into his pocket and took out the stub of a pencil and a scrap of paper.
   “Very well.”
   “Telephone Zurich. I want a man in Paris by tomorrow who has seen Cain, who can recognize him. Also, Zurich is to reach Koenig at the Gemeinschaft and tell him to send his tape to New York. He’s to use the post office box in Village Station.”
   “Please,” interrupted the aged messenger. “These old hands do not write as they once did.”
   “Forgive me,” whispered Carlos. “I’m preoccupied and inconsiderate. I’m sorry.”
   “Not at all, not at all. Go ahead.”
   “Finally, I want our team to take rooms within a block of the bank on the rue Madeleine. This time the bank will be Cain’s undoing. The pretender will be taken at the source of his misplaced pride. A bargain price, as despicable as he is ... unless he’s something else.”
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11
   Bourne watched from a distance as Marie passed through customs and immigration in Bern’s airport, looking for signs of interest or recognition from anyone in the crowd that stood around Air France’s departure area. It was four o’clock in the afternoon, the busiest hour for flights to Paris, a time when privileged businessmen hurried back to the City of Light after dull company chores at the banks in Bern. Marie glanced over her shoulder as she walked through the gate; he nodded, waited until she had disappeared, then turned and started for the Swissair lounge. George B. Washburn had a reservation on the 4:30 plane to Orly.
   They would meet later at the café Marie remembered from visits during her Oxford days. It was
   called Au Coin de Cluny, on the boulevard Saint-Michel several blocks from the Sorbonne. If by any
   chance it was no longer there, Jason would find her around nine o’clock on the steps of the Cluny Museum.
   Bourne would be late, nearby but late. The Sorbonne had one of the most extensive libraries in all Europe and somewhere in that library were back issues of newspapers. University libraries were not subject to the working hours of government employees; students used them during the evenings. So would he as soon as he reached Paris. There was something he had to learn.

   Every day I read the newspapers. In three languages. Six months ago a man was killed, his death reported on the front page of each of those newspapers.So said a fat man in Zurich.
   He left his suitcase at the library checkroom and walked to the second floor, turning left toward the arch that led to the huge reading room. The Salle de Lecture was at this annex, the newspapers on spindles placed in racks, the issues going back precisely one year from the day’s date.
   He walked along the racks, counting back six months, lifting off the first ten weeks’ worth of papers before that date a half a year ago. He carried them to the nearest vacant table and without sitting down flipped through from front page to front page, issue to issue.
   Great men had died in their beds, while others had made pronouncements; the dollar had fallen, gold risen; strikes had crippled, and governments had vacillated between action and paralysis. But no man had been killed who warranted headlines; there was no such incident--no such assassination.
   Jason returned to the racks and went back further. Two weeks, twelve weeks, twenty weeks.
   Nearly eight months. Nothing.
   Then it struck him; he had gone back in time, not forward from that date six months ago. An error could be made in either direction; a few days or a week, even two. He returned the spindles to the racks and pulled out the papers from four and five months ago.
   Airplanes had crashed and revolutions had erupted bloodily; holy men had spoken only to be rebuked by other holy men; poverty and disease had been found where everyone knew they could be found, but no man of consequence had been killed.
   He started on the last spindle, the mists of doubt and guilt clearing with each turn of a page. Had
   a sweating fat man in Zurich lied? Was it all a lie? All lies? Was he somehow living a nightmare that
   could vanish with ...

   AMBASSADEUR LELAND
   ASSASSINÉ À MARSEILLE!

   The thick block letters of the headline exploded off the page, hurting his eyes. It was not imagined pain, not invented pain, but a sharp ache that penetrated his sockets and seared through his head. His breathing stopped, his eyes rigid on the name LELAND. He knew it; he could picture the face, actually picture it. Thick brows beneath a wide forehead, a blunt nose centered between high cheekbones and above curiously thin lips topped by a perfectly groomed gray mustache. He knew the face, he knew the man. And the man had been killed by a single shot from a high-powered rifle fired from a waterfront window. Ambassador Howard Leland had walked down a Marseilles pier at five o’clock in the afternoon. His head had been blown off.
   Bourne did not have to read the second paragraph to know that Howard Leland had been Admiral H. R. Leland, United States Navy, until an interim appointment as director of Naval Intelligence preceded his ambassadorship to the Quai d’Orsay in Paris. Nor did he have to reach the body of the article where motives for the assassination were speculated upon to know them; he knew them. Leland’s primary function in Paris was to dissuade the French government from authorizing massive arms sales--in particular fleets of Mirage jets--to Africa and the Middle East.
   To an astonishing degree he had succeeded, angering interested parties at all points in the Mediterranean. It was presumed that he had been killed for his interference; a punishment which served as a warning to others. Buyers and sellers of death were not to be hindered.
   And the seller of death who had killed him would have been paid a great deal of money, far from the scene, all traces buried.
   Zurich. A messenger to a legless man; another to a fat man in a crowded restaurant off the Falkenstrasse.
   Zurich.
   Marseilles.
   Jason closed his eyes, the pain now intolerable. He had been picked up at sea five months ago, his port of origin assumed to have been Marseilles. And if Marseilles, the waterfront had been his escape route, a boat hired to take him into the vast expanse of the Mediterranean. Everything fitted too well, each piece of the puzzle sculpted into the next. How could he know the things he knew if he were not that seller of death from a window on the Marseilles waterfront?
   He opened his eyes, pain inhibiting thought, but not all thought, one decision as clear as anything in his limited memory. There would be no rendezvous in Paris with Marie St. Jacques.
   Perhaps one day he would write her a letter, saying the things he could not say now. If he was alive and could write a letter; he could not write one now. There could be no written words of thanks or love, no explanations at all; she would wait for him and he would not come to her. He had to put distance between them; she could not be involved with a seller of death. She had been wrong, his worst fears accurate.
   Oh, God! He could picture Howard Leland’s face, and there was no photograph on the page in front of him! The front page with the terrible headline that triggered so much, confirmed so many things. The date. Thursday, August 26. Marseilles. It was a day he would remember as long as he could remember for the rest of his convoluted life.
   Thursday, August 26 ...
   Something was wrong. What was it? What was it? Thursday? ... Thursday meant nothing to him.
   The twenty-sixth of August? ... The twenty-sixth? It could not be the twenty-sixth! The twenty-sixth was wrong! He had heard it over and over again. Washburn’s diary--his patient’s journal. How often had Washburn gone back over every fact, every phrase, every day and point of progress? Too many times to count. Too many times not to remember!
   You were brought to my door on the morning of Tuesday, August twenty-fourth, at precisely eight-twenty o’clock.
   Your condition was ...
   Tuesday, August 24.
   August 24.
   He was not in Marseilles on the twenty-sixth! He could not have fired a rifle from a window on the waterfront. He was not the seller of death in Marseilles; he had not killed Howard Leland!
   Six months ago a man was killed ... But it was not six months; it was close to six months but not six months. And he had not killed that man; he was half dead in an alcoholic’s house on Ile de Port Noir.
   The mists were clearing, the pain receding. A sense of elation filled him; he had found one concrete lie! If there was one there could be others!
   Bourne looked at his watch; it was quarter past nine. Marie had left the café; she was waiting for him on the steps of the Cluny Museum. He replaced the spindles in their racks, then started toward the large cathedral door of the reading room, a man in a hurry.
   He walked down the boulevard Saint-Michel, his pace accelerating with each stride. He had the distinct feeling that he knew what it was to have been given a reprieve from hanging and he wanted to share that rare experience. For a time he was out of the violent darkness, beyond the crashing waters; he had found a moment of sunlight--like the moments and the sunlight that had filled a room in a village inn--and he had to reach the one who had given them to him. Reach her and hold her and tell her there was hope.
   He saw her on the steps, her arms folded against the icy wind that swept off the boulevard. At first she did not see him, her eyes searching the tree-lined street. She was restless, anxious, an impatient woman afraid she would not see what she wanted to see, frightened that it would not be there.
   Ten minutes ago he would not have been.
   She saw him. Her face became radiant, the smile emerged and it was filled with life. She rushed to him as he raced up the steps toward her. They came together and for a moment neither said anything, warm and alone on the Saint-Michel.
   “I waited and waited,” she breathed finally. “I was so afraid, so worried. Did anything happen?
   Are you all right?”
   “I’m fine. Better than I’ve been in a long time.”
   “What?”
   He held her by the shoulders. “ ‘Six months ago a man was killed. ...’ Remember?”
   The joy left her eyes. “Yes, I remember.”
   “I didn’t kill him,” said Bourne. “I couldn’t have.”

   They found a small hotel off the crowded boulevard Montparnasse. The lobby and the rooms were threadbare, but there was a pretense to forgotten elegance that gave it an air of timelessness. It was a quiet resting place set down in the middle of a carnival, hanging on to its identity by accepting the times without joining them.
   Jason closed the door, nodding to the white-haired bell captain whose indifference had turned to indulgence upon the receipt of a twenty-franc note.
   “He thinks you’re a provincial deacon flushed with a night’s anticipation,” said Marie. “I hope you noticed I went right to the bed.”
   “His name is Hervé, and hell be very solicitous of our needs. He has no intention of sharing the wealth.” He crossed to her and took her in his arms. “Thanks for my life,” he said.
   “Any time, my friend.” She reached up and held his face in her hands. “But don’t keep me waiting like that again. I nearly went crazy; all I could think of was that someone had recognized you ... that something terrible had happened.”
   “You forget, no one knows what I look like.”
   “Don’t count on that; it’s not true. There were four men in the Steppdeckstrasse, including that bastard in the Guisan Quai. They’re alive, Jason. They saw you.”
   “Not really. They saw a dark-haired man with bandages on his neck and head, who walked with a limp. Only two were near me: the man on the second floor and that pig in the Guisan. The first won’t be leaving Zurich for a while; he can’t walk and he hasn’t much of a hand left. The second had the beam of the flashlight in his eyes; it wasn’t in mine.” She released him, frowning, her alert mind questioning. “You can’t be sure. They were there; they did see you.”
   Change your hair. ... you change your face. Geoffrey Washburn, Ile de Port Noir.
   “I repeat, they saw a dark-haired man in shadows. How good are you with a weak solution of peroxide?”
   “I’ve never used it.”
   “Then I’ll find a shop in the morning. The Montparnasse is the place for it. Blonds have more fun, isn’t that what they say?”
   She studied his face. “I’m trying to imagine what you’ll look like.”
   “Different. Not much, but enough.”
   “You may be right. I hope to God you are.” She kissed his cheek, her prelude to discussion.
   “Now, tell me what happened. Where did you go? What did you learn about that ... incident six months ago?”
   “It wasn’t six months ago, and because it wasn’t, I couldn’t have killed him.” He told her everything, save for the few brief moments when he thought he would never see her again. He did not have to; she said it for him.
   “If that date hadn’t been so clear in your mind, you wouldn’t have come to me, would you?”
   He shook his head. “Probably not.”
   “I knew it I felt it For a minute, while I was walking from the café to the museum steps, I could hardly breathe. It was as though I were suffocating. Can you believe that?”
   “I don’t want to.”
   “Neither do I, but it happened.”
   They were sitting, she on the bed, he in the single armchair close by. He reached for her hand.
   “I’m still not sure I should be here. ... I knew that man, I saw his face, I was in Marseilles forty-eight hours before he was killed!”
   “But you didn’t kill him.”
   “Then why was I there? Why do people think I did? Christ, it’s insane!” He sprang up from the chair, pain back in his eyes. “But then I forgot I’m not sane, am I? Because I’ve forgotten. ... Years, a lifetime.”
   Marie spoke matter-of-factly, no compassion in her voice. “The answers will come to you. From one source or another, finally from yourself.”
   “That may not be possible. Washburn said it was like blocks rearranged, different tunnels ... different windows.” Jason walked to the window, bracing himself on the sill, looking down on the lights of Montparnasse. “The views aren’t the same; they never will be. Somewhere out there are people I know, who know me. A couple of thousand miles away are other people I care about and don’t care about ... Or, oh God, maybe a wife and children--I don’t know. I keep spinning around in the wind, turning over and over and I can’t get down to the ground. Every time I try I get thrown back up again.”
   “Into the sky?” asked Marie.
   “Yes.”
   “You’ve jumped from a plane,” she said, making a statement.
   Bourne turned. “I never told you that.”
   “You talked about it in your sleep the other night. You were sweating; your face was flushed and hot and I had to wipe it with a towel.”
   “Why didn’t you say anything?”
   “I did, in a way. I asked you if you were a pilot, or if flying bothered you. Especially at night”
   “I didn’t know what you were talking about. Why didn’t you press me?”
   “I was afraid to. You were very close to hysterics, and I’m not trained in things like that. I can help you try to remember, but I can’t deal with your unconscious. I don’t think anyone should but a doctor.”
   “A doctor? I was with a doctor for damn near six months.”
   “From what you’ve said about him, I think another opinion is called for.”
   “I don’t!” he replied, confused by his own anger.
   “Why not?” Marie got up from the bed. “You need help, my darling. A psychiatrist might--“ “No!” He shouted in spite of himself, furious with himself. “I won’t do that. I can’t.”
   “Please, tell me why?” she asked calmly, standing in front of him.
   “I ... I ... can’t do it.”
   “Just tell me why, that’s all.”
   Bourne stared at her, then turned and looked out the window again, his hands on the sill again.
   “Because I’m afraid. Someone lied, and I was grateful for that more than I can tell you. But suppose there aren’t any more lies, suppose the rest is true. What do I do then?”
   “Are you saying you don’t want to find out?”
   “Not that way.” He stood up and leaned against the window frame, his eyes still on the lights below. “Try to understand me,” he said. “I have to know certain things ... enough to make a decision ... but maybe not everything. A part of me has to be able to walk away, disappear. I have to be able to say to myself, what was isn’t any longer, and there’s a possibility that it never was because I have no memory of it. What a person can’t remember didn’t exist ... for him.” He turned back to her.
   “What I’m trying to tell you is that maybe it’s better this way.”
   “You want evidence, but not proof, is that what you’re saying?”
   “I want arrows pointing in one direction or the other, telling me whether to run or not to run.”
   “Telling you. What about us?”
   “That’ll come with the arrows, won’t it? You know that.”
   “Then let’s find them,” she replied.
   “Be careful. You may not be able to live with what’s out there. I mean that.”
   “I can live with you. And I mean that.” She reached up and touched his face. “Come on. It’s barely five o’clock in Ontario, and I can still reach Peter at the office. He can start the Treadstone search ... and give us the name of someone here at the embassy who can help us if we need him.”
   “You’re going to tell Peter you’re in Paris?”
   “He’ll know it anyway from the operator, but the call won’t be traceable to this hotel. And don’t worry, I’ll keep everything ‘in-house,’ even casual. I came to Paris for a few days because my relatives in Lyon are simply too dull. He’ll accept that.”
   “Would he know someone at the embassy here?”
   “Peter makes it a point to know someone everywhere. It’s one of his more useful but less attractive traits.”
   “Sounds like he will.” Bourne got their coats. “After your call we’ll have dinner. I think we could both use a drink.”
   “Let’s go past the bank on rue Madeleine. I want to see something.”
   “What can you see at night?”
   “A telephone booth. I hope there’s one nearby.”
   There was. Diagonally across the street from the entrance.
   The tall blond man wearing tortoise-shell glasses checked his watch under the afternoon sun on the rue Madeleine. The pavements were crowded, the traffic in the street unreasonable, as most traffic was in Paris. He entered the telephone booth and untangled the telephone, which had been hanging free of its cradle, the line knotted. It was a courteous sign to the next would-be user that the phone was out of commission; it reduced the chance that the booth would be occupied. It had worked.
   He glanced at his watch again; the time span had begun. Marie inside the bank. She would call within the next few minutes. He took several coins from his pocket, put them on the ledge and leaned against the glass panel, his eyes on the bank across the street. A cloud diminished the sunlight and he could see his reflection in the glass. He approved of what he saw, recalling the startled reaction of a hairdresser in Montparnasse who had sequestered him in a curtained booth while performing the blond transformation. The cloud passed, the sunlight returned, and the telephone rang.
   “It’s you?” asked Marie St. Jacques.
   “It’s me,” said Bourne.
   “Make sure you get the name and the location of the office. And rough up your French.
   Mispronounce a few words so he knows you’re American. Tell him you’re not used to the telephones in Paris. Then do everything in sequence. I’ll call you back in exactly five minutes.”
   “Clock’s on.”
   “What?”
   “Nothing. I mean, let’s go.”
   “All right. ... The clock is on. Good luck.”
   “Thanks.” Jason depressed the lever, released it, and dialed the number he had memorized.
   “La Banque de Valois. Bonjour.”
   “I need assistance,” said Bourne, continuing with the approximate words Marie had told him to use. “I recently transferred sizable funds from Switzerland on a pouch-courier basis. I’d like to know if they’ve cleared.”
   “That would be our Foreign Services Department, sir. I’ll connect you.”
   A click, then another female voice. “Foreign Services.”
   Jason repeated his request.
   “May I have your name, please?”
   “I’d prefer speaking with an officer of the bank before giving it.” There was a pause on the line. “Very well, sir. I’ll switch you to the office of Vice-President d’Amacourt.”
   Monsieur d’Amacourt’s secretary was less accommodating, the bank officer’s screening process activated, as Marie had predicted. So Bourne once more used Marie’s words. “I’m referring to a transfer from Zurich, from the Gemeinschaft Bank on the Bahnhofstrasse, and I’m talking in the area of seven figures. Monsieur d’Amacourt, if you please. I have very little time.” It was not a secretary’s place to be the cause of further delay. A perplexed first vice-president got on the line.
   “May I help you?”
   “Are you d’Amacourt?” asked Jason.
   “I am Antoine d’Amacourt, yes. And who, may I ask, is calling?”
   “Good! I should have been given your name in Zurich. I’ll make certain next time certainly,” said Bourne, the redundancy intended, his accent American.
   “I beg your pardon? Would you be more comfortable speaking English, monsieur?”
   “Yes,” replied Jason, doing so. “I’m having enough trouble with this damn phone.” He looked at his watch; he had less than two minutes. “My name’s Bourne, Jason Bourne, and eight days ago I transferred four and a half million francs from the Gemeinschaft Bank in Zurich. They assured me the transaction would be confidential.”
   “All transactions are confidential, sir.”
   “Fine. Good. What I want to know is, has everything cleared?”
   “I should explain,” continued the bank officer, “that confidentiality excludes blanket confirmations of such transactions to unknown parties over the telephone.” Marie had been right, the logic of her trap clearer to Jason.
   “I would hope so, but as I told your secretary I’m in a hurry. I’m leaving Paris in a couple of hours and I have to put everything in order.”
   “Then I suggest you come to the bank.”
   “I know that,” said Bourne, satisfied that the conversation was going precisely the way Marie foresaw it. “I just wanted everything ready when I got there. Where’s your office?”
   “On the main floor, monsieur. At the rear, beyond the gate, center door. A receptionist is there.”
   “And I’ll be dealing only with you, right?”
   “If you wish, although any officer--“
   “Look, mister,” exclaimed the ugly American, “we’re talking about over four million francs!”
   “Only with me, Monsieur Bourne.”
   “Fine. Good.” Jason put his fingers on the cradle bar. He had fifteen seconds to go. “Look, it’s 2:35 now--“ He pressed down twice on the lever, interrupting the line but not disconnecting it.
   “Hello? Hello?”
   “I am here, monsieur.”
   “Damn phones! Listen, I’ll--“ He pressed down again, now three times in rapid succession.
   “Hello? Hello?”
   “Monsieur, please--if you’ll give me your telephone number.”
   “Operator? Operator?”
   “Monsieur Bourne, please--“
   “I can’t hear you!” Four seconds, three seconds, two seconds. “Wait a minute. I’ll call you back.” He held
   the lever down, breaking the connection. Three more seconds elapsed and the phone rang; he picked it up. “His name’s d’Amacourt, office on the main floor, rear, center door.”
   “I’ve got it,” said Marie, hanging up.
   Bourne dialed the bank again, inserted coins again. “Je parlais avec Monsieur d’Amacourt quand on m’a
   coupe ...”
   “Je regrette, monsieur.”
   “Monsieur Bourne?”
   “D’Amacourt?”
   “Yes--I’m so terribly sorry you’re having such trouble. You were saying? About the time?”
   “Oh, yeah. It’s a little after 2:30. I’ll get there by 3:00.”
   “I look forward to meeting you, monsieur.”
   Jason reknotted the phone, letting it hang free, then left the booth and walked quickly through crowds to the shade of a storefront canopy. He turned and. waited, his eyes on the bank across the way, remembering another bank in Zurich and the sound of sirens on the Bahnhofstrasse. The next twenty minutes would tell if Marie was right or not. If she was, there would be no sirens on the rue Madeleine.
   The slender woman in the wide-brimmed hat that partially covered the side of her face hung up the public phone on the wall to the right of the bank’s entrance. She opened her purse, removed a compact and ostensibly checked her makeup, angling the small mirror first to the left, then to the right. Satisfied, she replaced the compact, closed her purse, and walked past the tellers’ cages toward the rear of the main floor. She stopped at a counter in the center, picked up a chained ballpoint pen, and began writing aimless numbers on a form that had been left on the marble surface. Less than ten feet away was a small, brass-framed gate, flanked by a low wooden railing that extended the width of the lobby. Beyond the gate and the railing were the desks of the lesser executives and behind them the desks of the major secretaries--five in all-in front of five doors in the rear wall.
   Marie read the name printed in gold script on the center door.
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Zodijak Taurus
Pol Žena
Poruke 18761
Zastava Srbija
M. A. R. D’Amacourt
   Vice-President
   Comptes a L’Étranger et Devises

   It would happen any moment now--if it was going to happen, if she was right. And if she was, she had to know what Monsieur A.R. d’Amacourt looked like; he would be the man Jason could reach. Reach him and talk to him, but not in the bank.
   It happened. There was a flurry of controlled activity. The secretary at the desk in front of d’Amacourt’s office rushed inside with her notepad, emerged thirty seconds later, and picked up the phone. She dialed three digits--an inside call--and spoke, reading from her pad.
   Two minutes passed; the door of d’Amacourt’s office opened and the vice-president stood in the frame, an anxious executive concerned over an unwarranted delay. He was a middle-aged man with a face older than his age, but striving to look younger. His thinning dark hair was singed and brushed to obscure the bald spots; his eyes were encased in small rolls of flesh, attesting to long hours with good wine. Those same eyes were cold, darting eyes, evidence of a demanding man wary of his surroundings. He barked a question to his secretary; she twisted in her chair, doing her best to maintain her composure.
   D’Amacourt went back inside his office without closing the door, the cage of an angry cat left open. Another minute passed; the secretary kept glancing to her right, looking at something--for something. When she saw it, she exhaled, closing her eyes in relief.
   From the far left wall, a green light suddenly appeared above two panels of dark wood; an elevator was in use. Seconds later the door opened and an elderly elegant man walked out carrying a small black case not much larger than his hand. Marie stared at it, experiencing both satisfaction and fear; she had guessed right. The black case had been removed from a confidential file inside a guarded room and signed out by a man beyond reproach or temptation--the elderly figure making his way past the ranks of desks toward d’Amacourt’s office.
   The secretary rose from her chair, greeted the senior executive and escorted him into d’Amacourt’s office. She came out immediately, closing the door behind her.
   Marie looked at her watch, her eyes on the sweep-second hand. She wanted one more fragment of evidence, and it would be hers shortly if she could get beyond the gate, with a clear view of the secretary’s desk. If it was going to happen, it would happen in moments, the duration brief.
   She walked to the gate, opening her purse and smiling vacuously at the receptionist, who was speaking into her phone. She mouthed the name d’Amacourt with her lips to the bewildered receptionist, reached down and opened the gate. She moved quickly inside, a determined if not very bright client of the Valois Bank.
   “Pardon, madame--“ The receptionist held her hand over the telephone, rushing her words in French, “Can I help you?”
   Again Marie pronounced the name with her lips--now a courteous client late for an appointment and not wishing to be a further burden to a busy employee. “Monsieur d’Amacourt. I’m afraid I’m late. I’ll just go see his secretary.” She continued up the aisle toward the secretary’s desk.
   “Please, madame,” called out the receptionist. “I must announce--“
   The hum of electric typewriters and subdued conversations drowned out her words. Marie approached the stern-faced secretary, who looked up, as bewildered as the receptionist.
   “Yes? May I help you?”
   “Monsieur d’Amacourt, please.”
   “I’m afraid he’s in conference, madame. Do you have an appointment?”
   “Oh, yes, of course,” said Marie, opening her purse again.
   The secretary looked at the typed schedule on her desk. “I’m afraid I don’t have anyone listed for this time period.”
   “Oh, my word!” exclaimed the confused client of the Valois Bank. “I just noticed. It’s for tomorrow, not today! I’m so sorry!”
   She turned and walked rapidly back to the gate. She had seen what she wanted to see, the last fragment of evidence. A single button was lighted on d’Amacourt’s telephone; he had bypassed his secretary and was making an outside call. The account belonging to Jason Bourne had specific, confidential instructions attached to it which were not to be revealed to the account holder.
   Bourne looked at his watch in the shade of the canopy; it was 2:49. Marie would be back by the telephone at the front of the bank, a pair of eyes inside. The next few minutes would give them the answer; perhaps she already knew it.
   He edged his way to the left side of the store window, keeping the bank’s entrance in view. A clerk inside smiled at him, reminding him that all attention should be avoided. He pulled out a pack of cigarettes, lit one, and looked at his watch again. Eight minutes to three.
   And then he saw them. Him. Three well-dressed men walking rapidly up rue Madeleine, talking to each. other, their eyes, however, directed straight ahead. They passed the slower pedestrians in front of them, excusing themselves with a courtesy that was not entirely Parisian. Jason concentrated on the man in the middle. It was him. A man named Johann.
   Signal Johann to go inside. We’ll come back for them. A tall, gaunt man wearing gold-rimmed spectacles
   had said the words in the Steppdeckstrasse. Johann. They had sent him here from Zurich; he had seen Jason Bourne. And that told him something: there were no photographs.
   The three men reached the entrance. Johann and the man on his right went inside; the third man stayed by the door. Bourne started back to the telephone booth; he would wait four minutes and place his last call to Antoine d’Amacourt.
   He dropped his cigarette outside the booth, crushed it under his foot and opened the door.
   “Monsieur--“ A voice came from behind.
   Jason spun around, holding his breath. A nondescript man with a stubble of a beard pointed at the booth.
   “Le téléphone--il ne marche pas. Regardez la corde.”
   “Merci bien. Je vais essayer quand même.”
   The man shrugged and left. Bourne stepped inside; the four minutes were up. He took the coins from his pocket--enough for two calls--and dialed the first.
   “La Banque de Valois. Bonjour.”
   Ten seconds later d’Amacourt was on the phone, his voice strained. “It is you, Monsieur Bourne?
   I thought you to say you were on your way to my office.”
   “A change of plans, I’m afraid. I’ll have to call you tomorrow.” Suddenly, through the glass panel of the booth, Jason saw a car swing into a space across the street in front of the bank. The third man who was standing by the entrance nodded to the driver.
   “--I can do?” D’Amacourt had asked a question.
   “I beg your pardon?”
   “I asked if there was anything I can do. I have your account; everything is in readiness for you here.”
   I’m sure it is, Bourne thought; the ploy was worth a try. “Look, I have to get over to London this afternoon. I’m taking one of the shuttle flights, but I’ll be back tomorrow. Keep everything with you, all right?”
   “To London, monsieur?”
   “I’ll call you tomorrow. I have to find a cab to Orly.” He hung up and watched the entrance of the bank. In less than half a minute, Johann and his companion came running out; they spoke to the third man, then all three climbed into the waiting automobile.
   The killers’ escape car was still in the hunt, on its way now to Orly Airport. Jason memorized the number on the license plate, then dialed his second call. If the pay phone in the bank was not in use, Marie would pick it up before the ring had barely started. She did.
   “Yes?”
   “See anything?”
   “A great deal. D’Amacourt’s your man.”
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Zodijak Taurus
Pol Žena
Poruke 18761
Zastava Srbija
12
   They moved about the store, going from counter to counter. Marie, however, remained near the wide front window, keeping a perpetual eye on the entrance of the bank across rue Madeleine.
   “I picked out two scarves for you,” said Bourne.
   “You shouldn’t have. The prices are far too high.”
   “It’s almost four o’clock. If he hasn’t come out by now, he won’t until the end of office hours.”
   “Probably not. If he were going to meet someone, he would have done so by now. But we had to know.”
   “Take my word for it, his friends are at Orly, running from shuttle to shuttle. There’s no way they can tell whether I’m on one or not, because they don’t know what name I’m using.”
   “They’ll depend on the man from Zurich to recognize you.”
   “He’s looking for a dark -haired man with a limp, not me. Come on, let’s go into the bank. You can point out d’Amacourt.”
   “We can’t do that,” said Marie, shaking her head. “The cameras on the ceilings have wide-angle lenses. If they ran the tapes they could spot you.”
   “A blond-haired man with glasses?”
   “Or me. I was there; the receptionist or his secretary could identify me.”
   “You’re saying it’s a regular cabal in there. I doubt it.”
   “They could think up any number of reasons to run the tapes.” Marie stopped; she clutched Jason’s arm, her eyes on the bank beyond the window. “There he is! The one in the overcoat with the black velvet collar--d’Amacourt.”
   “Pulling at his sleeves?”
   “Yes.”
   “I’ve got him. I’ll see you back at the hotel.”
   “Be careful. Be very careful.”
   “Pay for the scarves; they’re at the counter in the back.”
   Jason left the store, wincing in the sunlight beyond the canopy, looking for a break in the traffic so he could cross the street; there was none. D’Amacourt had turned right and was strolling casually; he was not a man in a rush to meet anyone. Instead, there was the air of a slightly squashed peacock about him.
   Bourne reached the corner and crossed with the light, falling behind the banker. D’Amacourt stopped at a newsstand to buy an evening paper. Jason held his place in front of a sporting goods shop, then followed as the banker continued down the block.
   Ahead was a café, windows dark, entrance heavy wood, thick hardware on the door. It took no imagination to picture the inside; it was a drinking place for men, and for women brought with men other men would not discuss. It was as good a spot as any for a quiet discussion with Antoine d’Amacourt. Jason walked faster, falling in stride beside the banker. He spoke in the awkward, Anglicized French he had used on the phone.
   “Bonjour, monsieur. Je ... pense que vous ... êtes Monsieur d’Amacourt. I’d say I was right, wouldn’t you?” The banker stopped. His cold eyes were frightened, remembering. The peacock shriveled further into his tailored overcoat. “Bourne?” he whispered.
   “Your friends must be very confused by now. I expect they’re racing all over Orly Airport, wondering, perhaps, if you gave them the wrong information. Perhaps on purpose.”
   “What?” The frightened eyes bulged.
   “Let’s go inside here,” said Jason, taking d’Amacourt’s arm, his grip firm. “I think we should have a talk.”
   “I know absolutely nothing! I merely followed the demands of the account. I am not involved!”
   “Sorry. When I first talked to you, you said you wouldn’t confirm the sort of bank account I was talking about on the phone; you wouldn’t discuss business with someone you didn’t know. But twenty minutes later you said you had everything ready for me. That’s confirmation, isn’t it? Let’s go inside.”
   The café was in some ways a miniature version of Zurich’s Drei Alpenhäuser. The booths were deep, the partitions between them high, and the light dim. From there, however, the appearances veered; the café on rue Madeleine was totally French, carafes of wine replacing steins of beer.
   Bourne asked for a booth in the corner; the waiter accommodated.
   “Have a drink,” said Jason. “You’re going to need it.”
   “You presume,” replied the banker coldly. “I’ll have a whiskey.” The drinks came quickly, the brief interim taken up with d’Amacourt nervously extracting a pack of cigarettes from under his form-fitting overcoat. Bourne struck a match, holding it close to the banker’s face. Very close.
   “Merci.” D’Amacourt inhaled, removed his cigarette, and swallowed half the small glass of whiskey. “I’m not the man you should talk with,” he said.
   “Who is?”
   “An owner of the bank, perhaps. I don’t know, but certainly not me.”
   “Explain that.”
   “Arrangements were made. A privately held bank has more flexibility than a publicly owned institution with stockholders.”
   “How?”
   “There’s greater latitude, shall we say, with regard to the demands of certain clients and sister banks. Less scrutiny than might be applied to a company listed on the Bourse. The Gemeinschaft in Zurich is also a private institution.”
   “The demands were made by the Gemeinschaft?”
   “Requests ... demands ... yes.”
   “Who owns the Valois?”
   “Who? Many--a consortium. Ten or twelve men and their families.”
   “Then I have to talk to you, don’t I? I mean, it’d be a little foolish my running all over Paris tracking them down.”
   “I’m only an executive. An employee.” D’Amacourt swallowed the rest of his drink, crushed out his cigarette and reached for another. And the matches.
   “What are the arrangements?”
   “I could lose my position, monsieur!”
   “You could lose your life,” said Jason, disturbed that the words came so easily to him.
   “I’m not as privileged as you think.”
   “Nor as ignorant as you’d like me to believe,” said Bourne, his eyes wandering over the banker across the table. “Your type’s everywhere, d’Amacourt. It’s in your clothes, the way you wear your hair, even your walk; you strut too much. A man like you doesn’t get to be the vice-president of the Valois Bank without asking questions; you cov er yourself. You don’t make a smelly move unless you can save your own ass. Now, tell me what those arrangements were. You’re not important to me, am I being clear?”
   D’Amacourt struck a match and held it beneath his cigarette while staring at Jason. “You don’t have to threaten me, monsieur. You’re a very rich man. Why not pay me?” The banker smiled nervously. “You’re quite right, incidentally. I did ask a question or two. Paris is not Zurich. A man of my station must have words if not answers.”
   Bourne leaned back, revolving his glass, the clicking of the ice cubes obviously annoying d’Amacourt. “Name a reasonable price,” he said finally, “and we’ll discuss it.”
   “I’m a reasonable man. Let the decision be based on value, and let it be yours. Bankers the world over are compensated by grateful clients they have advised. I would like to think of you as a client.”
   “I’m sure you would.” Bourne smiled, shaking his head at the man’s sheer nerve. “So we slide from bribe to gratuity. Compensation for personal advice and service.” D’Amacourt shrugged. “I accept the definition and, if ever asked, would repeat your words.”
   “The arrangements?”
   “Accompanying the transfer of our funds from Zurich was une fiche confidentielle--“ “Une fiche?” broke in Jason, recalling the moment in Apfel’s office at the Gemeinschaft when Koenig came in saying the words. “I heard it once before. What is it?”
   “A dated term, actually. It comes from the middle nineteenth century when it was a common practice for the great banking houses--primarily the Rothschilds--to keep track of the international flow of money.”
   “Thank you. Now what is it specifically?”
   “Separate sealed instructions to be opened and followed when the account in question is called up.”
   “ ‘Called up’?”
   “Funds removed or deposited.”
   “Suppose I’d just gone to a teller, presented a bank book, and asked for money?”
   “A double asterisk would have appeared on the transaction computer. You would have been sent to me.”
   “I was sent to you anyway. The operator gave me your office.”
   “Irrelevant chance. There are two other officers in the Foreign Services Department. Had you been connected to either one, the fiche would have dictated that you still be sent to me. I am the senior executive.”
   “I see.” But Bourne was not sure that he did see. There was a gap in the sequence; a space needed filling. “Wait a minute. You didn’t know anything about a fiche when you had the account brought to your office.”
   “Why did I ask for it?” interrupted d’Amacourt, anticipating the question. “Be reasonable, monsieur. Put yourself in my place. A man calls and identifies himself, then says he is ‘talking about over four million francs.’ Four million. Would you not be anxious to be of service? Bend a rule here and there?”
   Looking at the seedily elegant banker, Jason realized it was the most unstartling thing he had said.
   “The instructions. What were they?”
   “To begin with a telephone number--unlisted, of course. It was to be called, all information relayed.”
   “Do you remember the number?”
   “I make it a point to commit such things to memory.”
   “I’ll bet you do. What is it?”
   “I must protect myself, monsieur. How else could you have gotten it? I pose the question ... how do you say it? ... rhetorically.”
   “Which means you have the answer. How did I get it? If it ever comes up.”
   “In Zurich. You paid a very high price for someone to break not only the strictest regulation on the Bahnhofstrasse, but also the laws of Switzerland.”
   “I’ve got just the man,” said Bourne, the face of Koenig coming into focus. “He’s already committed the crime.”
   “At the Gemeinschaft? Are you joking?”
   “Not one bit. His name is Koenig; his desk is on the second floor.”
   “I’ll remember that.”
   “I’m sure you will. The number?” D’Amacourt gave it to him. Jason wrote it on a paper napkin.
   “How do I know this is accurate?”
   “You have a reasonable guarantee. I have not been paid.”
   “Good enough.”
   “And as long as value is intrinsic to our discussion, I should tell you that it is the second telephone number; the first was canceled.”
   “Explain that.”
   D’Amacourt leaned forward. “A photostat of the original fiche arrived with accounts-courier. It was sealed in a black case, accepted and signed for by the senior keeper-of-records. The card inside was validated by a partner of the Gemeinschaft, countersigned by the usual Swiss notary; the instructions were simple, quite clear. In all matters pertaining to the account of Jason C. Bourne, a transatlantic call to the United States was to be placed immediately, the details relayed. ... Here the card was altered, the number in New York deleted, one in Paris inserted and initialed.”
   “New York?” interrupted Bourne. “How do you know it was New York?”
   “The telephone area code was parenthetically included, spaced in front of the number itself; it remained intact. It was 212. As first vice-president, Foreign Services, I place such calls daily.”
   “The alteration was pretty sloppy.”
   “Possibly. It could have been made in haste, or not thoroughly understood. On the other hand, there was no way to delete the body of the instructions without renotarization. A minor risk considering the number of telephones in New York. At any rate, the substitution gave me the latitude to ask a question or two. Change is a banker’s anathema.” D’Amacourt sipped what remained of his drink.
   “Care for another?” asked Jason.
   “No, thank you. It would prolong our discussion.”
   “You’re the one who stopped.”
   “I’m thinking, monsieur. Perhaps you should have in mind a vague figure before I proceed.”
   Bourne studied the man. “it could be five,” he said. “Five what?”
   “Five figures.”
   “I shall proceed. I spoke to a woman--“
   “A woman? How did you begin?”
   “Truthfully. I was the vice-president of the Valois, and was following instructions from the Gemeinschaft in Zurich. What else was there to say?”
   “Go on.”
   “I said I had been in communication with a man claiming to be Jason Bourne. She asked me how recently, to which I replied a few minutes. She was then most anxious to know the substance of our conversation. It was at this point that I voiced my own concerns. The fiche specifically stated that a call should be made to New York, not Paris. Naturally, she said it was not my concern, and that the change was authorized by signature, and did I care for Zurich to be informed that an officer of the Valois refused to follow the Gemeinschaft instructions?”
   “Hold it,” interrupted Jason. “Who was she?”
   “I have no idea.”
   “You mean you were talking all this time and she didn’t tell you? You didn’t ask?”
   “That is the nature of the fiche. If a name is proffered, well and good. If it is not, one does not inquire.”
   “You didn’t hesitate to ask about the telephone number.”
   “Merely a device; I wanted information. You transferred four and a half million francs, a sizable
   amount, and were therefore a powerful client with, perhaps, more powerful strings attached to him. ...
   One balks, then agrees, then balks again only to agree again; that is the way one learns things.
   Especially if the party one is talking with displays anxiety. I can assure you, she did.”
   “What did you learn?”
   “That you should be considered a dangerous man.”
   “In what way?”
   “The definition was left open. But the fact that the term was used was enough for me to ask why the Sûreté was not involved. Her reply was extremely interesting. ‘He is beyond the Sûreté, beyond Interpol’ she said.”
   “What did that tell you?”
   “That it was a highly complicated matter for any number of possibilities, all best left private.
   Since our talk began, however, it now tells me something else.”
   “What’s that?”
   “That you really should pay me well, for I must be extremely cautious. Those who look for you, are also, perhaps, beyond the Sûreté, beyond Interpol.”
   “We’ll get to that. You told this woman I was on my way to your office?”
   “Within the quarter hour. She asked me to remain on the telephone for a few moments, that she would be right back. Obviously she made another call. She returned with her final instructions. You were to be detained in my office until a man came to my secretary inquiring about a matter from Zurich. And when you left you were to be identified by a nod or a gesture; there could be no error.
   The man came, of course, and, of course, you never arrived, so he waited by the tellers’ cages with an associate. When you phoned and said you were on your way to London, I left my office to find the man. My secretary pointed him out and I told him. The rest you know.”
   “Didn’t it strike you as odd that I had to be identified?”
   “Not so odd as intemperate. A fiche is one thing--telephone calls, faceless communications--but to be involved directly, in the open, as it were, is something else again. I said as much to the woman.”
   “What did she say to you?”
   D’Amacourt cleared his throat. “She made it clear that the party she represented--whose stature was, indeed, confirmed by the fiche itself--would remember my cooperation. You see, I withhold nothing. ... Apparently they don’t know what you look like.”
   “A man was at the bank who saw me in Zurich.”
   “Then his associates do not trust his eyesight. Or, perhaps, what he thinks he saw.”
   “Why do you say that?”
   “Merely an observation, monsieur; the woman was insistent. You must understand, I strenuously objected to any overt participation; that is not the nature of the fiche. She said there was no photograph of you. An obvious lie, of course.”
   “Is it?”
   “Naturally. All passports have photographs. Where is the immigration officer who cannot be bought or duped? Ten seconds in a passport-control room, a photograph of a photograph; arrangements can be made. No, they committed a serious oversight.”
   “I guess they did.”
   “And you,” continued d’Amacourt, “just told me something else. Yes, you really must pay me very well.”
   “What did I just tell you?”
   “That your passport does not identify you as Jason Bourne. Who are you, monsieur?” Jason did not at first answer; he revolved his glass again. “Someone who may pay you a lot of money,” he said.
   “Entirely sufficient. You are simply a client named Bourne. And I must be cautious.”
   “I want that telephone number in New York. Can you get it for me? There’d be a sizable bonus.”
   “I wish I could. I see no way.”
   “It might be raised from the fiche card. Under a low-power scope.”
   “When I said it was deleted, monsieur, I did not mean it was crossed out. It was deleted--it was cut out.”
   “Then someone has it in Zurich.”
   “Or it has been destroyed.”
   “Last question,” said Jason, anxious now to leave. “It concerns you, incidentally. It’s the only way you’ll get paid.”
   “The question will be tolerated, of course. What is it?”
   “If I showed up at the Valois without calling you, without telling you I was coming, would you be expected to make another telephone call?”
   “Yes. One does not disregard the fiche; it emanates from powerful boardrooms. Dismissal would follow.”
   “Then how do we get our money?”
   D’Amacourt pursed his lips. “There is a way. Withdrawal in absentia. Forms filled out, instructions by letter, identification confirmed and authenticated by an established firm of attorneys. I would be powerless to interfere.”
   “You’d still be expected to make the call, though.”
   “It’s a matter of timing. Should an attorney with whom the Valois has had numerous dealings call me requesting that I prepare, say, a number of cashiers checks drawn upon a foreign transfer he has ascertained to have been cleared, I would do so. He would state that he was sending over the completed forms, the checks, of course, made out to ‘Bearer,’ not an uncommon practice in these days of excessive taxes. A messenger would arrive with the letter during the most hectic hours of activity, and my secretary--an esteemed, trusted employee of many years--would simply bring in the forms for my countersignature and the letter for my initialing.”
   “No doubt,” interrupted Bourne, “along with a number of other papers you were to sign.”
   “Exactly. I would then place my call, probably watching the messenger leave with his briefcase as I did so.”
   “You wouldn’t, by any remote chance, have in mind the name of a law firm in Paris, would you?
   Or a specific attorney?”
   “As a matter of fact, one just occurred to me.”
   “How much will he cost?”
   “Ten thousand francs.”
   “That’s expensive.”
   “Not at all. He was a judge on the bench, an honored man.”
   “What about you? Let’s refine it.”
   “As I said, I’m reasonable, and the decision should be yours. Since you mentioned five figures, let us be consistent with your words. Five figures, commencing with five. Fifty thousand francs.”
   “That’s outrageous!”
   “So is whatever you’ve done, Monsieur Bourne.”
   “Une fiche confidentielle,” said Marie, sitting in the chair by the window, the late afternoon sun bouncing off the ornate buildings of the boulevard Montparnasse outside. “So that’s the device they’ve used.”
   “I can impress you--I know where it comes from.” Jason poured a drink from the bottle on the bureau and carried it to the bed; he sat down, facing her. “Do you want to hear?”
   “I don’t have to,” she answered, gazing out the window, preoccupied. “I know exactly where it comes from and what it means. It’s a shock, that’s all.”
   “Why? I thought you expected something like this.”
   “The results, yes, not the machinery. A fiche is an archaic stab at legitimacy, almost totally restricted to private banks on the Continent. American, Canadian, and UK laws forbid its use.” Bourne recalled‘ d’Amacourt’s words; he repeated them. “ ‘It emanates from powerful boardrooms’--that’s what he said.”
   “He was right.” Marie looked over at him. “Don’t you see? I knew that a flag was attached to your account. I assumed that someone had been bribed to forward information. That’s not unusual; bankers aren’t in the front ranks for canonization. But this is different. That account in Zurich was established--at the very beginning--with the fiche as part of its activity. Conceivably with your own knowledge.”
   “Treadstone Seventy-One,” said Jason.
   “Yes. The owners of the bank had to work in concert with Treadstone. And considering the latitude of your access, it’s possible you were aware that they did.”
   “But someone was bribed. Koenig. He substituted one telephone number for another.”
   “He was well paid, I can assure you. He could face ten years in a Swiss prison.”
   “Ten? That’s pretty stiff.”
   “So are the Swiss laws. He had to be paid a small fortune.”
   “Carlos,” said Bourne. “Carlos ... Why? What am I to him? I keep asking myself. I say the name over and over and over again! I don’t get anything, nothing at all. Just a ... a ... I don’t know.
   Nothing.”
   “But there’s something, isn’t there?” Marie sat forward. “What is it, Jason? What are you thinking of?”
   “I’m not thinking ... I don’t know.”
   “Then you’re feeling. Something. What is it?”
   “I don’t know. Fear, maybe ... Anger, nerves. I don’t know.”
   “Concentrate!”
   “Goddamn it, do you think I’m not? Do you think I haven’t? Have you any idea what it’s like?”
   Bourne stiffened, annoyed at his own outburst. “Sorry.”
   “Don’t be. Ever. These are the hints, the clues you have to look for--we have to look for. Your
   doctor friend in Port Noir was right; things come to you, provoked by other things. As you yourself
   said, a book of matches, a face, or the front of a restaurant. We’ve seen it happen. Now, it’s a name,
   a name you avoided for nearly a week while you told me everything that had happened to you during
   the past five months, down to the smallest detail. Yet you never mentioned Carlos. You should have, but you didn’t. It does mean something to you, can’t you see that? It’s stirring things inside of you; they want to come out.”
   “I know.” Jason drank.
   “Darling, there’s a famous bookstore on the boulevard Saint-Germain that’s run by a magazine freak. A whole floor is crammed with back issues of old magazines, thousands of them. He even catalogues subjects, indexes them like a librarian. I’d like to find out if Carlos is in that index. Will you do it?”
   Bourne was aware of the sharp pain in his chest. It had nothing to do with his wounds; it was fear. She saw it and somehow understood; he felt it and could not understand. “There are back issues of newspapers at the Sorbonne,” he said, glancing up at her. “One of them put me on cloud nine for a while. Until I thought about it.”
   “A lie was exposed. That was the important thing.”
   “But we’re not looking for a lie now, are we?”
   “No, we’re looking for the truth. Don’t be afraid of it, darling. I’m not.” Jason got up. “Okay. Saint-Germain’s on the schedule. In the meantime, call that fellow at the embassy.” Bourne reached into his pocket and took out the paper napkin with the telephone number on it, he had added the numbers of the license plate on the car that had raced away from the bank on rue Madeleine. “Here’s the number d’Amacourt gave me, also the license of that car. See what he can do.”
   “All right.” Marie took the napkin and went to the telephone. A small, spiral-hinged notebook was beside it; she flipped through the pages. “Here it is. His name is Dennis Corbelier. Peter said he’d call him by noon today, Paris time. And I could rely on him; he was as knowledgeable as any attaché in the embassy.”
   “Peter knows him, doesn’t he? He’s not just a name from a list.”
   “They were classmates at the University of Toronto. I can call him from here, can’t I?”
   “Sure. But don’t say where you are.”
   Marie picked up the phone. “I’ll tell him the same thing I told Peter. That I’m moving from one hotel to another but don’t know which yet.” She got an outside line, then dialed the number of the Canadian Embassy on the avenue Montaigne. Fifteen seconds later she was talking with Dennis Corbelier, attaché.
   Marie got to the point of her call almost immediately. “I assume Peter told you I might need some help.”
   “More than that,” replied Corbelier, “he explained that you were in Zurich. Can’t say I understood everything he said, but I got the general idea. Seems there’s a lot of maneuvering in the world of high finance these days.”
   “More than usual. The trouble is no. one wants to say who’s maneuvering whom. That’s my problem.”
   “How can I help?”
   “I have a license and a telephone number, both here in Paris. The telephone’s unlisted; it could be awkward if I called.”
   “Give them to me.” She did. “A mari usque ad mari,” Corbelier said, reciting the national motto of their country. “We have several friends in splendid places. We trade off favors frequently, usually in the narcotics area, but we’re all flexible. Why not have lunch with me tomorrow? I’ll bring what I can:”
   “I’d like that, but tomorrow’s no good. I’m spending the day with an old friend. Perhaps another time.”
   “Peter said I’d be an idiot not to insist. He says you’re a terrific lady.”
   “He’s a dear, and so are you. I’ll call you tomorrow afternoon.”
   “Fine. I’ll go to work on these.”
   “Talk to you tomorrow, and thanks again.” Marie hung up and looked at her watch. “I’m to call Peter in three hours. Don’t let me forget.
   “You really think he’ll have something so soon?”
   “He does; he started last night by calling Washington. It’s what Corbelier just said; we all trade off. This piece of information here for that one there, a name from our side for one of yours.”
   “Sounds vaguely like betrayal.”
   “The opposite. Were dealing in money, not missiles. Money that’s illegally moving around, outflanking laws that are good for all our interests. Unless you want the sheiks of Araby owning Grumman Aircraft. Then we’re talking about missiles ... after they’ve left the launching pads.”
   “Strike my objection.”
   “We’ve got to see d’Amacourt’s man first thing in the morning. Figure out what you want to withdraw.”
   “All of it.”
   “All?”
   “That’s right. If you were the directors of Treadstone, what would you do if you learned that six million francs were missing from a corporate account?”
   “I see.”
   “D’Amacourt suggested a series of cashiers checks made out to the bearer.”
   “He said that? Checks?”
   “Yes. Something wrong?”
   “There certainly is. The numbers of those checks could be punched on a fraud tape and sent to banks everywhere. You have to go to a bank to redeem them; payments would be stopped.”
   “He’s a winner, isn’t he? He collects from both sides. What do we do?”
   “Accept half of what he told you--the bearer part. But not checks. Bonds. Bearer bonds of various denominations. They’re far more easily brokered.”
   “You’ve just earned dinner,” said Jason, reaching down and touching her face.
   “I tries to earn my keep, sir,” she replied, holding his hand against her cheek. “First dinner, then Peter ... and then a bookstore on Saint-Germain.”
   “A bookstore on Saint-Germain,” repeated Bourne, the pain coming to his chest again. What was it? Why was he so afraid?
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They left the restaurant on the boulevard Raspail and walked to the telephone complex on rue Vaugirard. There were glass booths against the walls and a huge circular counter in the center of the floor where clerks filled out slips, assigning booths to those placing calls.
   “The traffic is very light, madame,” said the clerk to Marie. “Your call should go through in a matter of minutes. Number twelve, please.”
   “Thank you. Booth twelve?”
   “Yes, madame. Directly over there”
   As they walked across the crowded floor to the booth, Jason held her arm. “I know why people use these places,” he said. “They’re a hundred and ten times quicker than a hotel phone.”
   “That’s only one of the reasons.”
   They had barely reached the booth and lighted cigarettes when they heard the two short bursts of the bell inside. Marie opened the door and went in, her spiral-hinged notebook and a pencil in her hand. She picked up the receiver.
   Sixty seconds later Bourne watched in astonishment as she stared at the wall, the blood draining from her face, her skin chalk white. She began shouting and dropped her purse, the contents scattering over the floor of the small booth; the notebook was caught on the ledge, the pencil broken in the grip of her hand. He rushed inside; she was close to collapse.
   “This is Marie St. Jacques in Paris, Lisa. Peter’s expecting my call.”
   “Marie? Oh, my God ...” The secretary’s voice trailed off, replaced by other voices in the background. Excited voices, muted by a cupped hand over the phone. Then there was a rustle of movement, the phone being given to or taken by another.
   “Marie, this is Alan,” said the first assistant director of the section. “We’re all in Peter’s office.”
   “What’s the matter, Alan? I don’t have much time; may I speak to him, please?”
   There was a moment of silence. “I wish I could make this easier for you, but I don’t know how.
   Peter’s dead, Marie.”
   “He’s ... what?”
   “The police called a few minutes ago; they’re on their way over.”
   “The police? What happened? Oh God, he’s dead? What happened?”
   “We’re trying to piece it together. We’re studying his phone log, but we’re not supposed to touch anything on his desk.”
   “His desk ... ?”
   “Notes or memos, or anything like that.”
   “Alan! Tell me what happened!”
   “That’s just it--we don’t know. He didn’t tell any of us what he was doing. All we know is that he got two phone calls this morning from the States--one from Washington, the other from New York. Around noon he told Lisa he was going to the airport to meet someone flying up. He didn’t say who. The police found him an hour ago in one of those tunnels used for freight. It was terrible; he was shot. In the throat ... Marie? Marie?”

   The old man with the hollow eyes and the stubble of a white beard limped into the dark confessional booth, blinking his eyes repeatedly, trying to focus on the hooded figure beyond the opaque curtain. Sight was not easy for this eighty-year-old messenger. But his mind was clear; that was all that mattered.
   “Angelus Domini,” he said.
   “Angelus Domini, child of God,” whispered the hooded silhouette. “Are your days comfortable?”
   “They draw to an end, but they are made comfortable.”
   “Good ... Zurich?”
   “They found the man from the Guisan Quai. He was wounded; they traced him through a doctor known to the Verbrecherwelt. Under severe interrogation he admitted assaulting the woman. Cain came back for her, it was Cain who shot him.”
   “So it was an arrangement, the woman and Cain”
   “The man from the Guisan Quai does not think so. He was one of the two who picked her up on the Löwenstrasse.”
   “He’s also a fool. He killed the watchman?”
   “He admits it and defends it. He had no choice in making his escape.”
   “He may not have to defend it; it could be the most intelligent thing he did. Does he have his gun?”
   “Your people have it.”
   “Good. There is a prefect on the Zurich police. That gun must be given to him. Cain is elusive, the woman far less so. She has associates in Ottawa; they’ll stay in touch. We trap her, we trace him.
   Is your pencil ready?”
   “Yes, Carlos.”
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13
   Bourne held her in the close confines of the glass booth, gently lowering her to the seat that protruded from the narrow wall. She was shaking, breathing in swallows and gasps, her eyes glazed, coming into focus as she looked at him.
   “They killed him. They killed him! My God, what did I do? Peter!”
   “You didn’t do it! If anyone did it, I did. Not you. Get that through your head.”
   “Jason, I’m frightened. He was half a world away ... and they killed him!”
   “Treadstone?”
   “Who else? There were two phone calls, Washington ... New York. He went to the airport to meet someone and he was killed.”
   “How?”
   “Oh, Jesus Christ ...” Tears came to Marie’s eyes. “He was shot. In the throat,” she whispered.
   Bourne suddenly felt a dull ache; he could not localize it, but it was there, cutting off air.
   “Carlos,” he said, not knowing why he said it.
   “What?” Marie stared up at him. “What did you say?”
   “Carlos,” he repeated softly. “A bullet in the throat. Carlos.”
   “What are you trying to say?”
   “I don’t know.” He took her arm. “Let’s get out of here. Are you all right? Can you walk?”
   She nodded, closing her eyes briefly, breathing deeply. “Yes.”
   “We’ll stop for a drink; we both need it. Then we’ll find it.”
   “Find what?”
   “A bookstore on Saint-Germain.”

   There were three back issues of magazines under the “Carlos” index. A three-year-old copy of the international edition of Potomac Quarterlyand two Paris issues of Le Globe. They did not read the articles inside the store; instead they bought all three and took a taxi back to the hotel in Montparnasse. There they began reading, Marie on the bed, Jason in the chair by the window.
   Several minutes passed, and Marie bolted up.
   “It’s here,” she said, fear in both her face and voice.
   “Read it.”
   “ ‘A particularly brutal form of punishment is said to be inflicted by Carlos and/or his small band of soldiers. It is death by a gunshot in the throat, often leaving the victim to die in excruciating pain.
   It is reserved for those who break the code of silence or loyalty demanded by the assassin, or others who have refused to divulge information. ...’ “ Marie stopped, incapable of reading further. She lay back and closed her eyes. “He wouldn’t tell them and he was killed for it. Oh, my God ...”
   “He couldn’t tell them what he didn’t know,” said Bourne.
   “But you knew!” Marie sat up again, her eyes open. “You knew about a gunshot in the throat!
   You said it!”
   “I said it. I knew it. That’s all I can tell you.”
   “How?”
   “I wish I could answer that. I can’t.”
   “May I have a drink?”
   “Certainly.” Jason got up and went to the bureau. He poured two short glasses of whiskey and looked over at her. “Do you want me to call for some ice? Hervé’s on; it’ll be quick.”
   “No. It won’t be quick enough.” She slammed the magazine down on the bed and turned to him--on him, perhaps. “I’m going crazy!”
   “Join the party of two.”
   “I want to believe you; I do believe you. But I ... I ...”
   “You can’t be sure,” completed Bourne. “Any more than I can.” He brought her the glass. “What do you want me to say? What can I say? Am I one of Carlos’ soldiers? Did I break the code of silence or loyalty? Is that why I knew the method of execution?”
   “Stop it!”
   “I say that a lot to myself. ‘Stop it.’ Don’t think; try to remember, but somewhere along the line put the brakes on. Don’t go too far, too deep. One lie can be exposed, only to raise ten other questions intrinsic to that lie. Maybe it’s like waking up after a long drunk, not sure whom you fought with or slept with, or ... goddamn it ... killed.”
   “No ...” Marie drew out the word. “You are you. Don’t take that away from me.”
   “I don’t want to. I don’t want to take it away from myself.” Jason went back to the chair and sat down, his face turned to the window. “You found ... a method of execution. I found something else.
   I knew it, just as I knew about Howard Leland. I didn’t even have to read it.”
   “Read what?”
   Bourne reached down and picked up the three-year-old issue of Potomac Quarterly. The magazine was folded open to a page on which there was a sketch of a bearded man, the lines rough, inconclusive, as if drawn from an obscure description. He held it out for her.
   “Read it,” he said. “It starts with the upper left, under the heading ‘Myth or Monster.’ Then I want to play a game.”
   “A game?”
   “Yes. I’ve read only the first two paragraphs; you’ll have to take my word for that.”
   “All right.” Marie watched him, bewildered. She lowered the magazine into the light and read.

   MYTH OR MONSTER
   For over a decade, the name “Carlos” has been whispered in the back streets of such diverse cities as Paris, Teheran, Beirut, London, Cairo, and Amsterdam. He is said to be the supreme terrorist in the sense that his commitment is to murder and assassination in themselves, with no apparent political ideology. Yet there is concrete evidence that he has undertaken profitable executions for such extremist radical groups as the PLO and Baader-Meinhof, both as teacher and profiteer. Indeed, it is through his infrequent gravitation to, and the internal conflicts within, such terrorist organizations that a clearer picture of “Carlos” is beginning to emerge. Informers are coming out of the bloodied spleens and they talk.
   Whereas tales of his exploits give rise to images of a world filled with violence and conspiracy, high-explosives and higher intrigues, fast cars and faster women, the facts would seem to indicate at least as much Adam Smith as Ian Fleming. “Carlos” is reduced to human proportions and in the compression a truly frightening man comes into focus. The sado-romantic myth turns into a brilliant, blood-soaked monster who brokers assassination with the expertise of a market analyst, fully aware of wages, costs, distribution, and the divisions of underworld labor. It is a complicated business and “Carlos” is the master of its dollar value.
   The portrait starts with a reputed name, as odd in its way as the owner’s profession. Ilich Ramirez Sanchez. He is said to be a Venezuelan, the son of a fanatically devoted but not very prominent Marxist attorney (the Ilich is the father’s salute to Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, and partially explains “Carlos’ “ forays into extremist terrorism) who sent the young boy to Russia for the major part of his education, which included espionage training at the Soviet compound in Novgorod. It is here that portrait fades briefly, rumor and speculation now the artists. According to these, one or another committee of the Kremlin that regularly monitors foreign students for future infiltration purposes saw what they had in Ilich Sanchez and wanted no part of him. He was a paranoid, who saw all solutions in terms of a well-placed bullet or bomb; the recommendation was to send the youth back to Caracas and disassociate any and all Soviet ties with the family. Thus rejected by Moscow, and deeply antithetical to western society, Sanchez went about building his own world, one in which he was the supreme leader. What better way to become the apolitical assassin whose services could be contracted for by the widest range of political and philosophical clients?
   The portrait becomes clearer again. Fluent in numerous languages including his native Spanish as well as Russian, French, and English, Sanchez used his Soviet training as a springboard for refining his techniques. Months of concentrated study followed his expulsion from Moscow, some say under the tutelage of the Cubans, Che Guevera in particular. He mastered the science and handling of all manner of weaponry and explosives; there was no gun he could not break down and reassemble blindfolded, no explosive he could not analyze by smell and touch and know how to detonate in a dozen different ways.
   He was ready; he chose Paris as his base of operations and the word went out. A man was for hire who would kill where others dared not.
   Once again the portrait dims as much for lack of birth records as anything else. Just how old is “Carlos”? How many targets can be attributed to him and how many are myth--self-proclaimed or otherwise? Correspondents based in Caracas have been unable to unearth any birth certificates anywhere in the country for an Ilich Ramirez Sanchez. On the other hand, there are thousands upon thousands of Sanchezes in Venezuela, hundreds with Ramirez attached; but none with an Ilich in front. Was it added later, or is the omission simply further proof of “Carlos”’ thoroughness? The consensus is that the assassin is between thirty-five and forty years of age. No one really knows.

   A GRASSY KNOLL IN DALLAS?
   But one fact not disputed is that the profits from his first several kills enabled the assassin to set up an organization that might be envied by an operations analyst of General Motors. It is capitalism at its most efficient, loyalty and service extracted by equal parts fear and reward.
   The consequences of disloyalty are swift in coming--death--about so, too, are the benefits of service--generous bonuses and huge expense allowances. The organization seems to have hand-picked executives everywhere; and this well-founded rumor leads to the obvious question. Where did the profits initially come from? Who were the original kills?
   The one most often speculated upon took place thirteen years ago in Dallas. No matter how many times the murder of John F. Kennedy is debated, no one has ever satisfactorily explained a burst of smoke from a grassy knoll three hundred yards away from the motorcade. The smoke was caught on camera; two open police radios on motorcycles recorded noise(s). Yet neither shell casings nor footprints were found. In fact, the only information about the so-called grassy knoll at that moment was considered so irrelevant that it was buried in the FBI-Dallas investigation and never included in the Warren Commission Report. It was provided by a bystander, K. M. Wright of North Dallas, who when questioned made the following statement:
   “Hell, the only son of bitch near there was old Burlap Billy, and he was a couple of hundred yards away.”
   The “Billy” referred to was an aged Dallas tramp seen frequently panhandling in the tourist areas; the “Burlap” defined his penchant for wrapping his shoes in coarse cloth to play upon the sympathies of his marks. According to our correspondents, Wright’s statement was never made public.
   Yet six weeks ago a captured Lebanese terrorist broke under questioning in Tel Aviv.
   Pleading to be spared execution he claimed to possess extraordinary information about the assassin “Carlos.” Israeli intelligence forwarded the report to Washington; our capitol correspondents obtained excerpts.
   Statement: “Carlos was in Dallas in November 1963. He pretended to be Cuban and programmed Oswald. He was the back-up. It was his operation.” Question: “What proof do you have?”
   Statement: “I heard him say it. He was on a small embankment of grass beyond a ledge.
   His rifle had a wire shell-trap attached.”
   Question: “It was never reported; why wasn’t he seen?”
   Statement: “He may have been, but no one would have known it. He was dressed as an old man, with a shabby overcoat, and his shoes were wrapped in canvas to avoid footprints.” A terrorist’s information is certainly not proof, but neither should it always be disregarded. Especially when it concerns a master assassin, known to be a scholar of deception, who has made an admission that so astonishingly corroborates an unknown unpublished statement about a moment of national crisis never investigated. That, indeed, must be taken seriously. As so many others associated--even remotely--with the tragic events in Dallas, “Burlap Billy” was found dead several days later from an overdose of drugs.
   He was known to be an old man drunk consistently on cheap wine; he was never known to use narcotics. He could not afford them.
   Was “Carlos” the man on the grassy knoll? What an extraordinary beginning for an extraordinary career! If Dallas really was his “operation” how many millions of dollars must have been funneled to him? Certainly more than enough to establish a network of informers and soldiers that is a corporate world unto itself.
   The myth has too much substance; Carlos may well be a monster of flesh and too much blood.

   Marie put down the magazine. “What’s the game?”
   “Are you finished?” Jason turned from the window.
   “Yes.”
   “I gather a lot of statements were made. Theory, supposition, equations.”
   “Equations?”
   “If something happened here, and there was an effect over there, a relationship existed.”
   “You mean connections,” said Marie.
   “All right, connections. It’s all there, isn’t it?”
   “To a degree, you could say that. It’s hardly a legal brief; there’s a lot of speculation, rumor, and secondhand information.”
   “There are facts, however.”
   “Data.”
   “Good. Data. That’s fine.”
   “What’s the game?” Marie repeated.
   “It’s got a simple title. It’s called ‘Trap.’ “
   “Trap whom?”
   “Me.” Bourne sat forward. “I want you to ask me questions. Anything that’s in there. A phrase, the name of a city, a rumor, a fragment of ... data. Anything. Let’s hear what my responses are. My blind responses.”
   “Darling, that’s no proof of--“
   “Do it!” ordered Jason.
   “All right.” Marie raised the issue of Potomac Quarterly. “Beirut,” she said.
   “Embassy,” he answered. “CIA station head posing as an attaché. Gunned down in the street.
   Three hundred thousand dollars.”
   Marie looked at him. “I remember--“ she began.
   “I don’t!” interrupted Jason. “Go on.”
   She returned his gaze, then went back to the magazine. “Baader-Meinhof.”
   “Stuttgart. Regensburg. Munich. Two kills and a kidnapping, Baader accreditation. Fees from--“ Bourne stopped, then whispered in astonishment, “U. S. sources. Detroit ... Wilmington, Delaware.”
   “Jason, what are--“
   “Go on. Please.”
   “The name, Sanchez.”
   “The name is Ilich Ramirez Sanchez,” he replied. “He is ... Carlos.”
   “Why the Ilich?”
   Bourne paused, his eyes wandering. “I don’t know.”
   “It’s Russian, not Spanish. Was his mother Russian?”
   “No ... yes. His mother. It had to be his mother ... I think. I’m not sure.”
   “Novgorod.”
   “Espionage compound. Communications, ciphers, frequency traffic. Sanchez is a graduate.”
   “Jason, you read that here!”
   “I did not read it! Please. Keep going”
   Marie’s eyes swept back to the top of the article. “Teheran.”
   “Eight kills. Divided accreditation--Khomeini and PLO. Fee, two million. Source Southwest Soviet sector.”
   “Paris,” said Marie quickly.
   “All contracts will be processed through Paris.”
   “What contracts?”
   “The contracts ... Kills!”
   “Whose kills? Whose contracts?”
   “Sanchez ... Carlos.”
   “Carlos? Then they’re Carlos’ contracts, his kills. They have nothing to do with you.”
   “Carlos’ contracts,” said Bourne, as if in a daze. “Nothing to do with ... me,” he repeated, barely above a whisper.
   “You just said it, Jason. None of this has anything to do with you!”
   “No! That’s not true!” Bourne shouted, lunging up from the chair, holding his place, staring down at her. “Our contracts,” he added quietly.
   “You don’t know what you’re saying!”
   “I’m responding! Blindly! It’s why I had to come to Paris!” He spun around and walked to the window, gripping the frame. “That’s what the game is all about,” he continued. “We’re not looking for a lie, we’re looking for the truth, remember? Maybe we’ve found it; maybe the game revealed it.”
   “This is no valid test! It’s a painful exercise in incidental recollection. If a magazine like Potomac Quarterly printed this, it would have been picked up by half the newspapers in the world. You could have read it anywhere.”
   “The fact is I retained it.”
   “Not entirely. You didn’t know where the Ilich came from, that Carlos’ father was a Communist attorney in Venezuela. They’re salient points, I’d think. You didn’t mention a thing about the Cubans. If you had, it would have led to the most shocking speculation written here. You didn’t say a word about it.”
   “What are you talking about?”
   “Dallas,” she said. “November 1963.”
   “Kennedy,” replied Bourne.
   “That’s it? Kennedy?”
   “It happened then.” Jason stood motionless.
   “It did, but that’s not what I’m looking for.”
   “I know,” said Bourne, his voice once again flat, as if speaking in a vacuum. “A grassy knoll ...
   Burlap Billy.”
   “You read this!”
   “No.”
   “Then you heard it before, read it before.”
   “That’s possible, but it’s not relevant, is it?”
   “Stop it, Jason!”
   “Those words again. I wish I could.”
   “What are you trying to tell me? You’re Carlos?”
   “God, no. Carlos wants to kill me, and I don’t speak Russian, I know that.”
   “Then what?”
   “What I said at the beginning. The game. The game is called Trap-the Soldier.”
   “A soldier?”
   “Yes. One who defected from Carlos. It’s the only explanation, the only reason I know what I know. In all things.”
   “Why do you say defect?”
   “Because he does want to kill me. He has to; he thinks I know as much about him as anyone alive.”
   Marie had been crouching on the bed; she swung her legs over the side, her hands at her sides.
   “That’s a result of defecting. What about the cause? If it’s true, then you did it, became ... became--
   “ She stopped.
   “All things considered, it’s a little late to look for a moral position,” said Bourne, seeing the pain of acknowledgment on the face of the woman he loved. “I could think of several reasons, clichés.
   How about a falling out among thieves ... killers.”
   “Meaningless!” cried Marie. “There’s not a shred of evidence.”
   “There’s buckets of it and you know it. I could have sold out to a higher bidder or stolen huge sums of money from the fees. Either would explain the account in Zurich.” He stopped briefly, looking at the wall above the bed, feeling, not seeing. “Either would explain Howard Leland, Marseilles, Beirut, Stuttgart ... Munich. Everything. All the unremembered facts that want to come out. And one especially. Why I avoided his name, why I never mentioned him. I’m frightened. I’m afraid of him.”
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The moment passed in silence; more was spoken of than fear. Marie nodded. “I’m sure you believe that,” she said, “and in a way I wish it were true. But I don’t think it is. You want to believe it because it supports what you just said. It gives you an answer ... an identity. It may not be the identity you want, but God knows it’s better than wandering blindly through that awful labyrinth you face every day. Anything would be, I guess.” She paused. “And I wish it were true because then we wouldn’t be here.”
   “What?”
   “That’s the inconsistency, darling. The number or symbol that doesn’t fit in your equation. If you were what you say you were, and afraid of Carlos--and heaven knows you should be--Paris would be the last place on earth you’d feel compelled to go to. We’d be somewhere else; you said it yourself. You’d run away; you’d take the money from Zurich and disappear. But you’re not doing that; instead, you’re walking right back into Carlos’ den. That’s not a man who’s either afraid or guilty.”
   “There isn’t anything else. I came to Paris to find out; it’s as simple as that.”
   “Then run away. We’ll have the money in the morning; there’s nothing stopping. you--us. That’s simple, too.” Marie watched him closely.
   Jason looked at her, then turned away. He walked to the bureau and poured himself a drink.
   “There’s still Treadstone to consider,” he said defensively.
   “Why any more than Carlos? There’s your real equation. Carlos and Treadstone. A man I once loved very much was killed by Treadstone. All the more reason for us to run, to survive.”
   “I’d think you’d want the people who killed him exposed,” said Bourne. “Make them pay for it.”
   “I do. Very much. But others can find them. I have priorities, and revenge isn’t at the top of the list. We are. You and I. Or is that only my judgment? My feelings.”
   “You know better than that.” He held the glass tighter in his hand and looked over at her. “I love you,” he whispered.
   “Then let’s run!” she said, raising her voice almost mechanically, taking a step toward him. “Let’s forget it all, really forget, and run as fast as we can, as far away as we can! Let’s do it!”
   “I ... I,” Jason stammered, the mists interfering, infuriating him. “Where are ... things”
   “What things? We love each other, we’ve found each other! We can go anywhere, be anyone.
   There’s nothing to stop us, is there?”
   “Only you and me,” he repeated softly, the mists now closing in, suffocating him. “I know. I know. But I’ve got to think. There’s so much to learn, so much that has to come out.”
   “Why is it so important?”
   “It ... just is.”
   “Don’t you know?”
   “Yes ... No, I’m not sure. Don’t ask me now.”
   “If not now, when? When can I ask you? When will it pass? Or will it ever?!”
   “Stop it!” he suddenly roared, slamming the glass down on the wooden tray. “I can’t run! I won’t!
   I’ve got to stay here! I’ve got to know!”
   Marie rushed to him, putting her hands first on his shoulders, then on his face, wiping away the perspiration. “Now you’ve said it. Can you hear yourself, darling? You can’t run because the closer you get, the more maddening it is for you. And if you did run, it would only get worse. You wouldn’t have a life, you’d live a nightmare. I know that.”
   He reached for her face, touching it, looking at her. “Do you?”
   “Of course. But you had to say it, not me.” She held him, her head against his chest. “I had to force you to. The funny thing is that I could run. I could get on a plane with you tonight and go wherever you wanted, disappear, and not look back, happier than I’ve ever been in my life. But you couldn’t do that. What is--or isn’t--here in Paris would eat away at you until you couldn’t stand it anymore. That’s the crazy irony, my darling. I could live with it but you couldn’t.”
   “You’d just disappear?” asked Jason. “What about your family, your job--all the people you know?”
   “I’m neither a child nor a fool,” she answered quickly. “I’d cover myself somehow, but I don’t think I’d take it very seriously. Pd request an extended leave for medical and personal reasons.
   Emotional stress, a breakdown; I could always go back, the department would understand.”
   “Peter?”
   “Yes.” She was silent for a moment. “We went from one relationship to another, the second more important to both of us, I think. He was like an imperfect brother you want to succeed in spite of his flaws, because underneath there was such decency.”
   “I’m sorry. I’m truly sorry.”
   She looked up at him. “You have the same decency. When you do the kind of work I do decency becomes very important. It’s not the meek who are inheriting the earth, Jason, it’s the corrupters.
   And I have an idea that the distance between corruption and killing is a very short step.”
   “Treadstone Seventy-One?”
   “Yes. We were both right. I do want them exposed, I want them to pay for what they’ve done.
   And you can’t run away.”
   He brushed his lips against her cheek and then her hair and held her. “I should throw you out,” he said. “I should tell you to get out of my life. I can’t do it, but I know damned well I should.”
   “It wouldn’t make any difference if you did. I wouldn’t go, my love.”

   The attorney’s suite of offices was on the boulevard de la Chapelle, the book-lined conference room more a stage netting than an office; everything was a prop, and in its place. Deals were made in that room, not contracts. As for the lawyer himself, a dignified white goatee and silver pince-nez above an aquiline nose could not conceal the essential graft in the man. He even insisted on conversing in poor English, for which, at a later date, he could claim to have been misunderstood.
   Marie did most of the talking, Bourne deferring, client to adviser. She made her points succinctly, altering the cashiers checks to bearer bonds, payable in dollars, in denominations ranging from a maximum of twenty thousand dollars to a minimum of five. She instructed the lawyer to tell the bank that all series were to be broken up numerically in threes, the international guarantors changed with every fifth lot of certificates. Her objective was not lost on the attorney; she so complicated the issuing of the bonds that tracing them would be beyond the facilities of most banks or brokers. Nor would such banks or brokers take on the added trouble or expense; payments were guaranteed.
   When the irritated, goateed lawyer had nearly concluded his telephone conversation with an equally disturbed Antoine d’Amacourt, Marie held up her hand.
   “Pardon me, but Monsieur Bourne insists that Monsieur d’Amacourt also include two hundred thousand francs in cash, one hundred thousand to be included with the bonds and one hundred to be held by Monsieur d’Amacourt. He suggests that the second hundred thousand be divided as follows. Seventy-five thousand for Monsieur d’Amacourt and twenty-five thousand for yourself. He realizes that he is greatly in debt to both of you for your advice and the additional trouble he has caused you. Needless to say, no specific record of breakdown is required.” Irritation and disturbance vanished with her words, replaced by an obsequiousness not seen since the court of Versailles. The arrangements were made in accordance with the unusual--but completely understandable--demands of Monsieur Bourne and his esteemed adviser.
   A leather attaché case was provided by Monsieur Bourne for the bonds and the money; it would be carried by an armed courier who would leave the bank at 2:30 in the afternoon and meet Monsieur Bourne at 3:00 on the Pont Neuf. The distinguished client would identify himself with a small piece of leather cut from the shell of the case and which, when fitted in place, would prove to be the missing fragment Added to this would be the words: “Herr Koenig sends greeting from Zurich.”
   So much for the details. Except for one, which was made clear by Monsieur Bourne’s adviser.
   “We recognize that the demands of the fiche must be carried out to the letter, and fully expect Monsieur d’Amacourt to do so,” said Marie St. Jacques. “However, we also recognize that the timing can be advantageous to Monsieur Bourne, and would expect no less than that advantage. Were he not to have it, I’m afraid that I, as a certified--if for the present, anonymous--member of the International Banking Commission, would feel compelled to report certain aberrations of banking and legal procedures as I have witnessed them. I’m sure that won’t be necessary, we’re all very well paid, n’est-ce pas, monsieur?”
   “C’est vrai, madame! In banking and law ... indeed, as in life itself ... timing is everything. You have nothing to fear.”
   “I know,” said Marie.
   Bourne examined the grooves of the silencer, satisfied that he had removed the particles of dust and lint that had gathered with nonuse. He gave it a final, wrenching turn, depressed the magazine release and checked the clip. Six shells remained; he was ready. He shoved the weapon into his belt and buttoned his jacket.
   Marie had not seen him with the gun. She was sitting on the bed, her back to him, talking on the telephone with the Canadian Embassy attaché, Dennis Corbelier. Cigarette smoke curled up from an ashtray next to her notebook; she was writing down Corbelier’s information. When he had finished, she thanked him and hung up the phone. She remained motionless for two or three seconds, the pencil still in her hand.
   “He doesn’t know about Peter, she said, turning to Jason. “That’s odd.”
   “Very,” agreed Bourne. “I thought he’d be one of the first to know. You said they looked over Peter’s telephone logs; he’d placed a call to Paris, to Corbelier. You’d think someone would have followed up on it.”
   “I hadn’t even considered that. I was thinking about the newspapers, the wire services. Peter was ... was found eighteen hours ago, and regardless of how casual I may have sounded, he was an important man in the Canadian government. His death would be news in itself, his murder infinitely more so. ... It wasn’t reported.”
   “Call Ottawa tonight. Find out why.”
   “I will.”
   “What did Corbelier tell you?”
   “Oh, yes.” Marie shifted her eyes to the notebook. The license in rue Madeleine was meaningless, a car rented at De Gaulle Airport to a Jean-Pierre Larousse.”
   “John Smith,” interrupted Jason.
   “Exactly. He had better luck with the telephone number d’Amacourt gave you, but he can’t see what it could possibly have to do with anything. Neither can I, as a matter of fact.”
   “It’s that strange?”
   “I think so. It’s a private line belonging to a fashion house on Saint-Honoré. Les Classiques”
   “A fashion house? You mean a studio?”
   “I’m sure it’s got one, but it’s essentially an elegant dress shop. Like the House of Dior, or Givenchy. Haute couture. In the trade, Corbelier said, it’s known as the House of René. That’s Bergeron.”
   “Who?’
   “René Bergeron, a designer. He’s been around for years, always on the fringes of a major success.
   I know about him because my little lady back home copies his designs.”
   “Did you get the address?’
   Marie nodded. “Why didn’t Corbelier know about Peter? Why doesn’t everybody?”
   “Maybe you’ll learn when you call. It’s probably as simple as time zones; too late for the morning editions here in Paris. I’ll pick up the afternoon paper.” Bourne went to the closet for his topcoat, conscious of the hidden weight in his belt. “I’m going back to the bank. I’ll follow the courier to the Pont Neuf.” He put on the coat, aware that Marie was not listening. “I meant to ask you, do these fellows wear uniforms?”
   “Who?”
   “Bank couriers.”
   “That would account for the newspapers, not the wire services.”
   “I beg your pardon?”
   “The difference in time. The papers might not have picked it up, but the wire services would have known. And embassies have teletypes; they would have known about it. It wasn’t reported, Jason.”
   “You’ll call tonight,” he said. “I’m going.”
   “You asked about the couriers. Do they wear uniforms?”
   “I was curious.”
   “Most of the time, yes. They also drive armored vans, but I was specific about that. If a van was used it was to be parked a block from the bridge, the courier to proceed on foot.”
   “I heard you, but I wasn’t sure what you meant. Why?”
   “A bonded courier’s bad enough, but he’s necessary; bank insurance requires him. A van is simply too obvious; it could be followed too easily. You won’t change your mind and let me go with you?”
   “No.”
   “Believe me, nothing will go wrong; those two thieves wouldn’t permit it.”
   “Then there’s no reason for you to be there.”
   “You’re maddening.”
   “I’m in a hurry.”
   “I know. And you move faster without me.” Marie got up and came to him. “I do understand.” She leaned into him, kissing him on the lips, suddenly aware of the weapon in his belt. She looked into his eyes. “You are worried, aren’t you?”
   “Just cautious.” He smiled, touching her chin. “It’s an awful lot of money. It may have to keep us for a long time.”
   “I like the sound of that.”
   “The money?”
   “No. Us.” Marie frowned. “A safety deposit box.”
   “You keep talking in non sequiturs.”
   “You can’t leave negotiable certificates worth over a million dollars in a Paris hotel room. You’ve got to get a deposit box.”
   “We can do it tomorrow.” He released her, turning for the door. “While I’m out, look up Les Classiques in the phone book and call the regular number. Find out how late it’s open.” He left quickly.

   Bourne sat in the back seat of a stationary taxi, watching the front of the bank through the windshield. The driver was humming an unrecognizable tune, reading a newspaper, content with the fifty-franc note he had received in advance. The cab’s motor, however, was running, the passenger had insisted upon that.
   The armored van loomed in the right rear window, its radio antenna shooting up from the center of the roof like a tapered bowsprit. It parked in a space reserved for authorized vehicles directly in front of Jason’s taxi. Two small red lights appeared above the circle of bulletproof glass in the rear door. The alarm system had been activated.
   Bourne leaned forward, his eyes on the uniformed man who climbed out of the side door and threaded his way through the crowds on the pavement toward the entrance of the bank. He felt a sense of relief, the man was not one of the three well-dressed men who had come to the Valois yesterday.
   Fifteen minutes later the courier emerged from the bank, the leather attaché case in his left hand, his right covering an unlatched holster. The jagged rip on the side of the case could be seen clearly.
   Jason felt the fragment of leather in his ‘shirt pocket; if nothing else it was the primitive combination that made a life beyond Paris, beyond Carlos, possible. If there was such a life and he could accept it without the terrible labyrinth from which he could find no escape.
   But it was more than that. In a manmade labyrinth one kept moving, running, careening off walls, the contact itself a form of progress, if only blind. His personal labyrinth had no walls, no defined corridors through which to race. Only space, and swirling mists in the darkness that he saw so clearly when he opened his eyes at night and felt the sweat pouring down his face. Why was it always space and darkness and high winds? Why was he always plummeting through the air at night? A parachute. Why? Then other words came to him; he had no idea where they were from, but they were there and he heard them.
   What’s left when your memory’s gone? And your identity, Mr. Smith?
   Stop it!
   The armored van swung into the traffic on rue Madeleine. Bourne tapped the driver on the shoulder. “Follow that truck, but keep at least two cars between us,” he said in French.
   The driver turned, alarmed. “I think you have the wrong taxi, monsieur. Take back your money.”
   “I’m with the armored-car company, you imbecile. It’s a special assignment.”
   “Regrets, monsieur. We will not lose it”
   The driver plunged diagonally forward into the combat of traffic. The van took the quickest route to the Seine, going down sidestreets. Turning left on the Quai de la Rapée toward the Pont Neuf. Then, within what Jason judged to be three or four blocks of the bridge, it slowed down, hugging the curb as if the courier had decided he was too early for his appointment. But, if anything, Bourne thought, he was running late. It was six minutes to three, barely enough time for the man to park and walk the one prescribed block to the bridge. Then why had the van slowed down? Slowed down? No, it had stopped; it wasn’t moving! Why? The traffic? ...
   Good God, of course--the traffic!
   “Stop here,” said Bourne to the driver. “Pull over to the curb. Quickly!”
   “What is it, monsieur?”
   “You’re a very fortunate man,” said Jason. “My company is willing to pay you an additional one hundred francs if you simply go to the front window of that van and say a few words to the driver.”
   “What, monsieur?”
   “Frankly, we’re testing him. He’s new. Do you want the hundred?”
   “I just go to the window and say a few words?”
   “That’s all. Five seconds at the most, then you can go back to your taxi and drive off.”
   “There’s no trouble? I don’t want trouble.”
   “My firm’s among the most respectable in France. You’ve seen our trucks everywhere.”
   “I don’t know ...”
   “Forget it!” Bourne reached for the door handle. “What are the words?” Jason held out the hundred francs. “Just these: ‘Herr Koenig. Greetings from Zurich.’ Can you remember those?”
   “ ‘Koenig. Greetings from Zurich.’ What’s so difficult?”
   “You? Behind me?”
   “That’s right.” They walked rapidly toward the van, hugging the right side of their small alley in the traffic as cars and trucks passed them in starts and stops on their left. The van was Carlos! trap, thought Bourne. The assassin had bought his way into the ranks of the armed couriers. A single name and a rendezvous revealed over a monitored radio frequency could bring an underpaid messenger a great deal of money. Bourne. Pont Neuf. So simple. This particular courier was less concerned with being prompt. than in making sure the soldiers of Carlos reached the Pont Neuf in time. Paris traffic was notorious; anyone could be late. Jason stopped the taxi driver, holding in his hand four additional two-hundred franc notes; the man’s eyes were riveted on them.
   “Monsieur?”
   “My company’s going to be very generous. This man must be disciplined for gross infractions.”
   “What, monsieur?”
   “After you say ‘Herr Koenig. Greetings from Zurich,’ simply add, ‘The schedule’s changed.
   There’s a fare in my taxi who must see you.’ Have you got that?”
   The driver’s eyes returned to the franc notes. “What’s difficult?” He took the money.
   They edged their way along the side of the van, Jason’s back pressed against the wall of steel, his right hand concealed beneath his topcoat, gripping the gun in his belt. The driver approached the window and reached up, tapping the glass.
   “You inside! Herr Koenig! Greetings from Zurich!” he yelled.
   The window was rolled down, no more than an inch or two. “What is this?” a voice yelled back.
   “You’re supposed to be at the Pont Neuf, monsieur!”
   The driver was no idiot; he was also anxious to leave as rapidly as possible. “Not me, you jackass!” he shouted through the din of the surrounding, perilously close traffic. “I’m telling you what I was told to say! The schedule’s been changed. There’s a man back there who says he has to see you!”
   “Tell him to hurry,” said Jason, holding a final fifty-franc note in his hand, beyond sight of the window.
   The driver glanced at the money, then back up at the courier. “Be quick about it! If you don’t see him right away you’ll lose your job!”
   “Now, get out of here!” said Bourne. The driver turned and ran past Jason, grabbing the franc note as he raced back to his taxi.
   Bourne held his place, suddenly alarmed by what he heard through the cacophony of pounding horns and gunning engines in the crowded street. There were voices from inside the van, not one man shouting into a radio, but two shouting at each other. The courier was not alone; there was another man with him.
   “Those were the words. You heard them.”
   “He was to come up to you. He was to show himself.”
   “Which he will do. And present the piece of leather, which must fit exactly! Do you expect him to do that in the middle of a street filled with traffic?”
   “I don’t like it!”
   “You paid me to help you and your people find someone. Not to lose my job. I’m going!”
   “It must be the Pont Neuf!”
   “Kiss my ass!”
   There was the sound of heavy footsteps on the metal floorboards. “I’m coming with you!” The panel door opened; Jason spun behind it, his hand still under his coat. Below him a child’s face was pressed against the glass of a car window, the eyes squinting, the young features contorted into an ugly mask, fright and insult the childish intent. The swelling sound of angry horns, blaring in counterpoint, filled the street; the traffic had come to a standstill.
   The courier stepped off the metal ledge, the attaché case in his left hand. Bourne was ready; the instant the courier was on the street, he slammed the panel back into the body of the second man, crashing the heavy steel into a descending kneecap and an outstretched hand. The man screamed, reeling backward inside the van. Jason shouted at the courier, the jagged scrap of leather in his free hand.
   “I’m Bourne! Here’s your fragment! And you keep that gun in its holster or you won’t just lose your job, you’ll lose your life, you son of a bitch!”
   “I meant no harm, monsieur! They wanted to find you! They have no interest in your delivery, you have my word on it!”
   The door crashed open; Jason slammed it again with his shoulder, then pulled it back to see the face of Carlos’ soldier, his hand on the weapon in his belt.
   What he saw was the barrel of a gun, the black orifice of its opening staring him in the eyes. He spun back, aware that the split-second delay in the gunshot that followed was caused by the burst of a shrill ringing that exploded out of the armored van. The alarm had been tripped, the sound deafening, riding over the dissonance in the street; the gunshot seemed muted by comparison, the eruption of asphalt below not heard.
   Once more Jason hammered the panel. He heard the impact of metal against metal; he had made contact with the gun of Carlos’ soldier. He pulled his own from his belt, dropped to his knees in the street, and pulled the door open.
   He saw the face from Zurich, the killer they had called Johann, the man they had brought to Paris to recognize him. Bourne fired twice; the man arched backward, blood spreading across his forehead.
   The courier! The attaché case!
   Jason saw the man; he had ducked below the tailgate for protection, his weapon in his hand, screaming for help. Bourne leaped to his feet and lunged for the extended gun, gripping the barrel, twisting it out of the courier’s hand. He grabbed the attaché case and shouted.
   “No harm, right? Give me that, you bastard!” He threw the man’s gun under the van, got up and plunged into the hysterical crowds on the pavement.
   He ran wildly, blindly, the bodies in front of him the movable walls of his labyrinth. But there was– an essential difference between this gauntlet and one he lived in every day. There was no darkness; the afternoon sun was bright, as blinding as his race through the labyrinth.
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14
   “Everything is here,” said Marie. She had collated the certificates by denominations, the stacks and the franc notes on the desk. “I told you it would be.”
   “It almost wasn’t.”
   “What?”
   The man they called Johann, the one from Zurich. He’s dead. I killed him.”
   “Jason, what happened?”
   He told her. “They counted on the Pont Neuf,” he said. “My guess is that the backup car got caught in traffic, broke into the courier’s radio frequency, and told them to delay. I’m sure of it.”
   “Oh God, they’re everywhere!”
   “But they don’t know where I am,” said Bourne, looking into the mirror above the bureau, studying his blond hair while putting on the tortoise-shell glasses. “And the last place they’d expect to find me at this moment--if they conceivably thought I knew about it--would be a fashion house on Saint-Honoré.”
   “Les Classiques?” asked Marie, astonished.
   “That’s right. Did you call it!”
   “Yes, but that’s insane!”
   “Why?” Jason turned from the mirror. -Think about it. Twenty minutes ago their trap fell apart; there’s got to be confusion, recriminations, accusations of incompetency, or worse. Right now, at this moment, they’re more concerned with each other than with me; nobody wants a bullet in his throat. It won’t last long, they’ll regroup quickly, Carlos will make sure of that. But during the next hour or so, while they’re trying to piece together what happened, the one place they won’t look for me is a relay-drop they haven’t the vaguest idea I’m aware of.”
   “Someone will recognize you!”
   “Who? They brought in a man from Zurich to do that and he’s dead. They’re not sure what I look like.”
   “The courier. They’ll take him; he saw you.”
   “For the next few hours he’ll be busy with the police.”
   “D’Amacourt. The lawyer!”
   “I suspect they’re halfway to Normandy or Marseilles or, if they’re lucky, out of the country.”
   “Suppose they’re stopped, caught?”
   “Suppose they are? Do you think Carlos would expose a drop where he gets messages? Not on your life. Or his.”
   “Jason, I’m frightened.”
   “So am I. But not of being recognized.” Bourne returned to the mirror. “I could give a long dissertation about facial classifications, and softened features, but I won’t.”
   “You’re talking about the evidences of surgery. Port Noir. You told me.”
   “Not all of it.” Bourne leaned against the bureau, staring at his face. “What color are my eyes?”
   “What?”
   “No, don’t look at me. Now, tell me, what color are my eyes? Yours are brown with speckles of green; what about mine?”
   “Blue ... bluish. Or a kind of gray, really ...” Marie stopped. “I’m not really sure. I suppose that’s dreadful of me.”
   “It’s perfectly natural. Basically they’re hazel, but not all the time. Even I’ve noticed it When I wear a blue shirt or tie, they become bluer, a brown coat or jacket, they’re gray. When I’m naked, they’re strangely nondescript.”
   “That’s not so strange. I’m sure millions of people are the same.”
   “I’m sure they are. But how many of them wear contact lenses when their eyesight is normal?”
   “Contact--“
   “That’s what I said,” interrupted Jason. “Certain types of contact lenses are worn to change the color of the eyes. They’re most effective when the eyes are hazel. When Washburn first examined me there was evidence of prolonged usage. It’s one of the clues, isn
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