فصل 02

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فصل 02

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دانلود اپلیکیشن «زیبوک»

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CHAPTER TWO

Truth or Lies?

The next morning, Silvia went to a garage near her apartment and unlocked her motorcycle. She didn’t see the well-dressed African man who was watching from his car.

Silvia moved quickly through the busy traffic. Looking in her mirror, she saw the large black car behind her. When she moved faster, the car moved faster, too. Soon it was very close to her.

Suddenly, the stoplight in front of her turned red. She rode through the light, but the car had to stop.

When she arrived at the U.N. building, she went to the interpreters’ restroom. She put her purse and coat in her locker. The cleaner smiled at her and said something in Portuguese. Silvia smiled back at him, then ran upstairs to her booth.

In a room near the main hall, the French Ambassador was speaking to fifteen other ambassadors and the Secretary-General.

“There are two rebel chiefs,” he said. “Xola is hiding in Africa. Kuman-Kuman is here in New York. They can’t stop Zuwanie from killing people in Matobo. The killing isn’t going to stop. So we want the U.N. to send Dr. Zuwanie to the International Criminal Court immediately.”

The American Ambassador looked worried. She turned to her assistant. “Get the interpreter,” she whispered.

The assistant found Silvia. “We need you for a few minutes,” he said, and Silvia followed him downstairs. “This is a private meeting.”

“We’d like you to interpret for both sides.”

“What language?” Silvia asked.

“It’s a meeting with the Matoban Ambassador. He’ll speak Ku.”

Silvia was surprised. She spoke the Matoban language, but she wasn’t the U.N. interpreter for Ku.

“What’s happening?” she asked.

The assistant spoke quietly. “The French want to send Zuwanie to the ICC for his crimes against his people.”

The Matoban Ambassador walked into the room with three other men. “This is my assistant, Marcus Matu,” he said in Ku, pointing to a tall, very thin man.

“President Zuwanie is a problem,” the American Ambassador said in English. Silvia interpreted her words into Ku.

“Dr. Zuwanie is our teacher,” the Matoban Ambassador replied in Ku. “The rebels - Kuman-Kuman and Ajene Xola - and their friends are the problem.”

“The United States doesn’t recognize the ICC,” the American Ambassador said angrily. “But we want President Zuwanie to leave Matobo. He can take a long vacation or spend time with his family. If he leaves, the French plan will fail. Tell him that.”

“You can tell him,” the Matoban Ambassador said in perfect English. “President Zuwanie will talk to the United Nations next Friday. He will promise to make changes to his government. The U.N. will not vote, and your problem will disappear.”

He and his men walked out of the room.

Silvia remembered the words from the night before: “The Teacher will never leave this room.” Edmond Zuwanie was “the Teacher.” Did somebody want to kill him in the U.N. building? She had to tell someone.

Later that day, Silvia sat in the U.N. Security Office with Chief Wu and Rory Robb.

“Why didn’t you call us last night?” Rory said.

“I was scared, so I went home,” Silvia replied.

“Did you see anyone?” Rory asked.

“No,” she answered, “but they saw me. I didn’t understand the words, but today the Matoban Ambassador called President Zuwanie ‘the Teacher.’ Zuwanie’s coming here on Friday.”

“Call the Secret Service,” Chief Wu said.

Secret Service Agent Dot Woods took the phone call. An hour later, she and Tobin Keller drove across New York to the U.N. building. Tobin’s bag was on the back seat of the car.

“Did you go home last night?” Dot asked. Tobin shook his head but didn’t speak. “I went to a party,” Dot said. “It was somebody’s birthday and I had to sing. You know I can’t -“

Tobin held up his hand. “Dot,” he said quietly. “Stop. You don’t have to talk.”

“OK.”

There were ten or twelve protesters outside the U.N. One man held a sign: “ZUWANIE MUST NOT SPEAK!”

At the door to the building, a U.N. policeman stopped Dot and Tobin. Dot gave him her gun and showed her security card.

“We’re Secret Service,” she said.

The policeman took the card and looked at it carefully. Then he typed their names into a computer.

“Secret Service!” Tobin said angrily. “Part of the United States government!”

Dot touched his arm. “He’s new, Tobin,” she said quietly.

The policeman picked up a phone. “You’re not in the United States now, you’re in the United Nations. Wait here. Somebody will meet you.”

Rory Robb came to the security gate and took them to Chief Wu’s office.

“Zuwanie arrives at 08:45 on Friday,” Dot said. “We’ll meet him at the airport and bring him here. He won’t go shopping, and he won’t visit the theater. He’ll speak to the U.N., and then he’ll leave. Why is he coming here?”

“The U.N. wants to take Mr. Zuwanie to the ICC,” Chief Wu replied. “He’s going to promise changes so they change their minds.”

“Tell me about the interpreter,” Tobin said, looking at a photo of Silvia.

“She was born in the United States,” Wu explained. “She spent most of her life in Africa and Europe. She studied in South Africa, France, and Spain. She has a British mother and a white African father. She’s worked in the U.N. for five years.”

Tobin and Dot went down to the U.N. entrance hall. Silvia was talking to another interpreter, and Tobin recognized her face from the photo.

He gave her his card. “Ms. Woods and I are with the Secret Service,” he said. “We protect heads of state at the U.N.”

“I don’t recognize you,” Silvia said.

“Our faces are easy to forget. That’s why we’re good at our jobs.”

Silvia smiled and pointed at Dot. “Is she guarding you?” she asked.

“Yes, ma’am,” Tobin replied.

“I’m not a head of state,” she said.

“I know,” he said. “What did you hear? If you hear the voice again, will you recognize it?”

“I don’t know. It was a whisper. Whispers change voices.”

“Do they?” Tobin asked.

“You study faces, I study voices.”

“You were in the interpreters’ booth at night. Why?” Tobin asked.

“There was a security problem and I left the building,” Silvia replied. “I went back later for my music bag.”

“And you heard two guys,” Tobin said slowly. “They were planning to kill somebody, and they were talking in Ku. Not many people speak Ku. You do.”

“You think I’m lying!” Silvia protested angrily.

“People lie all the time.”

“I don’t,” she said.

“What do you think about Zuwanie?” Tobin asked.

“I don’t like him.”

“Do you want him to die?”

“I want him to leave Matobo,” Silvia said quickly. “That’s different. I told the U.N. security officers so you can protect him. I’m not here to watch people die.”

“‘Here’?” Tobin asked.

“In the U.N. I believe in this place, not in guns and war. Listen - they saw me and I’m scared!”

“You don’t look scared,” Tobin said.

“You don’t know me,” Silvia said. “You don’t know what I feel. People don’t always cry when they feel sad. I’ll find another person to protect me.”

“I’m not your protector, ma’am,” Tobin said quietly. “I protect heads of state. I’m here to question you.”

Silvia gave Tobin his card and walked angrily away.

“What do you think?” Dot asked.

“She’s lying.”

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