فصل 12

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فصل 12

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Chapter twelve

Fighting for life

Munro thought from the sound of Lappalainen’s voice that he was on the floor above. Virolainen had been hit in the leg. The shot had gone straight through. Munro took out his handkerchief and tied it round her leg. Then he pulled her further behind the boxes.

‘Stay here,’ he said quietly to her. ‘He can’t see you from where he is. I’m going to look for him.’

Munro moved around the boxes, keeping his head down and trying to get to the bottom of the stairs. Lappalainen knew that Munro did not have a gun. He would be feeling good about that. But Lappalainen was a businessman and a politician. He was probably not a gunman himself. Guns are dangerous. And Munro knew a lot of different ways of taking guns away from people.

Munro reached the bottom of the stairs and looked up. Lappalainen was not there. Looking along the factory floor Munro saw there were other stairs going up in different parts of the factory. Lappalainen might have come down one of these. He might already be on the ground floor looking for Munro. With his gun.

Munro moved round carefully and quietly. Suddenly he heard a sound behind him. He turned round quickly. Lappalainen was standing there, a gun in his hand. He smiled.

‘You have begun to make me rather angry,’ he said. Now you can show me where you have put Ms Virolainen and then I can send you both on your way.’ He waved his gun in the direction of the front of the factory.

Munro turned his back on Lappalainen and started walking. He walked slowly and he could hear Lappalainen following behind him. He wanted Lappalainen to push the gun into his back so that he would know where it was. He walked even more slowly. Lappalainen came right up behind him and Munro felt the hard metal press against him.

Immediately Munro’s hand flew up behind his back, knocking the gun upwards. As soon as he hit the gun, Munro started to turn, reaching up with both hands. Lappalainen fired a shot but it went into the air away from Munro. The two men fought. Munro was using both hands to hold the gun and to try and pull it away. Lappalainen was holding on with one hand and using the other to reach for Munro’s face and eyes.

Munro realised he was going to have to let go. He was in danger of Lappalainen seriously hurting his eyes. Suddenly Munro let go of the gun, put a hand on each of Lappalainen’s shoulders and crashed his head onto Lappalainen’s nose. The Finn screamed and the gun fell to the floor. His face was now red and blood was coming from his nose. Munro watched him carefully. Being angry would make Lappalainen stronger, but it would also make him careless. Suddenly he ran at Munro, screaming like an animal and throwing his fists at him. Munro stepped easily to one side and hit him on the side of the head. As Lappalainen went down on the floor, Munro picked up the gun and turned towards him.

Lappalainen was sitting where he had fallen with his back against one of the boxes. In one hand was a metal bottle. With the other hand he was taking the top off the bottle.

Munro stood and watched him.

‘Well, it all seems to be over,’ he said, looking up at Munro. ‘I don’t really like the thought of spending time in prison, you know. And I don’t like the thought of not being President either. So it’s really quite useful that my company has been so good at making poisons.’

‘No!’ shouted Munro, but he could do nothing. Lappalainen held up the metal bottle towards Munro and then drank what was inside.

Munro watched as Lappalainen’s face changed colour. The Finn reached up to his throat and a strange noise came out of his mouth. Then his body shook once and he stopped moving.

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