فصل 02

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فصل 02

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  • زمان مطالعه 12 دقیقه
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دانلود اپلیکیشن «زیبوک»

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Chapter two

Paraguay

Danilo was lying on a board with holes in it. Ropes through the holes and around his ankles, knees, waist, chest, and wrists held him tightly against it. A Brazilian doctor stepped into the room and pushed a needle into his arm. The drug ran into Danilo’s body.

Guy entered the room alone. “Hello, Patrick,” he said.

Danilo knew that his quiet life on Rua Tiradentes was finished. He wasn’t Danilo Silva now; he was Patrick again. For four years, he’d wondered how he’d feel if they caught him. Now he knew. He was extremely frightened.

“Can you hear me, Patrick?” Guy asked. “We know who you are. You’re Patrick Lanigan from Biloxi, Mississippi. You’re a lawyer. You have a wife and a daughter, age six. You’ve been missing now for over four years.”

“That’s me.”

“Tell me, Patrick, did you watch your own funeral?”

“Yes. I watched it.”

“Where did you hide after your funeral?”

“Here and there.”

“Where’s the money, Patrick?” Guy asked with a smile.

“What money?”

“The money you took with you.”

“Oh, that money,” Patrick said. Then he lost consciousness.

More men entered the room. They cut his clothes off and shaved several parts of his body. Then they taped small metal plates to the shaved skin. Wires connected to the metal went across his body to a box in Guy’s hand.

Patrick told himself that they weren’t going to kill him. He’d imagined this situation a thousand times and prayed it would never happen. But he’d always known it would. He always knew they were out there, searching for him.

He closed his eyes, tried to breathe regularly, and struggled to control his thoughts. “I don’t know where the money is. I don’t know where the money is,” he repeated silently.

Until today, he’d called Eva every day between 4 P.M. and 6 P.M., so he knew that she’d moved the money by now - that it was safely hidden. He didn’t know where it was. But would they believe him?

The doctor returned and pushed another needle into his arm. “Where’s the money, Patrick?” Guy asked.

“I don’t have any money,” Patrick replied.

“You will tell me, Patrick. You can do it now, or you can do it ten hours from now when you’re half-dead.”

“I don’t want to die, OK?” Patrick said, his eyes filled with fear. “They won’t kill me,” he told himself.

Guy held the box close to Patrick’s face. “See this?” he said. “When I push this lever, electricity will pass through the wires to the metal plates on your skin. Now, where’s the money?”

“I don’t know. I swear.”

Guy pushed the lever and electricity shot through Patrick’s body, burning his skin. He closed his eyes and mouth tightly, making an effort not to scream. But he stopped trying after a second and screamed loudly.

“Tell me where the money is, and you’ll leave this room alive. We’ll take you back to Ponta Pora. We won’t tell the FBI.” Guy paused. “If, however, you refuse to tell me where the money is, then you’ll never leave this room alive. Do you understand, Patrick?”

“Yes. I swear I don’t know. If I knew, I’d tell you.” Guy pushed the lever down. “I don’t know!” Patrick screamed in pain. “I swear I don’t know.”

Guy waited a few seconds for Patrick to recover. Then he asked calmly, “Where’s the money?”

“I don’t know!” Patrick’s screams filled the house.

They left him alone for a few minutes to suffer and think about what would happen next. His skin was red from the heat and electricity. Blood ran from under the tape on his chest, where the metal was burning into his flesh. The ropes around his wrists and ankles had rubbed away his skin.

Then Guy returned alone and sat on a chair next to Patrick. “Where were you during the funeral?” he asked.

Patrick relaxed a little. Finally, there was a question that wasn’t about money. Maybe if he cooperated, they wouldn’t torture him again.

“I was hiding in Biloxi,” he said.

“Of course. And you watched your own funeral.”

“Yes. I was in a tree.”

“Where did you go after the funeral?” Guy asked.

“To Mobile, Alabama.”

“You changed your appearance.”

“Yes. I shaved my beard, colored my hair, and lost thirty kilos,” Patrick explained.

“Did you study a language?”

“I studied Portuguese.”

“So, you knew you were coming to Brazil.”

“Yes. I thought Brazil would be a good place to hide.”

“You became Danilo Silva,” Guy said.

“Yes.”

“And you went to Sao Paulo. Tell me what you did there.”

“There are twenty million people there. A wonderful place to hide. I hired a teacher and learned to speak Portuguese very well. I lost more weight. I moved a lot.”

“What did you do with the money?”

Patrick paused. Why did they have to keep asking about the money? “What money?” he asked.

“The ninety million dollars you stole from your law firm and its client.”

“I told you. You have the wrong guy.”

Guy shouted and the other Americans rushed in. The Brazilian doctor pushed another needle roughly into Patrick’s arm and left. The tape recorder was turned on. Guy stood, ready to move the lever if Patrick didn’t talk.

“The money arrived by wire to your law firm’s bank account in Nassau on March 26, 1992 - forty-five days after your “death.” You were there, Patrick, pretending to be someone else. We have photos taken by the bank’s hidden camera. A short time after the money arrived, it was gone - sent by wire to a bank in Malta. You stole it, Patrick. Now, where is it? Tell me, and you’ll live.”

Patrick looked at Guy, then at the lever, and closed his eyes tightly. “I swear I don’t know what you’re talking about,” he said.

“Patrick, Patrick - “ Guy pushed the lever down. Patrick’s scream was so loud and terrible that Osmar and the Brazilians in the yard stopped their conversation. A hundred meters away, a Brazilian guarding the house offered a prayer.


The apartment in Curitiba was near the airport. Eva told the taxi driver to wait while she went inside. She knew exactly what to do. She went to the locked file cabinet, opened the three drawers, took out the financial records, and put them in a suitcase to take with her. Danilo couldn’t know where his papers were. Then she quickly left and was driven to a small hotel downtown.

In her room she unpacked her small fax machine and connected it to the phone line. The Asian and Zurich banks were open now. Soon the bed was covered with sheets of instructions to move the money.

She was tired, but she couldn’t sleep. Danilo had said they’d come looking for her. She couldn’t go home. Her thoughts weren’t on money, but on him. Was he alive? If so, how much was he suffering? How much had he told them? She wiped her eyes and began to arrange the papers. There was no time for tears.

In the morning, Eva called her father. He knew from her voice that something was wrong, but she said she was safe. A client in Europe suddenly needed her for two weeks. Next, she called her law firm partner and her secretary, telling them she was needed in Germany immediately.

Eva thought about the many possibilities they’d discussed. Maybe Danilo was still alive somewhere. He’d said they couldn’t afford to kill him; without him they’d never find the money. If the American government found him first, they’d take him back to the US. If the others found him, they’d torture him until he told them where the money was. Maybe he’d talked; maybe he’d mentioned her name.

She flew to Buenos Aires. Then she got out her new passport, the one Danilo had helped her get a year ago. She was Leah Pires now From Buenos Aires she flew to New York and then to Zurich.

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