فصل 03

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فصل 03

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  • زمان مطالعه 6 دقیقه
  • سطح خیلی ساده

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Chapter three

Return to North America

Mrs. Stephano was going crazy. Several neighbors had called about the FBI agents parked in front of their house. She didn’t care what her husband did at the office. She did, however, care a lot about what the neighbors might think.

She went to bed at midnight. At 3 A.M. the doorbell rang, and Jack, who had fallen asleep on the sofa, answered it. Four agents were there, and he quickly recognized Hamilton Jaynes, Assistant Director of the FBI.

The men went to Stephanos living room and sat down. Jaynes said, “We’re working on the Lanigan case. We’ve been informed that your people have him. Is this true?”

“No.” Stephano remained calm.

“I’m prepared to arrest you.”

“What for?” Stephano asked.

“Hiding a person wanted by the government. Lack of cooperation with the government’s investigation. We’ll include anything we need to. I just want to put you in jail; then we’ll arrest the rest of your firm and your clients. We’ll take care of the indictments later, depending on whether or not we get Lanigan. Do you understand?”

“Yes. I think so.”

“Where’s Lanigan?” Jaynes asked. “I want him. Now.”

Stephano thought for a moment. In these circumstances, cooperation sounded like good idea. If Patrick was given a choice of life in prison, he might make the money appear. “All right. Give me twenty-four hours, and I’ll give you Lanigan. And you stop threatening to arrest me.”

“Agreed. I need to know where to pick him up.”

“Send a plane to Asuncion, Paraguay.”

“He’d better be OK. If he has any marks on his body, you’ll be responsible.”

Jaynes and his agents left. Stephano called Guy. “Is he talking? What do you know?” he asked.

“A little. The money still exists. He doesn’t know where it is. It’s controlled by a woman in Rio, a lawyer. Osmar’s people in Rio are looking for her now”

“Stop whatever you’re doing,” Stephano instructed. “Get the doctor to take care of him and make him look good. Drive him to Asuncion as soon as possible. The FBI knows about us. Make sure he’s not hurt.”

“Not hurt? I’ve been trying to kill him for five hours.”

“Just do as I say. And find the woman.”

Guy told the men to give Patrick some water. They cut the ropes from his wrists and ankles and removed the wires, tape, and metal plates. The doctor treated the burns on his body and gave him drugs for the pain. Then they took him to the van, laid him on the back seat, and drove to the airport in Asuncion.

The next morning, they put him on a plane, and an Air Force doctor took possession of the prisoner. When the plane arrived at a Navy base outside San Juan, Puerto Rico, Patrick was taken to the base hospital. After almost four and a half years, he was back on US land.


Jack Stephano was arrested by the FBI in his Washington office and taken to Jaynes’s office. He swore Patrick had told them nothing about the money. When he was released, he went to a hotel and called Benny Aricia, the client whose ninety million dollars had been stolen. Sixty million dollars of that money was his; the other thirty million was for his lawyers - Bogan, Vitrano, and their partners in Patrick’s old law firm. But the money had disappeared before it reached Aricia’s account.

An hour later, Aricia and Stephano met at another hotel. “Am I going to be arrested?” Aricia asked.

“Probably not, but be careful.”

“Have you found the girl yet?”

“Not yet. Our people in Rio found her father, but he wouldn’t talk. Neither would her law firm. She’s out of town on business, they say.”

“What exactly did Patrick say?” Aricia asked.

“I haven’t heard the tape yet,” Stephano replied. “But according to Guy, he talked after five hours of torture. He said the money was all still there, hidden in various banks, but he doesn’t know which banks. The girl has control of the money. He told us her name. Guy’s men immediately called Rio, but she’d already disappeared.”

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