فصل 01

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فصل 01

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  • زمان مطالعه 10 دقیقه
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متن انگلیسی فصل

CHAPTER ONE

Three Bodies

The man who was waiting on the shore looked like a farmer. He wore the right kind of clothes, and his van, which was parked on the dirt road above the beach, was suitably covered in mud.

It was midnight on the first Monday in October, and for the next thirty minutes he had to wait there. He stared out to sea. He was alone, as he knew he would be; it was planned that way. This beach was always empty at this time of night. No cars drove along the dirt road.

The clouds were low and thick. It would be difficult to see the boat until it was close. That was planned as well.

After he had waited twenty minutes he heard the sound of a quiet engine from the water and then saw a black rubber boat, low in the water, approach the shore. The engine stopped when the boat was about thirty feet from the shore. The farmer looked around. There were no people, no cars.

He carefully put a cigarette in his mouth and started to smoke it. A man’s voice came from the boat on the water: ‘What kind of cigarette is that?’

‘Lucky Strike,’ the farmer answered.

Satisfied, the man in the boat asked, ‘Luke?’

‘Sam,’ replied the farmer. The man in the boat was Khamel, not Sam, and Luke knew it.

Luke had often heard of Khamel, but he was not sure that they had met before. Khamel had many names and many faces, and he spoke several languages. He was the most famous and most feared killer in the world. He was the best. At first, twenty years ago, he had killed for political reasons, but now he would kill anyone, anywhere, if the money was right.

Luke was excited. Khamel was going to be working in America. He wondered who was going to die. Whoever it was, the killing would be quick and clean, and there would be no clues.

At dawn, the stolen van stopped at a hotel in Georgetown, part of Washington, DC, the political capital of the United States of America. Khamel got out of the van without a word to Luke. They had not spoken throughout the journey, and Luke had been careful not to look at Khamel. He didn’t want to die; he didn’t want Khamel to think he could recognize him.

The room in the hotel was ready, of course. The curtains were tightly closed. The car keys were on the table. The gun was in a briefcase next to the bed.

He had received three million dollars already for this job. He would phone his bank in three hours to ask whether the next four million had arrived. While he waited, he practised his English in front of the mirror. The job would be over by midnight tonight, so another three million would reach his bank by midday tomorrow. By then he would be in Paris. It was satisfactory. He allowed himself a short sleep.


The Supreme Court is the highest court in the USA. It consists of nine judges, who hear only the most difficult cases in the country - those cases which might actually threaten the Constitution. Judges are appointed to the Supreme Court by the government, so a Republican government will try to get Republican judges appointed and a Democratic government will try to get Democrats appointed. Judges become members of the Supreme Court for life. They can retire if they want, but if not the job ends only with death. Judge Rosenberg was so old that he found it hard to stay awake sometimes, even during trials. He was a liberal, and proud of it. He defended the Indians, the homosexuals, the poor, the blacks, the Mexicans and the Puerto Ricans. Some people loved him for it, but more people hated him.

Throughout the summer there had been the usual number of messages threatening death to the judges of the Supreme Court, and as usual Rosenberg had received more than the others. The FBI had to behave as if the judges really were in danger, although they were threatened year after year and it was very rare for anything to happen. When it did, it was usually a single madman, whose daughter had died in a road accident or something. The political groups made a lot of noise, but it was easier for them to bomb buildings than people, and especially people who were as well guarded as the Supreme Court judges.

Rosenberg refused to have FBI guards in his own home; he had lived to be ninety-one and was not afraid of death. Judge Jensen had different reasons for not wanting guards in his house: he wanted to be able to come and go as he pleased. Both of them allowed the guards to wait outside, in cars or on foot, but they could enter the house only when they had permission.

A little after ten at night, when the house was dark and still, the door to a bedroom cupboard opened and Khamel came quietly out. He was dressed in running clothes. He had shaved off his beard and coloured his hair blond.

Silently, he went down the stairs. He knew there were two FBI men in a car that was parked on the road outside the front of the house; he knew there was another guard, Ferguson, walking around the house outside.

Rosenberg and his male nurse were asleep in the downstairs bedroom. Outside the door, Khamel fitted a silencer on to his gun. He stepped inside, put the gun to the head of the nurse and fired three times. The hands and legs jumped, but the eyes stayed closed, and there was no sound. Khamel quickly reached across to the grey old head of Judge Rosenberg and shot three bullets into it.

He watched the two bodies for a full minute, and then went out to the kitchen. He opened the back door, waited until Ferguson appeared in the back garden, and then called his name. He knew that the nurse often invited Ferguson in for a cup of coffee and something to eat.

Ferguson obediently came into the kitchen. Khamel fired three bullets into the back of his head and he fell loudly on to the table.

Khamel left the gun there and went out of the back door. As soon as he reached the road at the back of the house, he began running.

He was just another American, out for his nightly run.


In the dark of the Montrose Theatre, Glenn Jensen sat by himself and watched the men on the big screen in the front of the theatre. He was dressed in ordinary clothes - clothes that no one would remember - and wore dark glasses too. Nobody would know that he had been here. He came to this homosexual film theatre once or twice a week, and not even his FBI guards knew about it.

It was easy to get out of the house. There were several apartments in the building, and the two FBI men could watch only one entrance at a time. All he had to do was change his clothes and drive away in a friend’s car. He liked the Montrose because the films went on all night and there was never a crowd. Tonight there were only two old men, sitting together in the middle of the theatre and holding hands. Jensen watched their backs and wondered if he would be like them in twenty years. At forty-four, he was the youngest of the Supreme Court judges.

He was not a favourite of either the Republicans or the Democrats, but had been a safe appointment for the Republican President four years ago. He was not particularly liberal, except in cases involving homosexuals and those where industry threatened the environment. He usually tried to judge his cases according to their rights and wrongs, rather than any political opinions.

A fourth person entered the theatre where Jensen and the two old men were now enjoying a film in which several young men were in bed together. He wore tight jeans, a black shirt, an earring, dark glasses and a moustache. Khamel the homosexual. He smiled when he saw Jensen there. The information they had given him was good.

At 12:20 the old men left the theatre, arm in arm. Jensen did not look at them; he was too busy watching the film. Khamel moved like a cat to a seat behind Jensen. He pulled some rope from round his waist and wrapped the ends round his hands. He suddenly put the rope around the front of Jensen’s neck and pulled backwards and downwards. Jensen’s neck broke over the back of his seat. Just to make sure, Khamel twisted the rope until it bit deeply into Jensen’s neck and held it there for two minutes.

An hour later he was waiting at Dulles airport for his flight to Paris.

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