فصل 10

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فصل 10

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  • زمان مطالعه 5 دقیقه
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CHAPTER TEN

Another Body

The first thing she did when she woke up on Sunday morning was listen. Was the door opening? Was the floor outside making a noise? When she was sure she was safe, she thought about Thomas. She remembered their times together; she remembered how he loved her. It was a surprise for him, the first time he had really been in love. And she loved him too.

After a few minutes of thinking about Thomas, she thought about them. She had to think like them too, to stay alive. Where would they be today? Where could she go? Was it time to move hotels again? Yes. Did they know that she was now a blonde?

She felt hungry. She had hardly eaten for days. This hotel didn’t do breakfast on Sundays, so she had to go out. She left by the back door, through the kitchen.

He saw her when she reached Burgundy Street. The hair was different, but she couldn’t change her long legs. He started to follow her.


Khamel was practising his English when the phone went. It was Sneller. ‘She’s here,’ he said. ‘One of our men saw her this morning. He chased her, but she noticed him and lost him in the football crowds.’

Khamel said, ‘So how am I supposed to find her, if your men can’t tell me where she’s staying?’

‘It might not matter,’ Sneller said. ‘There’s an FBI lawyer in town. The fool has been visiting bars and asking questions about her, spreading his name around. He’s asked anyone who knows her to contact him at his hotel, the Hilton. My men will continue trying to find the girl, and you can stay close to him. He’s in ‘Room 1909. He was Callahan’s best friend. She might call him.’


Gavin was lying on his bed, watching TV. It was eleven at night. He would wait until twelve and then try to sleep. He had decided to go home tomorrow if she didn’t call. He couldn’t find her. It wasn’t his fault: even taxi-drivers got lost in this city.

When the phone went, he switched the TV off and picked it up.

‘It’s me, Gavin,’ she said.

‘You’re alive,’ he said.

‘Yes, but I was followed today. It was the short man.’

‘Did he follow you from somewhere?’

No, he just happened to see me in the streets.’

‘Listen, Darby, I can’t wait here any more. I’ve got a job to go back to. I want to leave New Orleans tomorrow, and I want you to come with me. I’ll have three men guarding you, and you’ll be safe. You can tell us all you know, and then the FBI will finish the job.’

Darby thought for a minute. ‘All right. Behind your hotel there’s a shopping area called Riverwalk.’

‘I know it.’

‘Good. Find a shop called Frenchmen’s Bend and be there, at the back of the shop, at midday tomorrow. I don’t know what you look like, so wear a black shirt and carry a newspaper.’

‘This is silly.’

‘No, it’s not. I’ve had to learn fast how to stay alive. Believe me, this is the way to do it.’

‘OK, you’re the boss.’

‘That’s right. Only you and I will leave the city. I don’t want anyone else knowing about this. Do you understand?’

‘All right.’

‘How tall are you?’

‘About five feet, ten inches.’

‘And how much to you weigh?’

‘About a hundred kilos. I usually lie about it. I’m going to start doing some exercise.’

‘I’ll see you tomorrow, Gavin.’

‘I hope so.’

He put the phone down and smiled. ‘Great! At last!’ he said out loud. He went into the bathroom for a shower.

When he came out, the room was dark. Dark? But he had left the light on, hadn’t he? He started to walk over to the light switch.

The first blow caught him in the throat. He fell to his knees, which made the second blow easy. It landed like a rock on the back of his neck, and Gavin was dead.

Khamel switched on a light. He lifted up the body and put it on the bed. He turned the sound on the television up loud, opened his bag and took out a cheap gun. He held it to the right side of Gavin’s head and fired. Then he carefully put the gun in Gavin’s right hand and curled the fingers around it. It wouldn’t take a doctor very long to find out how Gavin had really died, but Khamel didn’t need very long -by the evening of the next day he would be out of the country.

He opened up the receiver of the telephone and took out the little microphone. He pulled the recorder out from under the bed. Finally, he checked that the cupboard where he had waited was clean. Then he left the room. No one had seen him enter, and no one saw him leave.

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