فصل 11

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فصل 11

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  • زمان مطالعه 6 دقیقه
  • سطح خیلی ساده

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CHAPTER ELEVEN

Riverwalk

Grantham couldn’t find out anything about the brief. Even Sarge hadn’t heard of it. When Darby’s call came through to his office on Monday morning he had nothing to tell her.

‘It doesn’t matter. I’ll tell you everything soon, I think. I don’t want to die without telling the world what I know. They’re following me here in New Orleans.’

‘Who?’

‘The same people who killed Rosenberg and Jensen. If you’ve read the report about Callahan’s death, you know about the white female the police want to talk to. That’s me. My name is Darby Shaw. Thomas Callahan was my teacher and my lover. I wrote the brief, gave it to him, he passed it on to the FBI, who took it to the White House, and you know what happened next. Are you recording this?’

‘I’m writing it down,’ Grantham said.

‘I’m going to leave New Orleans. I’ll call you from somewhere else tomorrow. Can you get a copy of the list of people who gave large amounts of money to help the President get elected?’

‘Easy; it’s public information. I’ll have it by the time you call.

‘Do you have a copy of the brief?’

‘No, but I remember it all.’

‘And you know who’s doing the killing?’

‘Yes, and as soon as I tell you, your life will be in danger too.’

‘Tell me now.’

‘Not so fast. I’ll call you tomorrow.’

After the phone conversation Grantham went in to see his boss, Smith Keen. He explained the situation to him. Keen was excited, but said, ‘Even if she tells us what’s in the brief, we can’t print the story; we’ll need an independent witness.’

‘I’m working on it,’ Grantham said, and told him about Garcia.

‘This is going to be big,’ Keen said. ‘This is going to put the

‘Post right back up at the top.’


She arrived on Riverwalk at eleven. She sat in a restaurant and nervously drank a coffee while watching the people pass. She didn’t see Thin-face or Shorty or anyone else she recognized. At 11:45 she got up and walked towards Frenchmen’s Bend. If he wasn’t there by 12:15 she would leave. But he was there, wearing the black shirt and carrying a newspaper. He looked nervous too. She liked that. At exactly twelve o’clock he walked into the shop and went to the back.

She came up behind him and said, ‘Gavin.’

He had practised Gavin’s voice for hours, but wasn’t sure he had it exactly right. He turned around quickly and said, ‘Darby.’ Then he pretended to cough. She wouldn’t expect the same voice from someone with a cold. ‘Let’s get out of here,’ he said.

‘Follow me,’ she said. Darby took his hand and led him out of the shop and towards the river.

‘Have you seen them?’ he asked.

‘No, but they’re around somewhere.’

‘Where are we going?’

‘Just come with me.’

‘You’re walking too fast, Darby. It will look strange to people. Let me make a phone call. I can have men here in ten minutes and then we’ll be safe.’ He was pleased with himself; he sounded just right.

‘No,’ she said, but she slowed down. They joined the queue for the riverboat Bayou Queen. ‘The boat will take us to where I’ve parked a car,’ she explained. ‘Then we get out of here fast.’

Khamel was uncomfortable; he was wearing a great many un-derclothes, so that he would look as fat as Verheek. But he could wait an hour until they were out of the city. And then . . . The man with the gun pushed his way through the queue. He had killed before, but never in such a public place. The queue was moving, but he was getting through it. The man and the woman were just about to step on to the boat when he reached them. He pulled the gun out of his pocket, held it to the man’s head and fired. He disappeared through the crowd.

Gavin was falling to the ground. Darby screamed and moved back in horror. ‘He’s got a gun!’ a woman shouted, and pointed at Gavin, who was on his hands and knees, with a small gun in his right hand. Blood poured from his nose and chin, and formed a small pool under his face. His head was hanging down until it nearly touched the ground. He was speaking some words in a language Darby didn’t recognize.

‘He’s Egyptian,’ someone in the crowd said.

He fell forward, dropping the gun into the water, and died in a widening pool of blood. Darby walked away as the crowd moved forwards to see the dead man, and two policemen started to push their way through.


She left Riverwalk after dark. She had bought new clothes and wore a new coat as well. She waved at a taxi.

‘How much to take me to Baton Rouge?’ she asked.

‘That’s a long way,’ the driver said. ‘You should go by bus or train.’

‘How much?’ she asked again.

‘One hundred and fifty dollars,’ the man said, after a moment’s thought.

‘Here’s two hundred,’ she said. ‘Get me there fast.’ Thomas had talked to her about his friend Gavin Verheek. She knew he wasn’t an Egyptian.

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