فصل 09

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فصل 09

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CHAPTER NINE

Searching for Darby

Another phone call from Garcia. The man still wouldn’t talk. Why was he calling him before dawn on a Saturday? They’d had the same conversation every time - that he had to think about the safety of his wife and child, that he had seen something in his office - but there was never anything new.

Grantham had just gone back to sleep when the phone went again.

‘Hello?’ It was not Garcia this time; it was a female voice. ‘Is this Gray Grantham of the Washington Post? He must get an unlisted telephone number.

‘It is. And who are you?’

‘Are you still on the story about Rosenberg and Jensen?’

‘Yes.’

‘Have you heard of the Pelican Brief?’

‘The Pelican Brief. No. What is it?’

‘It contains a theory about who killed the judges. It was given to the FBI last Monday by a man called Thomas Callahan. Suddenly, on Wednesday, Callahan is killed by a car bomb.’

‘How do you know all this?’

‘I wrote the brief.’

He was wide awake now, listening hard. ‘Where are you?’

‘New Orleans.’

‘Are you in danger?’

‘I think so. But I’m OK for now. I’ll call you again soon. See if you can find out anything about the brief.’


She came early to Thomas’s funeral, and she would stay late. She found an empty room on the third floor of a student building that looked out over the university church. She sat with her face to the window and saw his parents and brother arrive. Students and staff came in twos and threes. She pressed a handkerchief to her eyes.

Then she saw him: it was the thin-faced man with glasses! He was wearing a coat and tie. He walked towards the church, looking carefully in every direction. First they kill him, then they come to his funeral.

Ten minutes later he came back out of the church. He looked sad, as if Thomas had been a friend. He put a cigarette in his mouth and walked past some parked cars and behind the church. Two minutes later, another man got out of one of the cars and followed him. The two of them reappeared after a minute, walking together now. Then Thin-face disappeared down the street while the other man, who was short, returned to his car and waited for the funeral service to finish.


The Cubans lowered the small rubber boat into the water from their ship. They heard the sound of the little engine as the man went west through the darkness towards the coast.

He would never use a commercial airline again; the photographs in Paris were embarrassing for a professional like himself, and his client was not pleased. Now he was going to have to do two jobs in a single month, which he had never done before. But this one would be easy - just a young woman.

In the hotel room in New Orleans, he spoke on the phone to a man calling himself Mr Snellen

‘Tell me about her,’ he said.

‘There are two photos in the briefcase.’

Khamel opened the case and took out the photos. ‘I’ve got them. She’s beautiful. It will almost be a pity to kill her.’

‘Yes. But all that red hair has gone. We found some hair on the floor of a hotel room. She has coloured it black.’

‘Where is she now?’

‘We don’t know. She has stopped using her cards to pay for things. She took out a lot of money from her bank, and since then she has disappeared. We think she’s still in New Orleans, though. Someone was in her apartment last night. We just missed them.

‘The bomb failed. We don’t expect you to fail.’


Gavin was tired. He had spent two nights searching the bars, and he was too old for these late nights. When the phone went, he was still asleep.

‘Gavin?’

‘Darby, is that you?’

‘Yes.’

‘Why haven’t you called before?’

‘That doesn’t matter now. You should know that they’re here, in New Orleans. I’ve seen two of them - a thin-faced man and a short man. They were at the funeral service yesterday.’

‘Where were you?’

‘Watching. How long will you be in town?’

‘Until we meet. When will that be?’

‘I don’t know yet. I’ll call again soon.’

The phone went dead. Gavin picked it up and threw it across his hotel room.

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