فصل 04

مجموعه: جیسون بورن / کتاب: هویت بورن / فصل 4

فصل 04

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Chapter four

Following the Money

During the daylight hours, Marie arranged for clothes, meals, maps, and newspapers. She also drove the stolen car fifteen kilometers away and left it, returning by taxi. Bourne used the time for rest and exercise to strengthen his damaged body.

While they were together, they talked, shyly at first, with many pauses and silences. Looks passed between them, and quiet laughter, and slowly they began to feel comfortable with each other. Marie, Bourne learned, had first studied history, but had then realized that most of history was shaped by economic powers, and so her future as an economist was decided. Marie questioned Bourne, examining the little he knew, trying to explain the holes in his knowledge.

“When you read the newspapers,” she asked, “what’s familiar?”

“Almost everything - names, places, political relationships.”

“And when you look at the maps I’ve bought?”

“In some cases, I picture buildings, hotels, streets, faces. But the faces have no names.”

“Did you meet people? Are there faces in buildings, in hotels?”

“Streets,” he said, without thinking. “Quiet places. Dark places.”

“What did they talk about?”

“I don’t know. There aren’t any voices. There aren’t any words.”

“Treadstone. That’s your company, isn’t it?”

“It doesn’t mean anything. I couldn’t find it.”

“It could be apart of a company that buys other businesses secretly. Maybe you were working for American financial interests.”

“But the account - no money was leaving it. I was selling, not buying. And why would people be trying to kill me?”

“What comes into your mind when you think of money?” Marie asked.

Don’t do this! Don’t you understand? When I think of money, I think of killing.

“I don’t know,” Bourne said. “I’m tired. I want to sleep now.”

“You’re wrong, you know,” she said. “I’ve seen that look in your eyes, seeing things that may or may not be there - afraid that they are.”

“They have been,” he replied. “Explain the Steppdeckstrasse. Explain a fat man at the Drei Alpenhauser.”

“I can’t - but you can’t either. Find out, Jason. Find out.”

“Paris,” he said.

“Yes, Paris.” Marie stood up and walked across the room to him. Then she reached down and touched his face. “Thank you for my life,” she whispered.

“Thank you for mine,” he answered, and she climbed into the bed. He held her tight.

Days and nights passed.

“I’m going to Paris with you today,” Marie told him early one morning. “I can do things for you that you can’t do yourself. You don’t know enough about money and financial organizations. I do. And I have a position with the Canadian government, so I can get information - and protection. But at the first sign of violence, I’ll leave. I don’t want to become a problem for you.” There was a long silence. Finally, Bourne said, “Why are you doing this?”

“I believe in the man who almost died for me,” she answered. “I accept,” he said, reaching for her. “I shouldn’t, but I need that belief very badly.”

“I want to contact Peter, a friend of mine,” Marie said. “If there is a Treadstone Seventy-one in a big company somewhere, he’ll find out. I’ll phone from a payphone in Paris, and ask him to call me back.”

“And if he finds it? Do I contact the company?”

“Yes, very carefully and through another person - me, if you like. They haven’t contacted you in six months. All that money was left in Zurich, untouched. Have they walked away from you? Do they think you’ve become part of something illegal that would make them look guilty, too?”

“But whatever we learn about Treadstone,” Bourne said, “men are still trying to kill me, and I don’t know why. I have to know why someone named Carlos will pay for my corpse…” Marie stared at him in shock. “What did you just say?” she asked. “The name - Carlos?”

“That’s right.”

“In all this time, you’ve never talked about him.”

Bourne looked at her, trying to remember. She was right - he hadn’t. Why not? Had he tried to block the name from his mind? “Does Carlos mean something to you?”

“My God. You really don’t know,” Marie said, studying his eyes. “He’s an assassin, a man who’s been hunted for twenty years or more. He’s believed to be responsible for killing between fifty and sixty people, mostly politicians and army officers. No one knows what he looks like, but it’s said that he works from Paris.” Bourne felt a wave of coldness spread through his body.

After separate flights to Paris, they had an arrangement to meet in a small hotel. First, though, Bourne visited the Sorbonne library.

I read the newspapers. Six months ago, a man was killed. Those were the words of the fat man in Zurich.

Bourne counted back six months and collected newspapers for the ten weeks before that. Then he fingered through them quickly, page by page. Nothing. He returned the newspapers and took the ones for four and five months ago. More turning of pages… and then he found it.

AMBASSADEUR LELAND EST MORT A MARSEILLES!

He felt an explosion of pain hitting him between the eyes. His breathing stopped as he stared at the name. Leland. He knew it; he could picture the face. He read. American Ambassador Leland had been killed by a single shot from a high-powered gun. He had been in France asking the French government not to sell fighter planes to Africa and the Middle East. It was believed that he had been killed as a warning; the buyers and sellers of death were unhappy with his visit. The assassin was without doubt paid a lot of money.

Bourne closed his eyes. How could he know what he knew if he was not that assassin in Marseilles? He could not meet Marie now. She had been wrong, and his worst fears were real. He looked at the date of the newspaper. Thursday, August 26. Something was wrong. Washburn had told him, again and again, trying to help him remember: You were brought to my door on the morning of Tuesday, August 24… He was not in Marseilles on the twenty-sixth; he had not killed Leland!

Filled with happiness, he looked at his watch. It was time to find Marie. To reach her and hold her and tell her that there was hope.

In the room of their small hotel, Marie changed Bourne’s hair color from dark to fair and he put on thick brown glasses. They formed a plan, and then went to the bank where Bourne’s money was now sitting.

Marie went inside while Bourne stayed outside at a payphone. He rang the bank’s number and asked for Foreign Services. He gave his name, and the name of the bank in Zurich, and asked to speak to a bank official. He then explained to a Monsieur d’Amacourt that he needed to know whether the millions of francs had reached the bank.

“I am afraid,” d’Amacourt explained, “that I cannot give that kind of information to a stranger on the telephone. I suggest that you come to the bank. My office is on the ground floor.”

Bourne agreed to be there in half an hour, then ended the conversation. Seconds later, the telephone rang.

“His name’s d’Amacourt - ground floor office,” he told Marie.

“I’ll find it,” she said.

She was soon standing near the office. Would it happen? Was she right?

It happened. There was sudden activity as d’Amacourt’s secretary rushed into his office, returning seconds later to call a number and speak, reading from her notebook. Two minutes later, d’Amacourt appeared at his door, questioned the secretary and returned to his room, leaving the door open. Then another man arrived with a small black case and entered the room. A light appeared on the secretary’s telephone. D’Amacourt was making a call. Jason Bourne’s account had secret instructions with it. The phone call had been made.

From his position at the payphone, Bourne saw three men hurrying up the street to the bank - and one of them he had seen before. In Zurich.

Bourne phoned the bank again and explained that his plans had changed. He had to go to the airport and fly to London. Monsieur d’Amacourt should keep the account information in his office; Bourne would visit him the following day.

At the end of the working day, Marie pointed out d’Amacourt as he left the bank, then returned to the hotel. Bourne followed the banker to the door of a cafe and pulled him inside.

“Jason Bourne,” he introduced himself. “Your friends must be confused by now, racing around the airport and wondering if you’ve given them false information.”

D’Amacourt looked at him with fear in his eyes. “I know nothing. I only followed the instructions on the account.”

They sat down and Bourne ordered drinks. “Tell me,” he said.

“The instructions came from the Gemeinschaft Bank. I could lose my job if I talk to you.”

“You could lose your life if you don’t,” Bourne said. “Name your price.”

“You decide what value the information has to you. Your money came with special instructions, to be opened by me when the account-holder came for money. The instructions said that a telephone number should be called. But if I tell you more, you must think of another person who told you this. The information cannot come from me.”

“I know a man,” Bourne said, “a criminal at the Gemeinschaft. His name is Koenig.”

“I’ll remember that.” D’Amacourt wrote down a Paris telephone number. Then he added, “But there was another number before that - a number in New York. That had been cut out - only the area code was still there - and this one had been put in its place. How valuable are you finding my information?”

“The price could be five figures,” Bourne told him.

“Then I shall continue. I spoke to a woman, who gave me no name. She told me only that you were a dangerous man and must be kept in my office until a man arrived. He needed to see you. The man came and I told him that you had changed your plans. That’s all. Who are you, Monsieur?”

“Someone who must pay you a lot of money,” Bourne said thoughtfully. “So how, now, do we get our money?”

“There is a way - forms completed and your identity checked by a lawyer. I do not have the power to stop that. Of course, I would have to make the phone call, but maybe only after I had signed the other papers on my desk. I do know a suitable lawyer. He would cost 10,000 francs. I would want 50,000.”

“So the account in Zurich was opened with those special instructions,” Marie said thoughtfully. “That would be illegal in many countries, but some private European banks allow it. You probably knew that the instructions were there.”

“Put there by Treadstone Seventy-one,” Bourne agreed. “But someone was paid to change the telephone number. Koenig.”

“That’s a crime that could bring him ten years in a Swiss prison. He was paid a lot of money.”

“By Carlos,” Bourne said. Carlos… Why? What am I to him?

“I’ll phone the Canadian embassy and ask about the Paris telephone number that d’Amacourt used,” Marie said. “My friend Peter gave me the name of a man there, Dennis Corbelier.”

She called. Then they left the hotel so Marie could use a payphone to call Peter for information about Treadstone.

She came away from the phone, white and shaking.

Bourne took her in his arms. “What’s wrong?”

“I spoke to his boss,” Marie said faintly. “Peter’s dead! He had phone calls from Washington D.C. and New York. Then he went to meet someone at the airport. On the way, he was shot in the throat! Peter! Oh, what have I done?”

“You have done nothing.” Bourne could hardly breathe. “A bullet in the throat… It was Carlos.”

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