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Madame Trignon did not understand, but her shrill objections were stilled by a shriller Monsieur Trignon. There, you see,' said the bookkeeper, coming away from the letterbox, the strings of hair on his bald scalp matted with sweat. There's no reason to go anywhere. What's a few minutes of a man's life? The television shows will be repeated in a month or two . . . Now, what in God's name is this, Monsieur? My books are immaculate, totally immaculate! Of course, 1 cannot be responsible for the accountant's work. That's a separate firm, he's a separate firm. Frankly, I've never liked him; he swears a -great deal, if you know what I mean. But then, who am 1 to say?' Trignon's hands were held out palms up, his face pinched " in an obsequious smile.

To begin with,' said Bourne, dismissing the protestations, 'do not leave the city limits of Paris. If for any reason, personal or professional, you are called upon to do so, notify us. Frankly, it will not be permitted. '

'Surely you're joking, Monsieur 1'

'Surely I'm not. '

'I have no reason to leave Paris - nor the money to do so -but to say such a thing to me is unbelievable. What have I done?'

The Bureau will sequester your books in the morning. Be prepared. '

'Sequester . . . For what cause? Prepared for what?'

'Payments to so-called suppliers whose invoices are fraudulent. The merchandise was never received - was never meant to be received - the payments, instead, routed to a bank in Zurich. '

'Zurich? I don't know what you're talking about! I've prepared no cheques for Zurich. '

'Not directly, we know that. But how easy it was for you to prepare them for nonexistent firms, the monies paid, then wired to Zurich. "

'Every invoice is initialled by Madame Lavier! I pay nothing on my own! *

Jason paused, frowning. 'Now it's you who are joking,* he said.

'On my word! It's the house policy. Ask anyone! Les Classiques does not pay a sou unless authorized by Madame. '

'What you're saying, then, is that you take your orders directly from her. '

'But naturally!'

'Whom does she take orders from?'

Trignon grinned. 'It is said from God, when not the other way round. Of course, that's a joke, Monsieur. '

'I trust you can be more serious. Who are the specific owners of Les Classiques?"

'It is a partnership, Monsieur. Madame Lavier has many wealthy friends; they have invested in her abilities. And, of course, the talents of Rend Bergeron. '

'Do these investors meet frequently? Do they suggest policy? Perhaps advocate firms with which to do business?'

'I wouldn't know. Monsieur. Naturally, everyone has friends. "

'We may have concentrated on the wrong people," interrupted Bourne. 'It's quite possible that you and Madame Lavier - as the two directly involved with day-to-day finances -are being used. "

'Used for what?"

'To funnel money into Zurich. To the account of one of the most vicious killers in Europe. "

Trignon convulsed, his large stomach quivering as he fell back against the wall. 'In the name of God, what are you saying!'

'Prepare yourselves. Especially you. You prepared the cheques, no one else. "

'Only upon approval! *

'Did you ever check the merchandise against the invoices?"

'It's not my job!'

'So, in essence you issued payments for supplies you never saw. '

'I never see anything! Only invoices that have been initialled. I pay only on those!'

'You'd better find every one. You and Madame Lavier had better start digging up every authorization in your files. Because the two of you - especially you - will face the charges. "

'Charges? What charges?"

For lack of a specific writ, let's call it accessory to multiple homicide. "

'Multiple. . . ?'

'Assassination. The account in Zurich belongs to the assassin known as Carlos. You. Pierre Trignon, and your current employer, Madame Jacqueline Lavier, are directly implicated in financing the most sought-after killer in Europe. Ilich Ramirez Sanchez. Alias Carlos. '

'Aughhhh! . . . " Trignon slid down to the foyer floor, his eyes in shock, his puffed features twisted out of shape. 'All afternoon . . . " be whispered. 'People running around, hysterical meetings in the aisles, looking at me strangely, passing my cubicle and turning their heads. Oh, my God. '

'If I were you, I wouldn't waste a moment. Morning will be here soon, and with it possibly the most difficult day of your life. " Jason walked to the outside door and stopped, his hand on the knob. 'It's not my place to advise you, but, if I were you, I'd reach Madame Lavier at once. Start preparing your joint defence, it may be all you have. A public execution is not out of the question. '

The chameleon opened the door and stepped outside, the cold night air whipping across his face.

Trap Carlos. Cain is for Charlie and Delta is for Cain.

False!

Find a number in New York. Find Treadstone. Find the meaning of a message. Find the sender.

Find Jason Bourne.

Sunlight burst through the stained-glass windows as the cleanshaven old man in the dated suit rushed down the aisle of the church in Neuilly-sur-Seine. The tall priest standing by the rack of novena candles watched him, struck by a feeling of familiarity. For a moment the cleric thought he had seen the man before, but could not place him. There had been a dishevelled beggar yesterday, about the same size, the same . . . No, this old man's shoes were shiny, his white hair combed neatly, and the clothes, although from another decade, were of good quality.

'Angelus Domini," said the old man as he parted the curtains of the confessional booth.

'Enough!' whispered the silhouetted figure behind the scrim. 'What have you learned in Saint-honore?"

'Little of substance, but respect for his methods. '

'Is there a pattern?"

'Random, it would appear. He selects people who know absolutely nothing and instigates chaos through them. I would suggest no further activity at Les Classiques. '

'Naturally,' agreed the silhouette. 'But what's his purpose?'

'Beyond the chaos?' asked the old man. 'I'd say it was to spread distrust among those who do know something. The Brielle woman used the words. She said the American told her to tell Lavier there was "a traitor" inside, a patently false statement. Which of them would dare? Last night was insane, as you know. The bookkeeper, Trignon, went crazy. Waiting until two in the morning outside Lavier's house, literally assaulting her when she returned from Brielle's hotel, screaming and crying in the street. '

'Lavier herself did not behave much better. She was barely in control when she called Pare Monceau; she was told not to call again. No one is to call there . . . ever again. Ever. '

'We received the word. The few of us who know the number have forgotten it. "

'Be sure you have. ' The silhouette moved suddenly; there was a ripple in the curtain. 'Of course to spread distrust! It follows chaos. There's no question about it now. He'll pick up the contacts, try to force information from them and, when one fails, throw him to the Americans and go on to the next. But he'll make the approaches alone; it's part of his ego. He is a madman. And obsessed. '



Tags: Robert Ludlum, Eric Van Lustbader Jason Bourne Thriller
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