The Bourne Identity / Page 42

Page 42



'Into the sky?' asked Marie.

'Yes.'

'You've jumped from a plane," she said, making a statement.

Bourne turned. 'I never told you that"

"You talked about it in your sleep the other night You were sweating; your face was flushed and hot and I had to wipe it with a towel.'

'Why didn't you say anything?!

'I did, in a way. I asked you if you were a pilot, or if- flying bothered you. Especially at night.'

'I didn't know what you were talking about. Why didn't you press me?"

'I was afraid to. You were very close to hysterics, and I'm not trained in things like that. I can help you try to remember, but I can't deal with your unconscious. I don't think anyone should but a doctor.'

'A doctor? I was with a doctor for damn near six months.'

'From what you've said about him, I think another opinion is called for.'

'I don't!' he replied, confused by his own anger.

'Why not?! Marie got up from the bed. 'You need help, my darling. A psychiatrist might...'

'No!' He shouted in spite of himself, furious with himself. 'I won't do that. I can't.'

'Please, tell me why?' she asked calmly, standing in front of him.

'I...I...can't do it'

'Just tell me why, that's all.!

Bourne stared at her, then turned and looked out of the window again, his hands on the sill again. 'Because I'm afraid. Someone lied, and I was grateful for that more than I can tell you. But suppose there aren't any more lies, suppose the rest is true. What do I do then?

'Are you saying you don't want to find out?'

'Not that way.' He stood up and leaned against the window frame, his eyes still on the lights below. Try to understand me,' he said. 'I have to know certain things ... enough to make a decision ... but maybe not everything. A part of me has to be able to walk away, disappear. I have to be able to say to myself, what was isn't any longer, and there's a possibility that it never was because I have no memory of it What a person can't remember didn't exist ... for him.' He turned back to her. 'What I'm trying to tell you is that maybe it's better this way.'

"You want evidence, but not proof, is that what you're saying?'

'I want arrows pointing in one direction or the other, telling me whether to run or not to run."

Telling you. What about us?

"That'll come with the arrows, won't it? You know that.'

"Then let's find them,' she replied.

'Be careful. You may not be able to live with what's out there. I mean that.'

'I can live with you. And I mean that.' She reached up and touched his face. 'Come on. It's barely five o'clock in Ontario, and I can still reach Peter at the office. He can start the Tread-stone search ... and give us the name of someone here at the embassy who can help us if we need him.'

'You're going to tell Peter you're in Paris?!

'He'll know it anyway from the operator, but the call won't be traceable to this hotel. And don't worry, I'll keep everything "in-house", even casual. I came to Paris for a few days because my relatives in Lyons were simply too dull. He'll accept that.'

'Would he know someone at the embassy here?"

'Peter makes it a point to know someone everywhere. It's one of his more useful but less attractive traits.'

'Sounds like he will.' Bourne got their coats. 'After your call we'll have dinner. I think we could both use a drink.'

'Let's go past the bank on rue Madeleine. I want to see something.'

'What can you see at night?! 'A telephone TJOX. I hope there's one nearby." There was. Diagonally across the street from the entrance.

The tall blond man wearing tortoise-shell glasses checked his watch under the afternoon sun on the rue Madeleine. The pavements were crowded, the traffic in the street unreasonable, as most traffic was in Paris. He entered the telephone box and untangled the telephone which had been hanging free of its cradle, the line knotted. It was a courteous sign to the next would-be user that the phone was out of commission; it reduced the chance that the box would be occupied. It had worked.

He glanced at his watch again; the time span had begun. Marie inside the bank. She would call within the next few minutes. He took several coins from his pocket, put them on the ledge, and leaned against the glass panel, his eyes on the bank across the street. A cloud diminished the sunlight and he could see his reflection in the glass.. He approved of what he saw, recalling the startled reaction of a hairdresser in Montparnasse who had sequestered him in a curtained booth while performing the blond transformation. The cloud passed, the sunlight returned, and the telephone rang.

'It's you?' asked Marie St Jacques.

'It's me,' said Bourne.

'Make sure you get the name and the location of the office. And rough up your French. Mispronounce a few words so he knows you're American. Tell him you're not used to the telephones in Paris. Then do everything in sequence. I'll call you back in exactly five minutes."

'Clock's on.'

'What?'

'Nothing. I mean, let's go."

'All right... The clock is on. Good luck.!

Thanks.' Jason depressed the lever, released it, and dialled the number he had memorized.

'La Banque de Valois. Ban jour.'

'I need assistance,' said Bourne, continuing with the approximate words Marie had told him to use. 'I recently transferred sizeable funds from Switzerland on a pouch-courier basis. I'd like to know if they've cleared.'

'That would be our Foreign Services DeparI'ment, sir. I'll connect you.'

A click, then another female voice. 'Foreign Services.'

Jason repeated his request.

'May I have your name, please?'

'I'd prefer speaking with an officer of the bank before giving it.'

There was a pause on the line. 'Very well, sir. I'll switch you to the office of Vice-President d'Amacourt.'

Monsieur d'Amacourt's secretary was less accommodating, the bank officer's screening process activated, as Marie had predicted. So Bourne once more used Marie's words. 'I'm referring to a transfer from Zurich, from the Gememschaft

Bank on the Bahnhofstrasse, and I'm talking in the area of several figures. Monsieur d'Amacourt, if you please. I have very little time.'

It was not a secretary's place to be the cause of further delay. A perplexed first vice-president got on the line.

'May I help you?'

'Are you d'Amacourt?' asked Jason.

'I am Antoine d'Amacourt, yes. And who, may I ask, is calling?'

'Good! I should have been given your name in Zurich. I'll make certain next time certainly,' said Bourne, the redundancy intended, his accent American.

'I beg your pardon? Would you be more comfortable speaking English, monsieur?"

'Yes,' replied Jason, doing so. 'I'm having enough trouble with this damn phone.' He looked at his watch; he had less than two minutes. 'My name's Bourne, Jason Bourne, and eight days ago I transferred four million francs from the Gememschaft Bank in Zurich. They assured me the transaction would be confidential ...'


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