The light inside was dim, like a child's nightlight, shadowy after the bright passage outside. There was a tent in the room, greyish-white, guy ropes tied to pieces of furniture: and standing by the tent, hurrying to unfasten the entrance, to go for his hostage, stood Giuseppe-Peter.

He whirled round as we went in.

He too held a gun.

He aimed straight in our direction, and fired twice. I felt a fierce sting as one bullet seared across the skin high on my left arm, and heard the second one fizz past my ear… and Kent without hesitation shot him.

He fell flat on his back from the force of it, and I went over to him, dropping to my knees.

It was Kent who opened the tent and went in for Morgan Freemantle. I heard the Senior Steward's slow sleepy voice, and Kent coming and saying the victim was doped to the eyeballs and totally unclothed, but otherwise unharmed.

I was trying with no success at all to wad a handful of folded tent against my enemy's neck, to stop the scarlet fountain spurting there. The bullet had torn too much away; left nothing to be done.

His eyes were open, but unfocused.

He said in Italian, 'Is it you?'

'Yes,' I said, in his tongue.

The pupils slowly sharpened, the gaze steadying on my face.

'I couldn't know,' he said. 'How could I have known… what you were…'

I knelt there trying to save his life.

He said, 'I should have killed you then… in Bologna… when you saw me… I should have put my knife… into… that Spanish… chauffeur.'

'Yes,' I said again. 'You should.'

He gave me a last dark look, not admitting defeat, not giving an inch. I watched him with unexpected regret. Watched him until the consciousness went out of his eyes, and they were simply open but seeing nothing.

The End

This file was created with BookDesigner program 16.03.2010
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