Liz Forgan
Tony Garnett

Assignment - Bangkok by S. Aarons Edward


Assignment - Bangkok by S. Aarons Edward

Author:S., Aarons, Edward
Language: eng
Format: mobi
Published: 2013-03-20T07:00:00+00:00


17

“You look fine,” Kem said. “Tall, of course, but you can pass for a Chinese mixture anywhere up here. A man from Yunnan, perhaps, with Russian blood? No problem, Sam.” Kem paused. “At the temple, I inquired about the Muc Tong. The Sangha brothers were very helpful. But come, we must go.”

“What shall I pay the make-up man?”

“Nothing. He makes tarn boon—much merit—by helping the bhikkhus. He will say nothing. In any case, he is an acharn, a wizard, and the people are still superstitious and believe in phis, spirits, and wizardry. They will not bother an acharn."

They left the tenement by way of the rickety stairs to the alley. Two solid-looking men sat on the bottom steps, as if on guard, and they jumped up respectfully as Kem led the way. There was no sign of the two men in straw hats.

“I wish we could take a samlaw,” Kem said, “but it would not look right for a bhikkhu to ride that way.” He bobbed his bald head. “We must walk back to the hotel, but not too fast. I wish to meditate.”

“Flivver,” Durell said, “I don’t doubt your sincerity, but we have work to do.”

“I do the Lord Buddha’s work,” said the monk. His black eyes twinkled. “But sometimes the way is most mysterious.”

As they walked back to meet Benjie, Kem told him that the Muc Tong was everywhere. An alert had gone out for a tall American—Durell, obviously. There was also a police alarm throughout the city. Kem did not know if it was military or civil police. In the dark makeup and bushy brows put on by the acharn, Durell felt as if any of the hundreds of night passersby could see through the fraud. But no one looked at him twice. Now and then a woman gave Kem a quick wai, a smile, and hurried past. A police car hooted by, but did not slow or give the monk and the tall Chinese their attention.

Benjie, waiting nervously in the hotel room, was startled by Durell’s appearance. “Lordie, you’ve changed over for sure, Cajun. It’s a good job. There are plenty of mixes like you up in the mountains.”

“Did you get the dynamite?”

“It’s in the jeep, behind the hotel. But I think some security people followed me here. I’m nervous.”

“We’ll go out the back way.”

The jeep was parked in deep shadow under slender palm trees. The explosives were in a small wooden box in the back. Durell pried it open and examined the sticks and the detonator and battery quickly. Everything seemed in order.

“I hope it’s enough,” Benjie said. She looked pale and wan in the gloomy shadows behind the hotel.

“It will have to do.”

The exit from the parking lot came out on the main street fronting the hotel. Bicycles and cars flowed by in a steady stream. Lights shone in most of the back windows of the hotel, but some of the bamboo shades were drawn. The sweeping overhang of the Thai roof kept the upper windows in shadow.



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