You could almost set it to music. Only trouble is, the punch line's missing. There's got to be more—too much money's involved. So who else is in on this? South Africa? I've told you everything I know. Volodin, the bastard, used me as part of his swindle. But now he's lost his nerve and run, disappeared, and left me to face—".
Back at the beginning? Of course. The usual percentage. But now—". He turned to stub out his cigarette. Think about it. A hundred million dollars U. That's starting to be real money, even for the USSR. Not even the czars ever managed to steal so much. Vance looked him over. Novosty was telling the story backward, inside out.
Those funds must be made to just vanish from London , then reappear anothe r place with no trail. I have already arranged for a bank, far away. After that the money can be returned, anonymously. What other solution is there? But I remember you always were a man who kept his word.
I can trust you. Besides, where else can I turn? I've already got all the fun I can handle. It was both bitter and sweet, contradictory sensations against his tongue.
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Just like Novosty's tale, part truth and part lie. Alex had no intention of returning the money, for chrisake. He was probably in the scam with Volodin. And now the hounds were baying. The main problem was, who were the hounds? Help me move it. And I'll even give you half the two million that was my commission. Just take it. Tax free.
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It's yours. You'll be set for life. All you have to do is arrange to transfer the money to another bank I will tell you. I have an account already waiting, everything, but I can't do it myself. They're too close to me. A million dollars, he thought. Christ, with that you could pay off the four hundred thousand mortgage on the boats, free and clear. You'd also be helping Alex out of a jam, and the man looked like he could use all the help he could get.
He stared out toward the encircling mountains, now swathed in fleecy clouds. The deal had too many unknowns. The whole point. If you ever started going with the highest bidder, you were a fool. Guys who did that didn't last in this business.
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There're plenty of other. That was when he absently glanced down at the early sun glinting off the windows of Athens. In the parking lot below, a tan, late-model Audi had just pulled in. He watched as it idled. More art lovers? Novosty took one look and stopped cold. Enjoy the women. Though I hear you like them better in the flesh.
And in the meantime, you should have this. Incidentally, it probably means nothing, but there's a corporate name there.
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I originally assumed it was KGB's cover. Who knows. The account at Narodny, everything. We can help each other, maybe more than you realize. Then he lifted out a folded page, blue. Nice mythic ring. From the old story. I realize that now. Of course The Daedalus Corporation does not exist. Vance was examining the sheet, an ice blue reflecting the early light. Almost luminous. Something about it was very strange. Then he massaged it with his fingertips. It wasn't paper. Instead it was some sort of synthetic composition, smooth like silicon.
Saying nothing, he turned away and extracted a booklet of hotel matches. He struck one, cupped it against the light wind, and with a quick motion touched the flame to the lower corner of the sheet.gopongmococent.ml
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The fire made no mark. So his hunch was right. The "paper" was heat resistant.
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When he held it up, to examine it against the early sun, he noticed there was a "watermark," ever so faint, an opaque symbol that covered the entire page. It was so large he hadn't seen it at first; it could have been reflections in the paper. He stared a second before he recognized—. Do you know where I'm headed this afternoon? But only in order to—". I just told you.
That was the original authorization. Nothing but paper. The final arrangements. I will be in touch. Vance watched as the black limo backed around and quickly headed toward the avenue.