Bearpit by Brian Freemantle Read Free Book Online Page A

Book: Bearpit by Brian Freemantle Read Free Book Online
Authors: Brian Freemantle
protectors as much help as possible identifying any pursuit Levin went further westwards on 45th, turning to complete the square on Park and skirting the overpowering PanAm building to regain 42nd Street. At the corner with Lexington, near the Grand Central Station complex and its rash of beer-crate and orange-box shoeshine vendors, he felt a presence to his right. A voice said: ‘The Hyatt bar. Not the garden.’
    Levin showed no reaction, nor did he attempt to locate the person who gave the instruction, going instead immediately to his left into the waterfall-dominated foyer of the hotel built over the station. As he ascended the escalator to the mid-floor level Levin acknowledged the wisdom of the choice: it was huge and open plan, a human anthill of a place where the FBI could undetectably position as many watchers as they wanted without their becoming the focus of any attention. He turned away from the registration area and went up the next set of steps to the higher level but shook his head against the captain’s smiled invitation to be seated in the frond and flower bedecked garden area overhanging the street, going instead to the squared bar and carefully positioning himself with seats available either side. He paid at once and in cash for his whisky, not charging it to an accumulating tab; it was automatic not to involve himself in hindering delays in case he had to move with abrupt urgency.
    Levin didn’t react to the person settling to his left. The voice said: ‘Quite some place’, and Levin smiled sideways, nodding agreement to the most casual of casual conversations, knowing his control wanted it to seem a chance encounter to enable the protectors arranged unseen around them to make the final, positive check for any Russian surveillance.
    â€˜Very impressive,’ agreed Levin.
    â€˜I guess they recycle the water.’ David Proctor was a compact, hard-bodied man who constantly removed and then replaced his heavy horn-rimmed spectacles, as if he were ashamed of the physical frailty which made it necessary to wear them. The man had been appointed Levin’s control immediately upon the Russian’s first approach to the FBI: the circumstances had prevented their becoming anything like friends but from the odd remark Levin knew the American jogged most weekdays and worked out in a gymnasium on Saturdays and Sundays.
    â€˜I guess they do,’ agreed Levin.
    â€˜You put the frighteners into us, Yevgennie,’ said Proctor.
    Levin had not been conscious of the clearance being signalled to the other man by someone in the foyer and was glad; it proved they were professional and that he was well protected. He said: ‘I’m frightened myself.’
    â€˜What’s the problem?’
    â€˜I’m being recalled.’
    With the mixer straw Proctor eased the lemon peel from his martini and idly squeezed it back into the drink. ‘Didn’t expect that,’ he admitted.
    â€˜Neither did I,’ said Levin, waiting.
    â€˜This could be good, Yevgennie. Very good.’
    Levin’s response to the predictable suggestion that he continue spying from Moscow was immediate. ‘No,’ he refused.
    â€˜Why not?’
    â€˜A dozen reasons why not,’ said Levin, as forcefully as their surroundings would allow. ‘Working with you here, as I have done for the past year, is altogether different from working for you back in Moscow. And I wouldn’t anyway be working for you, would I? It would mean a transfer to the CIA: extending the knowledge of my identity to another agency and increasing the risk of detection. But that’s not my biggest fear: my biggest fear is that the recall at this time, ahead of when we both expected it, means there’s already some suspicion.’
    Trained as he was, Proctor was still unable to prevent the instinctive look beyond them into the vast foyer. He removed, polished and then replaced the spectacles and said:

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