Drummer In the Dark

Drummer In the Dark by T. Davis Bunn Read Free Book Online

Book: Drummer In the Dark by T. Davis Bunn Read Free Book Online
Authors: T. Davis Bunn
Tags: Fiction
called, “Why are you interested in certain people and companies?”
    Again she had no choice but gape in reply. The young man expected nothing more. “You’re already in danger! There’s only one way to survive, are you hearing me, JackieH?”
    “Keep searching under your current internet address and find nothing. Then take on a second name with a different server system and use another name as both ID and payee.”
    She thought she detected an accent but couldn’t be certain. “Why?”
    “Use a secure phone for your hookups. Your home line is either tapped or will be soon. When you’re established, go to the website Trastevere.” He spelled it out. “Can you remember that?”
    “Who are you?”
    “This is
His shriek carried the strain of more than the present tempest. “Trastevere website. Leave me a message.” He paused for a moment, pressed the sunglasses up tight to his nose, continued, “Address it to the Boatman.”
    “Wait. I need to know—”
    But the young man revved the motor and blasted away, almost tumbling over the back of his seat in the takeoff. Jackie was left to the isolation of a confused and storm-tossed day.

    W YNN ARRIVED at Senator Trilling’s office still fuming over his meeting with Jackson Taylor. It did not help matters to find the ranking senator from California housed in chambers that were positively palatial compared to his own. “Congressman Bryant?”
    “That’s right.”
    “Kay Trilling. Are you alone?”
    “Is there a problem with that?”
    “As far as I’m concerned, no. But few people in elected office go anywhere around here by themselves.” Her tone was so clipped the words sounded razored. “There’s always the risk of being caught and compromised, or having the press claim you said something you can’t deny.”
    “Which means I’ve just made another beginner’s blunder.” Not bothering to keep the bitterness from his voice.
    She bobbed her head, perhaps to hide a smile. “This way, please.”
    Trilling was black, rail-thin, extremely well dressed, and tough. She led him into her private office, shut the door, and continued, “I miss Graham Hutchings terribly. Personally as well as politically. We were in a prayer group together. I don’t suppose you’d be interested in joining us.”
    “Excuse me?”
    “Never mind.” She gestured to her associate, a handsome silent man with the aquiline features of an Arab or North African. “This is Nabil Saad, an intern seconded to my office by the World Bank.”
    Evidently the senator commanded a more senior staff than a mere congressman. “I had the impression you wanted to speak to me about something urgent.”
    “That is correct. Hutchings and I were to have worked together on a Conference Committee. I don’t suppose you know anything about this.”
    “Not a thing.”
    Little worry lines invaded her polished image, creasing out from her mouth in rays of subsurface strain. “This is not good. The committee is a joint House-Senate group intended to reconcile two conflicting versions of the same legislation. There is a big appropriations bill coming up, very critical to both sides, over a thousand pages to cover.”
    Wynn sensed the room’s tension converging about him. Two pairs of eyes, one feminine and Western, one dark and very Arab, carefully measured his reaction. Trilling went on, “One of the issues we intend to cover is known as the Jubilee Amendment.”
    “Right.” So this was more of the same. Everybody probing, looking for the deal. Making sure he was bought and paid for. “Of course.”
    “You’ve heard of it, then.”
    “All I know is, a lot of people want to see this thing dead and gone.” Wynn rose to his feet. “Whoever appears next on your list, tell them I’ve already gotten the message.”
    “I don’t understand.”
    “Oh, I think you do. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got a lifetime of catch-up waiting back at the

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