The Devil's Footprint

The Devil's Footprint by Victor O'Reilly Read Free Book Online

Book: The Devil's Footprint by Victor O'Reilly Read Free Book Online
Authors: Victor O'Reilly
"We get around."
    "Who is
he?" said Fitzduane.
    "Number
two on the Emergency Response team," said Maury.   "But how do we know what we're looking
for?   There are Japanese tourists all
over the place — and the others may not even be Japanese.   We could be looking for any race or
creed."
    Capitol police
with drawn guns entered the doorway and looked around uncertainly.   Maury's contact had not connected yet.
    Fitzduane held
up a hand just as one of the policemen was moving forward.
    The policeman
stopped, though he was far from being sure why he was paying any attention to a
bloodstained civilian.   Yet the man had a
definite command presence.
    Fitzduane bent
down and picked up two pairs of black horn-rimmed glasses that had been placed
neatly on the reception table beside two empty cups.
    Maury pursed
his lips, went into Cochrane's office, and then came back.   "Identical haircuts, suits, shirts,
ties, and shoes," he said.   "A
neat and simple trick if you want to avoid being recognized afterwards."
    "But
which may work in our favor now," said Fitzduane.   "Well, it had better.   We don't have much else."
    A short,
stocky, fit-looking man appeared through the doorway dressed in SWAT
fatigues.   He and Maury had a quick
conversation in French before he turned to Fitzduane.
    "This is
Henri," said Maury, reverting to English.
    "Let's go
to it," said Fitzduane.
    Henri shook
his head.   "Colonel Fitzduane, I
know how you must feel, but it's more than my job is worth .    This thing is going to be
investigated every which way by more agencies than there are letters in the
alphabet, not to mention hearings on security by both houses.   IF it came out that I had armed a couple of
civilians and allowed them to go terrorist hunting on the Hill...   Well, it does not bear thinking about.   I'd be the salami and the system the slicer,
and believe me, these people do know how to cut."
    Cochrane had
now recovered somewhat, though he still looked pale and shocked.   He had covered Tanya's upper body with his
suit jacket and now stood slumped against a filing cabinet, his clothing soaked
in drying blood.   He ran one hand wearily
through his hair in a gesture of both exhaustion and sadness.
    "He's
right, Hugo," he said.   "This
is
Washington
.   Simple direct action is not in fashion around
here."

     
    *           *           *           *           *

     
    Four office
suites down the corridor, the watcher who Fitzduane had known would be
somewhere close, was chatting to the attractive young intern he had met in
Bullfeathers.
    Jin Endo had
felt his job done when he had spotted the target going through Security at the
main entrance, and had phoned ahead to warn Wakami- san where he waited in the committee's reception.   He had a note of where the intern worked and
headed up to her office immediately, pausing only to discard hi weapons in a
cleaner's cupboard.
    The
Farnsworth
Building
had been sealed off within two
minutes of the killing of Patricio Nicanor and the others, and a further cordon
was placed around the complex of buildings that made up the Hill very shortly
after that.
    Everyone
within the inner cordon was identified and questioned.
    The process
took over six hours.   When it was over,
Jin Endo and his new girlfriend walked free together.   Everyone in her office knew that Endo could
not have been involved.   The police knew
the exact time of the assault and Endo had demonstrably been visiting his
friend at that time, which also explained his reason for being in the
building.   Certainly, he was Japanese,
but so were over a hundred other people who had been
caught inside the cordon and whose tour of Congress had proved rather more
exciting than expected.
    That night the
young intern, shaken by the gruesome details of the incident, allowed the
handsome young lobbyist to comfort her.   True, he was Japanese just like the terrorists, but you did not blame
all Italians

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