“Ms. Cabral could move into the consulate.”
Raven shook her head. “Prison, you mean.”
“As you will. It is your life.”
I didn’t say anything else. Cummings argued for an immediate flight home. I couldn’t make up my mind if he thought that was better for Raven, or better for the consulate. Probably both. I had ideas of my own, but I didn’t plan to bring them up until later. Raven kept looking at me, as if for advice. I ignored her. Raven seemed hurt and Will looked troubled.
Eventually, as I had thought he would, Evan talked Raven into leaving immediately. I said, “Why don’t we do it this way. It’s nearly eleven. Will can take Evan home. Those two won’t be back tonight, and we can bolt the hatch. Will can call the airport at Paris for flight information, then come back and pick us up. Raven can probably be out of France by morning.”
“I’m bankrolled for a couple of months of hitchhiking around Europe. I’ll loan Raven the price of the ticket and she can wire my repayment as soon as she gets home.”
“That would work. Is that all right with you, Ms. Cabral?”
“Yes.” She didn’t sound enthusiastic.
After they were gone, I bolted the hatch and squeezed into the engine room. It was a tiny cubicle with an air cooled Petter engine and a forty gallon tank of diesel. By lying back against the engine, I could reach a combination padlock on a door set in the front bulkhead. It was our bonded stores locker. Many things are illegal in many places, but not always the same things. You can’t bring handguns into Canada or liquor into Egypt, so you need a place for port authorities to put them under seal until you leave. I pulled out a small cardboard box and relocked the door.
“Raven,” I said as I sat down on the transom, “I wasn’t straight with you while Evan was here. I wanted to talk to you in private instead.”
I fumbled my jackknife out with my left hand and slit the tape on the box. Inside was a .45 caliber Colt automatic, two fifty round boxes of ammunition, two spare clips, both full, and a holster. Raven’s eyes had gotten big again, so I explained, “This isn’t what I wanted to talk to you about. I used this in the Army, and later when I worked as a guard, so I brought it along. I thought I might need it if I got posted someplace like Lebanon or Nicaragua.”
“It didn’t do you much good tonight.”
“That’s the trouble with handguns; they’re never there when you need them. Look, I don’t think going home to California is the best way out for you.”
“Why didn’t you say so earlier.”
“I thought it best for Evan to think you were leaving. If you go back, you will be a sitting duck for an enemy you don’t know.”
“I know them.”
“You only know the henchmen, not whoever is behind them. Whoever hired them could hire someone else. Probably will, now that you know their faces. If you go back, you won’t know who to trust, but they will know where you are.”
“I can’t run forever.”
“No one said you should, but there is no reason you can’t run for a while. Let your father call on his FBI connections and use his clout as Senator. Let him find out who is behind these attacks. You stay out of it.”
“With me. Call your father. Tell him what happened, and tell him that you will stay in touch. Assume his phone is tapped and don’t tell him where you are. Call back once a week. When things are safe again, then you can go home.” more tomorrow