Warren Murphy: Balance of Power

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Warren Murphy Balance of Power
  • Название:
    Balance of Power
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  • Жанр:
    Боевик / на английском языке
  • Язык:
    Английский
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Remo and Chiun must focus on the dizzy series of events connecting the banana republic of Hispania, the Peaches of Mecca, and a luscious blonde named Gloria X. The missing like lies in the tequila-soaked brain of Barney Daniels, an ex-CIA agent who is spirited away to a mental hospital when he tips a few wild stories to the press. Under the influence of an intoxicating woman, the groggy sot becomes a hired assassin and gets into some tight situations. Every cutthroat in New York City is plying his with drinks to find out what he knows, and Daniels is having a high time...until someone slips him a mickey. It all comes back to his staggering memory in a dream: it's not the U.S. but the Russkies who are pouring missiles into the lush jungles of Hispania. Unless Remo and Chiun act fast, Washington, D.C. is likely to get blasted.

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Warren Murphy

Balance of Power

For Molly Cochran and the House of Sinanju, P.O. Box 1454, Secaucus, NJ. 07094

Forward

Warren Murphy lives in New Jersey. He has been a newspaperman, a sequin polisher and a political consultant. His hobbies are mathematics, chess, martial arts, opera, politics, gambling, and sloth. Occasionally married, he is the father of four children.

He tells how the Destroyer series got started:

"The first Destroyer was written in my attic in 1963. It finally got published in 1971 and was an overnight success. In those days, Dick Sapir was my co-author and partner. He retired from the Destroyers a couple of years ago and took his name off the books when he decided he didn't want anybody to know he knew me. I helped him make this decision by locking him in my cellar for eight days without water.

"Nevertheless, he still hangs around. Various characters that appear in these pages are Dick's. Occasionally, he writes sections when someone or something annoys him. Anyone who knows him knows that this guarantees a certain frequency of appearance.

"Dick used to write the first half of books and I would write the second half. When he was mad at me, he would just send me 95 pages without a clue on how the book might be resolved. He would never write more than 95 pages. He stopped at the bottom of page 95 no matter what. Once, he stopped in the middle of a hyphenated word.

"We used to get a lot of letters and answer them, but then Dick took over answering them and lost all the letters and forgot to pay the rent on our post office box. He said he was sorry.

"In answer to the questions we get asked most: there really is a Sinanju in North Korea, but I wouldn't want to live there. There really isn't a Remo and Chiun, but there ought to be. Loud radios are the most important problem facing America. The Destroyer is soon to be a major motion picture. We will keep writing them forever."

Afterword

What have they done to Richard Sapir? And why is only Warren Murphy's picture on the cover? These and other vital questions are casting gloom over the tenth anniversary of the Destroyer.

By Richard Sapir

Why am I asking these questions? Because none of you did. For a year now, my byline has failed to appear on Destroyer, on the more than 20 million copies sold. These mind-wrenching questions have crossed exactly one other mind besides mine. And I say to the fine, sweet, noble lady: "Thank you, Mom."

The tragic fact is none of you have missed me. Sales have increased. Readership has jumped. Complimentary letters abound.

Warren Murphy, whose name now appears alone, has not even gotten a phone call in the middle of the night, perhaps saying: "You scum bag. Where's Dick Sapir? You're nothing without him."

Warren claims his phone is as quiet as a midnight kiss over a baby's crib. I know this is not so, but professional ethics forbid me from revealing my source. Just for your information, however, let it be known that he gulped and was stuck for an answer and wanted to know who the caller was.

Well, Warren, I will tell you who it was. It was your conscience.

Enough of that. I am not a bellyacher. But where were your letters to me? Where was the begging I so richly deserved? Is a simple grovel too much to ask?

Did one of you possibly consider that you had done something wrong? Did you think you were the cause of my leaving?

Where was a simple act of contrition? All I got was a wedding invitation from an old friend now living in Colorado... and that was three months late and said nothing about my leaving the series. Just had some printed nonsense about his daughter getting married.

So I am gone.

And you don't care.

Well, I don't care that you don't care. In fact, I never cared that you didn't care. I was just somewhat taken aback by the depths of your not caring, its broad base and cross-community penetration.

But why should I be surprised at this time?

In the ten years that my name appeared on the series, did one of you ever dedicate your lives to me? Where were the hallelujahs? What about a Richard Sapir festival? I would have settled for nude photos and obscene propositions.

But getting back to the so-called joyous tenth anniversary � I am above it all. And I'll tell you something else. I may come back for a book or two with or without your outcry. And I still contribute significantly, and if it weren't for my father's patience, the series never would have been bought, and I buy all the typewriter paper, and Warren's typewriter has a missing key, and he can't quit smoking and I have.

And I know he went out with Geri a few years ago, and I don't believe nothing happened.

Richard Sapir

For the special anniversary issue which didn't carry his picture or anything nice about him.

* * *

PUERTA DEL REY, HISPANIA

(Associated Press International)

A man claiming to be an agent of the United States CIA held an antic press conference here yesterday and said the CIA was working on an overthrow of the Hispanian regime.

The man, who was taken into custody minutes later, was identified by General Robar Estomago, head of the Hispanian National Security Council, as Bernard C. Daniels, an escaped mental patient. He had no connection with the CIA, Estomago reported. This was confirmed by the U.S. State Department.

During his rambling, incoherent press conference, the man identified as Daniels, who was obviously intoxicated, claimed he had been a CIA agent for 15 years, the last three in Hispania.

Prior to that, he had worked in China, Japan and behind the Iron Curtain and in his travels had participated in the assassination of 74 men, he said.

Daniels accused the CIA of torturing and beating him repeatedly during a recent incarceration on the island dictatorship, and showed newsmen a grotesque scar forming the letters "CIA" on his abdomen.

According to Estomago, Daniels's wounds were self-inflicted, and resulted in Daniels's commitment to the mental institution.

Early reports from the American Embassy indicate that Daniels will be returned to the U.S. for medical treatment.

Chapter One

It was a white neighborhood with clean, tree-lined streets and mowed lawns, free of garbage and noise and scrambling bodies. Halfway down Ophelia Street, a three-story wooden house winked through drawn blinds across the silent Hudson to New York City, squatting like a giant, crouching gray animal.

It was a nice house in a nice place, a place where a man would want to live. That is, if there were anything to live for in that house, such as a drop of tequila. Or even bourbon. Gin, in a pinch. Anything.

But for seventy-five thousand dollars, a man had a right to sleep peacefully through the night in his own house, without being shattered into consciousness by a doorbell so diabolically designed as to sound like the squawks of a thousand migrating ducks.

He refused to open his eyes. If he should catch a glimmer of light, it would destroy his sleep and then the squawking would never go away and then he would be awake.

A man had a right to sleep if he paid for his own home. He covered an ear with a palm and curled his legs up toward his chin, hoping that assuming the fetal position would catapult him back to the womb, where there were no ducks.

It didn't. The doorbell continued ringing.

Bernard C. Daniels opened his eyes, brushed some of the dust from his white summer tuxedo and contemplated swallowing. The taste in his mouth told him it was a bad idea.

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