Warren Murphy: Mafia Fix

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  • Название:
    Mafia Fix
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  • Жанр:
    Детективная фантастика / на английском языке
  • Язык:
    Английский
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Mafia Fix: краткое содержание, описание и аннотация

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When ten billion filthy drug dollars' worth of heroin pollutes the Jersey shore and threatens to make the Mafia a second Evil Empire, the president knows there's just one man who can stop a Jersey Kingpin from destroying the country and that's an ex-Jersey cop resurrected and nicknamed the Destroyer. Remo Williams is on a mission to mainline death and destruction into the Cosa Nostra before Main Street gets stuck. But how will Master Chiun's masterpiece of a human killing machine score? Will history's biggest drug score go bust? With Remo on the mission you know he'll sniff out the swine and cover his tracks but when he gets to the top will he find he's gone too high and realize that the Mafia fix is in?

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"And he knows that if he gets into trouble, all he has to do is say he works for the Mafia or something like that and his group will get him out. The head of that killer-arm is you, Remo whatever-your-name is. You see, that security guard who disappeared from the think-tank and the special guard for the Chinese general had identical fingerprints. And surprise, surprise-those fingerprints were not to be found in the FBI files, where the fingerprints of all law enforcement people reside."

"Mr. Magrudder, what do you want from me?"

The man called Magrudder giggled. "I'm glad you asked that. Two million dollars in cash and five hundred thousand dollars a year for the rest of my life. I know your people can pay it. An outfit like yours would spend more than that on a computer system."

"What makes you think I can get you the money?"

"Because, Remo, there are three envelopes with the whole story of facts and places; any one of them might wind up at the New York Times or the Washington Post if I should fail to do something each day at a set time. For your organization to be exposed is to fail. Goodbye to what little confidence remains in the government's ability to govern within the law. Goodbye Constitution. Goodbye America."

Magrudder laughed into his bottle of champagne as he lifted it and some spilled over his ruddy face and down his thick neck.

"You're full of crap, Mr. Magrudder. If you had all this information, you'd have more than three envelopes."

The man who called himself Magrudder raised a finger. "No way, my boy, no way. What if one should get out by accident? No. I needed enough to deter you people, but not so many as to precipitate an accident. Two would have been safer against accidents, but maybe you would have discovered one, leaving me only one envelope as a margin against death. That would be too thin. Four, however, would have been asking for trouble. So I picked three."

"Let's see," said Remo. "Your aunt Harriet in Cheyenne has one and you've got another and . . , the third. Who's got the third?"

The grin disappeared momentarily from the fat red face but then returned.

"One is as good as a hundred, my boy, and I'll extend that margin of safety when I get back to the hotel."

"You're so confident because you have four or five or ten of those envelopes stashed around," Remo said. "You don't have the kind of guts, Hopkins, to live one envelope away from death."

Harry Hopkins, the man called Magrudder, blinked. "So. You know my name. Well, well. Congratulations. But you don't know me, sonny boy. You skinny young punk. You've got to live one way if you're going to make it big. There are only three envelopes. Now row me back to the frigging hotel and call your boss. I want the down payment by tomorrow afternoon."

He swilled the champagne deeply and snorted his contempt. "Get a move on, skinny," he said. "The only reason I'm keeping you alive is you're my only contact with that organization."

Remo rubbed his hands together and sighed. "That's where you're wrong. I'm your second contact with the organization."

"Yeah? Who's the first?"

"The man who has the third envelope," Remo said and he smiled.

"Horseshit," Harry Hopkins said.

"Nope," said Remo sweetly. "Let me describe him to you. He's tight-lipped, obnoxious, vicious, ruthless and totally without human compassion for anything but his golf game. And at that he cheats. I beat him once even with his fourteen-pencil handicap and as much as he hated that, he hated my losing a golf ball more. He is cheap beyond belief. I mean cheap. I think that's why he was chosen."

"You're lying," screamed Harry Hopkins, "You're lying. The man is absolutely trustworthy. We even wondered how he got into the business, he was so honest."

"I rang the bell with cheap, didn't I?" Remo asked.

"You're not getting any more information from me." Hopkins moved his foot to the gray plug, but stopped suddenly and his mouth dropped open. "No," he said.

"Yes," said Remo slipping the last clinging strap of the lead weighted life preserver off his arm. It had been a good set of locks but he could have cracked them if he wanted to. He didn't have to. The chain fasteners had been attached to a nylon band guaranteed to hold three hundred pounds of pressure. It was better than that. It had held close to four hundred.

"Want to pull the plug, sweetheart?" Remo said. "I rang the bell with cheap, huh?"

"I've known the man who has had the envelope for years. Years. He'd never betray a friend," Hopkins said. "He got out of the business because it was too dirty. He retired from it. He's been in on this from the beginning, giving me counsel and advice. And I trust him."

"Make believe you're the President, Hopkins. Who else would you put in charge of such an operation?"

Remo stood up in the bow of the boat and went to the seat near the gray plug. He looked down at the perspiring red-faced man beneath him.

Hopkins looked up, in panic, then slowly shrugged. "Mind if I have another drink?"

"Sure," Remo said. "Your being an alcoholic is going to be the cover for your death anyway."

"I'm not an alcoholic and you'll kill me if I take another drink or not. So. Bottoms up." Remo saw the bottom of the bottle come up; the reddish eyelids close and air-bubbles rise from within the neck of the bottle.

"Okay, so you're not an alcoholic," Remo said.

"I haven't had a drink for a year and a half until today." He lowered the bottle between his legs. "Tell me," he said, "how come I couldn't find fingerprints on you anywhere? I mean how did you people hide that?"

"Simple," Remo said. "I'm a dead man. Remo Williams. Name mean anything to you?"

"Doesn't ring a bell." The bottle went up again.

"Policeman executed for a killing" in Newark?"

The fat man shook his head. "You really dead?" he asked.

"You might say so. Yeah. It's a good way not to exist."

"Couldn't think of a better one," Hopkins said. "Say why don't you let me live until at least I get you guys my notes? What if someone finds my notes and the carbons of the letters?"

"Sorry, pal. There are no notes and no carbons. Only three letters. One I took out of your room. Your aunt Harriet had the second and she lost that one today when she was involved in a terrible accident. The third is with Dr. Harold W. Smith. Your friend. My boss. The head of CURE. You're out of the game"

"Can I have another bottle? One more. I mean a last drink. Okay?"

Remo reached into the metal container, felt through the ice for another bottle, grabbed it by the neck and hoisted it out as Hopkins made a lunge for his groin. Hoplcins found himself suddenly seated right back where he was, with a bottle in his hand. He opened it, tried to catch Remo's head with the cork, missed, shrugged and said, "You'd kill me anyway, drink or no drink. You know I could nurse this if I wanted to." He drank deeply. "I'm no alcoholic."

"If you say so," Remo said.

It was a beautiful cove he saw, rising dark and green from the clear sweet Caribbean. A paradise. Some people went to this place for their honeymoon and brought their families back later. People who could get married and reproduce their kind.

"Say, you know I was thinking," Hopkins said. "Why don't you bring me into CURE. I'm pretty smart. I figured out something was going on. Now you know you could get me anytime, right? You can use a good brain. Look, I'm no alky no matter what anyone tells you. Ask Smith. Well, don't ask him 'cause he thinks anyone who takes two drinks is an alcoholic. But I'd be good. I would. Real good."

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