The Second Saladin
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A second chance...
In the windswept sands of the Middle East, Paul Chardy fought side by side with Ulu Beg: one, a charismatic, high-strung CIA covert warrior, the other a ferocious freedom fighter. Then Chardy fell into the hands of the enemy, and Beg was betrayed. Now the two men are about to meet again.
A second gun...
Beg has come over the Mexican border under a hail of bullets--determined to assassinate a leading American political figure and avenge his people's betrayal. The CIA wants Chardy to stop the hit. Chardy wants to save Beg's life.
Between the two men is a tragic past, a failed mission, and a woman who knew them in war--and who knows their secrets now. Around both men is a conspiracy of lies and violence that reaches back to the Cold War. But as Beg moves in for his kill and as Chardy breaks loose from his handlers, a terrible truth begins to emerge: somewhere, someone wants both men to die.
nondescript polyester sport clothes, animated by a frantic awkwardness, among the many, it received only indifference. Though once or twice police cruisers prowled by, leaving him uneasy. Yet, he counseled himself, they had not in all likelihood discovered his absence; perhaps they would during a seventh-inning stretch. And again, what crime had he committed? None. What law had he broken? None. And therefore, what recourse had they? The answer was the same: none. Yet he knew legal niceties would
“Get in, for Christ’s sake,” somebody commanded. “Where’s Chardy?” “Get in, goddammit. Danzig’s flown. There’s a flap.” The news staggered him. He could see Danzig having finally broken; he knew he should be there. Danzig alone, confused, walking the streets. There’d be a huge mess-up at Operations. He jumped in. “I’ve got to reach Chardy. Is he on a radio net or something?” “Everybody’s on the net tonight,” somebody up front said, and reached back to hand him a microphone. “You’re Hosepipe
saw were the white men. Masters of this world? Rulers, emperors? Conquerors of the moon? He’d never seen masters so sullen and wan. It is worse to suffer dishonor in this world than death, the Kurds say. Kurdistan or death, the Kurds say. Life passes, honor remains, the Kurds say. No white American could say such things. They were like the corrupt old Ottomans—America a tottering Ottoman empire, as Byzantine, as greedy, as muscleless. American men sweated because they were so fat. They did not
husk of an agent out of Le Carré. For Christ’s sake, you just walked up, following the sign. Entrada en Los Estados Unidos. What could be easier? But then he remembered Bill Speight in the sewer. He remembered he was being hunted. He rolled over and faced the scabby tin wall, waiting for inspiration. He had to do something. His mind was full of bubbles—a good deal of commotion and light and very little substance. He had a sudden blast of insane, giddy optimism. But it collapsed almost as
still was, by some sadomasochistic twist in personality, dear to him, he would not show it. It was quickly and smoothly business as usual. The events, bloody and horrible, of the week past, seemed not to have happened at all for Chardy. “You said he’d never get close, Mr. Chardy. He got to within fifteen feet while you yourself were off in pursuit of dubious pleasures.” Chardy nodded. “I was no good guessing the future. Poor Uckley had to pay for it.” “Uckley was a professional. He knew the