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Opis ebooka Cast a Yellow Shadow - Ross Thomas

An old friend draws barman Mac McCorkle into a deadly international game. As the saying goes, you can't pick your friends. If you could, Mac McCorkle would disown Padilla. They owned a bar together in Bonn, the West German capital, and stayed partners even after Padilla's sideline as a CIA operative got the bar blown up. Padilla was thought to be dead and erased from the CIA's files - but now he's back on the agency's turf. Mac moved to Washington, DC, after the trouble in Bonn to get married and open his bar anew. His new bride is beautiful, the bar is a success, and Padilla's reappearance threatens everything. A group of African terrorists want Padilla to assassinate the prime minister of their small sub-Saharan republic - and they've kidnapped Mac's wife to use as leverage. Review quotes. "Ross Thomas is without peer in American suspense." - The Los Angeles Times. "What Elmore Leonard does for crime in the streets, Ross Thomas does for crime in the suites." - The Village Voice. "Ross Thomas is that rare phenomenon, a writer of suspense whose novels can be read with pleasure more than once." - Eric Ambler, author of The Mask of Dimitrios. Biographical note. The winner of the inaugural Gumshoe Lifetime Achievement Award, Ross Thomas (1926-1995) was a prolific author whose political thrillers drew praise for their blend of wit and suspense. Born in Oklahoma City, Thomas grew up during the Great Depression, and served in the Philippines during World War II. After the war, he worked as a foreign correspondent, public relations official, and political strategist before publishing his first novel, "The Cold War Swap" (1967), based on his experience working in Bonn, Germany. The novel was a hit, winning Thomas as an Edgar Award for Best First Novel and establishing the characters Mac McCorkle and Mike Padillo. Thomas followed it up with three more novels about McCorkle and Padillo, the last of which was published in 1990. He wrote nearly a book a year for twenty-five years, occasionally under the pen name Oliver Bleeck, and won the Edgar Award for Best Novel with "Briarpatch" (1984). Thomas died of lung cancer in California in 1995, a year after publishing his final novel, "Ah, Treachery!"

Opinie o ebooku Cast a Yellow Shadow - Ross Thomas

Fragment ebooka Cast a Yellow Shadow - Ross Thomas

Contents

Cover

About the Book

About the Author

Title Page

Copyright Page

Dedication

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

Chapter 17

Chapter 18

Chapter 19

Chapter 20

Chapter 21

Chapter 22

Chapter 23

Chapter 24

Chapter 25

Chapter 26

Chapter 27

Looking for more suspense?

Cover

Begin Reading

About the Book

An old friend draws barman Mac McCorkle into a deadly international game.

As the saying goes, you can’t pick your friends. If you could, Mac McCorkle would disown Padilla. They owned a bar together in Bonn, the West German capital, and stayed partners even after Padilla’s sideline as a CIA operative got the bar blown up. Padilla was thought to be dead and erased from the CIA’s files - but now he’s back on the agency’s turf.

Mac moved to Washington, DC, after the trouble in Bonn to get married and open his bar anew. His new bride is beautiful, the bar is a success, and Padilla’s reappearance threatens everything. A group of African terrorists want Padilla to assassinate the prime minister of their small sub-Saharan republic - and they’ve kidnapped Mac’s wife to use as leverage.

Review quotes.

“Ross Thomas is without peer in American suspense.” - The Los Angeles Times.

“What Elmore Leonard does for crime in the streets, Ross Thomas does for crime in the suites.” - The Village Voice.

“Ross Thomas is that rare phenomenon, a writer of suspense whose novels can be read with pleasure more than once.” - Eric Ambler, author of The Mask of Dimitrios.

About the Author

The winner of the inaugural Gumshoe Lifetime Achievement Award, Ross Thomas (1926-1995) was a prolific author whose political thrillers drew praise for their blend of wit and suspense. Born in Oklahoma City, Thomas grew up during the Great Depression, and served in the Philippines during World War II. After the war, he worked as a foreign correspondent, public relations official, and political strategist before publishing his first novel, "The Cold War Swap" (1967), based on his experience working in Bonn, Germany. The novel was a hit, winning Thomas as an Edgar Award for Best First Novel and establishing the characters Mac McCorkle and Mike Padillo.

Thomas followed it up with three more novels about McCorkle and Padillo, the last of which was published in 1990. He wrote nearly a book a year for twenty-five years, occasionally under the pen name Oliver Bleeck, and won the Edgar Award for Best Novel with "Briarpatch" (1984). Thomas died of lung cancer in California in 1995, a year after publishing his final novel, "Ah, Treachery!"

Cast a Yellow Shadow

Ross Thomas

 

BASTEI ENTERTAINMENT

 

Bastei Entertainment is an imprint of Bastei Lübbe AG

 

Copyright © 2015 by Bastei Lübbe AG, Schanzenstraße 6-20, 51063 Cologne, Germany

 

For the original edition:

Copyright © 2011 by The Mysterious Press, LLC, 58 Warren Street, New York, NY. U.S.A.

 

Copyright © 1967 by Ross Thomas

 

Project management: Lori Herber

Cover adaptation: Christin Wilhelm, www.grafic4u.de

Cover design by Jason Gabbert

 

E-book production: Jouve Germany GmbH & Co. KG

 

ISBN 978-3-95859-018-2

 

www.bastei-entertainment.com

 

All rights reserved, including without limitation the right to reproduce this e-book or any portion thereof in any form or by any means, whether electronic or mechanical, now known or hereinafter invented, without the express written permission of the publisher.

 

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, businesses, companies, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

To J. Edwin and Laura E.

Chapter 1

The call came while I was trying to persuade a lameduck Congressman to settle his tab before he burned his American Express card. The tab was $18.35 and the Congressman was drunk and had already made a pyre of the cards he held from Carte Blanche, Standard Oil, and the Diner’s Club. He had used a lot of matches as he sat there at the bar drinking Scotch and burning the cards in an ashtray. “Two votes a precinct,” he said for the dozenth time. “Just two lousy votes a precinct.”

“When they make you an ambassador, you’ll need all the credit you can get,” I said as Karl handed me the phone. The Congressman thought about that for a moment, frowned and shook his head, said something more about two votes a precinct, and set fire to the American Express card. I said hello into the phone.

“McCorkle?” It was a man’s voice.

“Yes.”

“This is Hardman.” It was a soft bass voice with a lot of bulldog gravy and grits in it. Hardman, the way he said it, was two distinct words, an adjective and a noun, and both got equal billing.

“What can I do for you?”

“Make me a reservation for lunch tomorrow? Bout one-fifteen?”

“You don’t need a reservation.”

“Just socializin a little.”

“I’m off the ponies,” I said. “I haven’t made a bet in two days.”

“That’s what they been tellin me. Man, you trying to quit winner?”

“Just trying to quit. What’s on your mind?”

“Well, I got me a little business over in Baltimore.” He paused. I waited. I prepared for a long wait. Hardman was from Alabama or Mississippi or Georgia or one of those states where they all talk alike and where it takes a long weekend to get to the point.

“You’ve got business in Baltimore and you want a reservation for one-fifteen tomorrow and you want to know why I haven’t made book with you in two days. What else?”

“Well, we was supposed to pick somethin up off a boat over there in Baltimore and there was a little trouble and this white boy got hurt. So Mush—you know Mush?”

I told him I knew Mush.

“So Mush was bout to get hisself hurt by a couple of mothers when this white boy steps in and sort of helps Mush out—know what I mean?”

“Perfectly.”

“Say wha?”

“Go on.”

“Well, one of these cats had a blade and he cuts the white boy a little, but not fore he’d stepped in and helped out for Mush—know what I mean?”

“Why call me?”

“Well, Mush brings the white boy back to Washington cause he’s hit his head and bleedin and passed out and all.”

“And you need some blood tonight?”

Hardman chuckled and it seemed to rumble over the phone. “Shit, baby, you somethin!”

“Why me?”

“Well, this white boy got nothin on him. No money—”

“Mush checked that out, I’d say.”

“No gold, no ID, no billfold, nothin. Just a little old scrap of paper with your address on it.”

“Has he got a description, or do all white folks look alike?”

“Bout five-eleven,” Hardman said, “maybe even six feet. Maybe. Short hair, little grey in it. Dark for an ofay. Looks like he been out in the sun a whole lot. Bout your age, only skinnier, but then, hell, who ain’t?”

I tried to make nothing out of my voice; no tone, no interest. “Where do you have him?”

“Where I’m at, pad over on Fairmont.” He gave me the address. “Figure you know him? He’s out cold.”

“I might,” I said. “I’ll be over. You get a doctor?”

“Done come and gone.”

“I’ll be there as soon as I can catch a cab.”

“You won’t forget about that reservation?”

“It’s taken care of.” I hung up.

Karl, the bartender I had imported from Germany, was deep in conversation with the Congressman. I signaled him to come down to the other end of the bar.

“Take care of the Right Honorable,” I said. “Call him a cab—the company that specializes in drunks. If he doesn’t have any money, have him sign a tab and we’ll send him a bill.”

“He’s got a committee hearing tomorrow at nine in the Rayburn Building,” Karl said. “It’s on reforestation. It’s about the redwoods. I was planning on going anyhow so I’ll pick him up in the morning and make sure he gets there.”

Some people hang around police stations. Karl hung around Congress. He had been in the States for less than a year, but he could recite the names of the one hundred Senators and the four hundred and thirty-five Representatives in alphabetical order. He knew how they voted on every roll call. He knew when and where committees met and whether their sessions were open or closed. He could tell you the status of any major piece of legislation in either the Senate or the House and make you a ninety to ninety-five per cent accurate prediction on its chance for passage. He read the Congressional Record faithfully and snickered while he did it. He had worked for me before in a saloon I had once owned in Bonn, but the Bundestag had never amused him. He found Congress one long laugh.

“Just so he gets home,” I said, “although he looks as if he’ll fade before closing.” The Congressman was drooping a bit over his glass.

Karl gave him a judicious glance. “He’s good for two more and then I’ll get him some coffee. He’ll make it.”

I told him to close up, nodded good night to a handful of regular customers and a couple of waiters, walked east to Connecticut Avenue and turned right towards the Mayflower Hotel. There was one cab at the hotel stand and I climbed into its back seat and gave the driver the address. He turned to look at me.

“I don’t ever go over there after midnight,” he said.

“Don’t tell me. Tell the hack inspector.”

“My life’s worth more’n eighty cents.”

“We’ll make it an even dollar.”

I got a lecture on why George Wallace should be President on the way to the Fairmont Street address. It was an apartment building, fairly new, flanked by forty-or-fifty-year-old row houses. I paid the driver and told him he needn’t wait. He snorted, quickly locked all the doors, and sped off. Inside I found the apartment number and rang the bell. I could hear chimes inside. Hardman answered the door.

“Come in this house,” he said.

I went in. A voice from somewhere, a woman’s voice, yelled: “You tell him to take off his shoes, hear?”

I looked down. I was standing on a deep pile carpet that was pure white.

“She don’t want her white rug messed up,” Hardman said and indicated his own shoeless feet. I knelt down and took off my shoes. When I rose Hardman handed me a drink.

“Scotch-and-water O.K.?”

“Fine.” I looked around the livingroom. It was L-shaped and had an orange couch and some teak and leather chairs, a dining table, also of teak, and a lot of brightly colored pillows that were carefully scattered here and there to make it all look casual. There were some loud prints on the wall. A lot of thought seemed to have gone into the room, and the total effect came off fairly well and just escaped being flashy.

A tall brown girl in red slacks swayed into the room shaking down a thermometer. “You know Betty?” Hardman asked.

I said no. “Hello, Betty.”

“You’re McCorkle.” I nodded. “That man’s sick,” she said, “and there ain’t no use trying to talk to him now. He’s out for another hour. That’s what Doctor Lambert say. And he also say he can be moved all right when he wakes up. So if he’s a friend of yours, would you kindly move him when he does wake up? He’s got my bed and I don’t plan sleeping on no couch. That’s where Hard’s going to sleep.”

“Now, honey—”

“Don’t honey me, you no good son-of-a-bitch.” She didn’t raise her voice when she said it. She didn’t have to. “You bring in some cut-up drunk and dump him into my bed. Whyn’t you take him to the hospital? Or to your house, ’cept that fancy wife of yours wouldn’t have stood for it.” Betty turned to me, and waved a hand at Hardman. “Look at him. Six-feet, four-inches tall, dresses just so fine, goes around pronouncing his name ‘Hard-Man,’ and then lets some little five-foot tall tight twat lead him around by the nose. Get me a drink.” Betty collapsed on the couch and Hardman hastily mixed her a drink.

“How about the man in your bed, Betty?” I said. “May I see him?”

She shrugged and waved her hand at a door. “Right through there. He’s still out cold.”

I nodded and set the glass down on a table that had a coaster on it. I went through the door and looked at the man in the bed. It was a big, fancy bed, oval in shape, and it made the man look smaller than he was. I hadn’t seen him in more than a year and there were some new lines in his face and more grey in his hair than I remembered. His name was Michael Padillo and he spoke six or seven languages without accent, was handy with either a gun or a knife, and could make what has been called the best whiskey sour in Europe.

His other chief distinction was that a lot of people thought he was dead. A lot more hoped that he was.

Chapter 2

The last time I had seen Michael Padillo he had been falling off a barge into the Rhine. There had been a fight with guns and fists and a broken bottle. Padillo and a Chinese called Jimmy Ku had gone over the side. Somebody had been aiming a shotgun at me at the time and the shotgun had gone off, so I was never sure whether Padillo had drowned or not until I received a postcard from him. It had been mailed from Dahomey in West Africa, contained a one-word message—“Well”—and had been signed with a “P.” He had never been much of one to write.

On dull days after the postcard came I sometimes sat around and drank too much and speculated about how Padillo had made it from the Rhine to the West Coast of Africa and whether he liked the climate. He was good at getting from one place to another. When he was not helping to run the saloon that we owned in Bonn he had been on call to one of those spooky government agencies that kept sending him to such places as Lodz and Leipzig and Tollin. I never asked what he did; he never told me.

When his agency decided to trade him for a couple of defectors to the East, Padillo tried to buy up his contract. He succeeded that spring night when he fell off the barge into the Rhine about a half-mile up river from the American Embassy. His agency wrote him off and no one from the Embassy ever came around to inquire about what happened to the nice man who used to own half of Mac’s Place in Bad Godesberg.

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!