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gulfnp > Eileen Reed - Ground Zero > Part 21
"Oops," Eileen said.

'Berto opened his mouth. Closed it again.

" 'Berto," Eileen said softly. "Come on."

Incredibly, 'Berto's eyes filled with tears. He hung his head, his hand pressed to the alb.u.m as though it were holding him up. Eileen didn't move. She hardly breathed.

"Please," Eileen whispered to herself. She needed just one-little break, that's all. Just one break. 'Berto lifted his head and wiped his eyes. He looked very young.

"I'll tell you," he said. "Can we sit down?"

Central Intelligence Agency, Langley, Virginia.

"An efficient job," Lucy mused, looking at the autopsy photographs of George Tabor. She was on the phone to Charles D'Arnot, a Paris police detective who supplemented his income by helping out the American CIA. D'Arnot spoke perfect English with a slight Scottish accent, which Lucy found hilarious. They were looking at pictures together, half a world apart, on the Internet. Lucy patted her computer monitor affectionately.

"Go to the next one," D'Arnot said. A red arrow appeared on Lucy's screen, showing the ligature marks on the neck. "He was a professional. Only one mark. He never had to s.h.i.+ft positions, and the bruising is slight. There is bruising, though." The arrow disappeared and reappeared at another place on the screen. "Your Mr. Tabor fought well, Lucy."

"He was surprised," Lucy murmured. "You can tell."

"We have another set of pictures for you, cherie" D'Arnot said cheerfully.

"Another set?" Lucy asked, sneaking a glance at her watch.

"Not of Tabor," D'Arnot said. "I'm uploading now."

Lucy watched with amazement as a new set of autopsy pictures appeared. The victim was a female, Arab, and young. She had the same markings on her neck as George Tabor. Even to Lucy's untrained eye, she thought the marks looked similar.

"Eh?" D'Arnot said with satisfaction.

"Who is she?" Lucy breathed.

"Sufi Ad-Din," D'Arnot said. "Found in her apartment less than five blocks from Tabor's rubbish heap."

"She's Arabic?"

"Jordanian, formerly Palestinian," D'Arnot said. "She had a lover. She told her neighbor what his name was, and the name he used when he traveled. Her neighbor was a-how do you say it in English-?"

"A girlfriend? A chum?" Lucy said.

"A chum," D'Arnot said. "Evidently the lover didn't know about the chum, or doubtless Sara would be as dead as Sufi."

"What was his name?" Lucy asked. Her fingers tingled and her heart pounded. She knew what D'Arnot was going to say before he said it.

"Johann Wulff. But his name was really Fouad Muallah. He is Jordanian as well, according to the chum, but we don't have any further information. We put a warrant out, but he has probably flown the coop, as you say."

"Fouad Muallah," Lucy said. She bit her lips to keep from laughing out loud. "I'll see what we can find out, Charles."

"You do have some good resources," D'Arnot said wryly. "If you track this man down, I'd appreciate a call, cheri

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