Read Delta Factor, The Online

Authors: Mickey Spillane

Delta Factor, The

BOOK: Delta Factor, The
11.04Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads
Table of Contents
 
 
PUBLISHER'S NOTE
 
This novel is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are either the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
 
Copyright © 1967 by Mickey Spillane
 
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form without permission in writing from the publisher, except by a reviewer who wishes to quote brief passages in connection with a review written for inclusion in a magazine, newspaper or broadcast.
For information address E. P. Dutton & Company, Inc., 2 Park Avenue, New York, New York 10016.
Published simultaneously in Canada by Clarke, Irwin & Company Limited, Toronto and Vancouver.
 
eISBN : 978-1-101-17458-6
 
SIGNET, SIGNET CLASSIC, MENTOR, PLUME, MERIDIAN AND NAL BOOKS
are published by New American Library, 1633 Broadway, New York, New York 10019
 
FIRST SIGNET PRINTING, FEBRUARY, 1968
 
 

http://us.penguingroup.com

For
Ward ...
1
THE LIGHT HAD a strange pattern to it, striped horizontally and tinted with a pinkish glow. There was something unreal about it, like opening your eyes under water and looking up toward the sky. It rippled and swam, hypnotically out of focus, giving it an eerie dream-quality. Even the subdued sounds that rode on its current were distorted and out of reach until one particular one took shape gradually and I recognized it as
Morgan.
Then I let my eyes slit open a little further and the light pattern emerged as venetian blinds across the white-walled room from the bed and the sounds those of voices in quiet, cold argument.
I knew, then.
Hell,
they
couldn't have reached me. The police, the great agencies subsidized in the government budget, private experts intrigued by the reward ... none of them even came near me. It took a punk kid in a stolen heap being chased by a squad car to smash me through a store window, and an overzealous intern who didn't like unidentified accident cases and submitted fingerprint samples to the local precinct house to nail me.
Now they were fighting it out over who had custody over Morgan the Raider, and Morgan the Raider was me.
For a while I just lay there listening, grinning inside, but not letting it show on my face. That would have hurt anyway. I watched them through an aperture of my eyelids as narrow as possible, enjoying their performance as the sensation of living gradually oozed back into my body. When it reached my arm I felt the bite of metal around my wrist, put a gentle pressure against it that met with solid resistance and stifled another grin again because they were afraid of taking any chances at all this time.
The doctor's voice held a restrained anger. He said, “You can keep security around this room without shackling him to the bed, Mr. Rice. This is the fifth floor, the windows are barred, a policeman's outside and my patient isn't in any condition to move. Not just yet.”
Boredom comes early to accomplished cops. Explanations to civilian types become patient, paternal and positive. “This isn't just a patient, Doctor. This is Morgan.”
“I know who he is. I found him for you, didn't I?”
“Yes. You'll get an official departmental commendation for it. I believe there's a considerable reward involved too.”
“Screw your reward, Mr. Rice. I want my patient unmolested.”
“I'm sorry, Doctor.”
The white-coated medic seemed to move purposely. “I can force your hand if I have to.”
“Not this time.”
“This time,” he said deliberately.
“Why make trouble?” the cop asked him. “I can pull strings too. Look ... let me put it to you again. This man is dangerous. He isn't like an ordinary hood with behavior patterns we're used to. We could deal with that. He's not part of any antisocial group our people could classify and work against in a logical manner. His type comes out of another era entirely. By today's standards we can't even define him. Do you know what they call him?”
For a few seconds there was silence, then the doctor said, “Morgan the Raider.”
“Do you know why?”
“No.”
“Do you remember another Morgan?”
“Only the pirate.”
Like a parent pleased with his child's correct answer, the cop said pleasantly, “Exactly, Doctor. In his own way, he's a pirate too. You didn't fight pirates with police techniques. It took navies and armies to wipe them out. They were a peculiar breed given to command, who drew unequaled respect from their subordinates, lived by their own rules until they were almost a government unto themselves, reaped fantastic wealth and terrified half the world.” He paused, then added, “He's like that.”
The doctor crossed to the window and opened the blinds a little further. “Since you're getting so historical, Mr. Rice, I'd better remind you that you're forgetting something.”
“Oh?”
“Some of those they called pirates were privateers authorized by one government to prey on another. They held letters of marque from their governments and in their own countries were held in highest esteem.”
I knew the cop was smiling. I couldn't see his face, but I knew he was. “Exactly my point, Doctor,” he said. “That is what we're afraid of. An ordinary criminal type doesn't plan and execute a forty-million-dollar robbery. He doesn't have the tolerance to withstand all the efforts that go into making him reveal where he disposed of a haul of that size. He doesn't have the aptitude to escape from a solitary-confinement cell in a maximum-security prison and stay at large three years.”
The cop leaned back in his chair and said, “Let's say he could have been acting as a privateer, Doctor. Let an enemy government loose enough of them in this country and the destruction they could cause would be immense.”
Silently, my mouth formed the words “You stupid bastard
.

Very slowly, the doctor turned around and walked up beside me. I let my eyes close and shut him out. He said, “That's an assumption, isn't it?”
“In these days we have to work on assumptions quite often. You
are
familiar with the details of the case, aren't you?”
“I know what the papers said. It was a shipment of currency from the Washington mint to New York, wasn't it?”
“Forty million dollars' worth in common bills. The paper volume would fill a medium-sized truck.”
“You people don't take very good care of the public's cash.”
“It was well guarded.”
The doctor's voice had a laugh in it. “Was it?”
Rice said nothing for a moment, then when he spoke there was an edge in his words. “The aggressor always has the advantage.”
“Don't excuse your own mistakes, Mr. Rice. You caught him once.”
“With twelve thousand dollars of recorded bills in his possession. He never had a chance to spend any of it.”
“If I remember right, that was an accident too.”
Rice let out a little chuckle. “You'd be surprised how often accidents, as you put it, pay off. The rooming house where he boarded was raided by Treasury agents looking for narcotics held by another tenant and they turned up his cache. We killed two birds with one stone.”
“Commendable. Why didn't you keep him?”
“Maybe now we'll learn how he broke out. If he could do it there, this place would be a cream puff, so the cuffs stay on him, Doctor.”
“Unless it interferes with his treatment, Mr. Rice. Don't forget that.”
I opened my eyes and looked up at the medic. He was watching me with peculiar curiosity, seeing both a patient and a specimen, but his expression had a determined set to it that no police agency was going to intimidate. I said, “You tell him, Doc.”
Rice's chair scraped the floor quickly and a blurred figure of a blocky man in a gray suit drifted into my line of vision, but only for a moment. It was all just a little too tiresome and I drifted back slowly into the pleasant void of sleep where there weren't any aches or pains and the dreams all had nice, creamy-skinned women in them.
 
The netherworld is only a vacation from reality. It never lasts long enough. Waking up was a jarring thing because it happened so abruptly; every detail of the situation clear with total recall. There was no pain any more, simply a muscular soreness and a skin prickling where the stiches were still tight, but I had had that sensation so often it didn't bother me at all. My left arm was still tethered to the bed frame, loosely enough to allow limited movement, but a complete restraint to anything further.
There were three of them in the room now, each earmarked with the odd composure that gets ground into the makeup of professional cops. Rice was there, the Washington representative who worked under the C.I.A.; Carter, the Treasury Department's troubleshooter; and a big, solid-looking guy in a rumpled suit that bulged over a gun in a belt holster who was N.Y.P.D. all the way. He didn't appreciate anyone infringing on his jurisdiction and looked it. Someone had given him orders and he took them, but he didn't have to like it. When the doctor came in the cop was introduced briefly as Inspector Jack Doherty and I pegged him as the big one the mayor appointed to work directly out of the D.A.'s office on special assignment.
Man, they were sure giving me top-quality treatment
It was the doctor who saw me wide awake first. His mouth twisted in a funny little grin when he said, “Excuse me, gentlemen,” then he came over to me, felt my pulse automatically, raised one lid with a thumb and peered at my eye and asked, “How do you feel?”
“Like forty million,” I told him.
“Think you'll get to spend it?”
I grinned back at him. “Nobody else will, that's for sure. They pay off that reward yet?”
“You heard what I told Rice, didn't you?”
“Sure, but did you mean it?”
“Well, I haven't bought any Cadillacs lately.”
“You'll get it.”
“I expect to. Ten years after I hang out my shingle.”
“That's doing it the hard way.”
“And that's the way it's going to be,” he told me. “Any soreness?”
“Some. How do I look?”
He shrugged and dropped my hand. “Minor concussion, cuts and abrasions, two broken ribs. We were afraid of internal injuries, but apparently there weren't any. You were lucky, Morgan.”
“Yeah, I sure was,” I laughed. “When am I to be released?”
“Depending upon your own complaint, anytime. You can delay it for a few days if you feel like it.”
“Hell, why bother?”
“Every day's a day. I hear the chow's better here than in a cell.”
“I haven't tasted any of it yet,” I said. “At least there they don't feed you through a tube and they let you up long enough to go to the john. I don't go this bedpan routine.”
“Take your pick. It's a hell of a choice for a millionaire, though.”
BOOK: Delta Factor, The
11.04Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

Other books

The Return of Jonah Gray by Heather Cochran
Bradley Wiggins by John Deering
Depth of Despair by Bill Kitson
The Dead Man in Indian Creek by Mary Downing Hahn
Bloody Lessons by M. Louisa Locke
Cronos Rising by Tim Stevens
The Fire Children by Lauren Roy
Chameleon by Ken McClure