Read Remo The Adventure Begins Online
Authors: Warren Murphy
IT WAS GOING TO TAKE A DEAD MAN
TO SAVE THE COUNTRY
He was the toughest cop in Brooklyn. Until he woke up one morning to see his own name in the obit headlines—and a new face in the mirror. The face came with a new name, a new I.D., and a new job.
Remo Williams was going to be the Eleventh Commandment: thou shalt not get away with it. And Chiun, a wispy little Korean who talked like a fortune cookie and fought like a martial master, was going to show him how. Just in time to save a beautiful bombshell of an Army major—not to mention America—from a death merchant’s dream of destruction . . .
DICK CLARK/LARRY SPIEGEL/MEL BERGMAN
FRED WARD • JOEL GREY • WILFORD BRIMLEY
J. A. PRESTON • GEORGE COE
CHARLES CIOFFI • KATE MULGREW
Director of Photography
ANDREW LASZLO. A.S.C.
DICK CLARK • MEL BERGMAN
Music Composed by
THEY ALL HAD TO DIE
No one who worked for the organization could live if he were compromised. That was the deal two of the three men made when they entered. That left Remo. But there was a special problem with Remo.
“Well, you would be difficult for us to kill. Your abilities far surpass ours,” said Smith.
“So?” said Remo.
“So there is only one man on earth equipped to kill you now.”
“No,” said Remo.
He couldn’t believe it. He wouldn’t believe it. He had to find out.
“Little father. They tell me you are going to kill me,” Remo said.
Chiun, Master of Sinanju, the man who taught Remo that a bullet can be dodged and a leap off the Statue of Liberty is no different than any other first step, looked closely at him. “Don’t call me little father,” he said.
REMO: THE ADVENTURE BEGINS ...
Copyright © 1985
by Richard Sapir and Warren Murphy
All rights reserved
are published by New American Library,
1633 Broadway, New York, New York 10019
First Printing, October, 1985
PRINTED IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
For Larry Spiegel,
who made it happen
am Makin was dead a day and a half before someone finally showed him his obituary. He couldn’t read past the headline by himself because his eyes wouldn’t focus. His head felt like it had been engraved with a tin can, and there were bandages covering most of his face.
He tried to swallow but his crack-dry tongue had first priority on any moisture his mouth could generate.
“It was a grand funeral,” came the voice. “The mayor was there. Your precinct captain was there. Your lieutenant was there. Your desk sergeant was there. And of course, I was there. I had to be. I had to make sure you didn’t have any really close friends.”
The voice was almost joyful. So was the smooth black face just within Makin’s peripheral vision. The man wore an expensive hat and well-tailored jacket. Sam tried to breathe. His ribs hurt. The man talked about funerals. Somehow Sam Makin’s funeral had been this man’s problem.
“You never know who shows up at a funeral. It’s like a poultice for acquaintances of life. Do you know what a poultice is?”
Sam Makin groaned.
“It’s a packet of herbs that draws out the poisons from wounds. We didn’t know who, or what, would be drawn out by your funeral. We might have found out you had a mother or a father. You might have even had a friend who cared about you. There could have been complications.”
Sam Makin groaned again.
“Were you hoping, laddie, that you had a mother who would remember you? Were you hoping that?”
Sam took in the expensive cashmere of the man’s jacket. The fingernails buffed to a high gloss. The man seated himself on one side of the thin foam mattress, talking on with that same cheerful malevolence.
“Not even a girlfriend showed up, although you had a lot of those in your day. Too many. Never cheated on one of them either, loyal man that you were. It was one woman at a time, for a week, a month. You were even engaged three times in one year. And not one of them came to your graveside; not a single rose was sent. Nothing. You want to see all your friends, your relatives? Do you think I am lying to you?”
Sam Makin tried to move his head. He did not know if it was the pain that held it on the pillow, or a heavy weight. He could tell the sheets on the bed he was lying in were white. The walls of the room were white. The bed had white bars at the foot, with a clipboard attached. And he smelled ether. Or did he taste it? There were bandages on his head. He was in a hospital.
The well-dressed black man busied himself with something at the foot of the bed. A short metal tripod and a small screen. Why was he saying these cruel things? What was he doing?
“Can you focus yet? They tell me you might have a wee bit of difficulty in focusing at first.”
Sam Makin tried to speak. The word came out with sharp pains in the back of his throat. His voice sounded odd, like a stranger’s voice. The word he said was:
But the stranger didn’t let him finish the sentence. The screen at the foot of the bed lit up. There was a graveside. A coffin rested between two pulley cords. A priest read a eulogy for Sam. It was very brief. It talked about duty. The priest didn’t even say he was a good man. He only talked about duty. Sam could see the pictures of the mourners. One mayor. One precinct captain. One desk sergeant. Six men from his Brooklyn precinct, obviously recruited as pallbearers. And when the camera pulled away Sam could see that very big graveyard and the handful of living people who had come there for him.
The mayor spoke exactly one sentence: “Patrolman Sam Makin gave his life so that the people of Brooklyn might live in a safer city.” There wasn’t even a newspaper photographer. Sam had been the seventh patrolman killed that year. No story in that. Then the pictures on the screen ran through close-ups of the few people gathered at the graveside. Close-up of a face, then a pause. On to the next subject, and a pause. Suddenly Sam realized, realized too late, that the man sitting on his bed was controlling the film, manipulating the lapses between images. The man was studying something on his lap, an electronic device, and it was connected to Sam himself. Wires ran from Sam’s wrists to a monitor. The man was reading Sam’s reactions to the faces on the screen.
“Nope, not a friend there, laddie. No momma. No poppa. Not a friend in the world.” The man was actually happy.
“Who,” said Sam Makin, “are you?”
He had finished his question.
“Me?” said the man cheerfully rolling up the wires to the monitor. “I’m the man who killed you.” On the screen at his feet, the picture suddenly speeded up, apparently released from the controls, and there, center screen, was the shiny wood coffin, lowering into the grave, and someone saying, “Good-bye, Sam Makin.”
Even the priest didn’t say anything more about him. As everyone left, the camera sound picked up talk of basketball and the New York Knicks, retirement allowances and how the New York City police force had to have a new summer uniform.
“Like today really made me think,” came the voice of Sam’s old desk sergeant. “We’re all out here wearing winter uniforms and it’s a warm day. But the summer uniforms aren’t that much better. You know. I was thinking that, watching the priest. Even in a surplice, a priest is better dressed for the weather than we are.”
And then the screen went blank, and Sam Makin remembered how he had died. He had heard that sergeant’s voice at the end, and at the beginning. The sergeant had been working radio control. Patrolman Makin had been doing a solo cruise on the waterfront. He remembered how beautiful New York City looked across the East River. He remembered watching the barge loaded with happy dancers being pulled out for an evening under the Brooklyn Bridge. He remembered listening to the end of a tight Knicks game on his own little transistor, and taking a short break with a cup of coffee. And Sam Makin remembered the sergeant’s voice.
“Twenty-one sixteen,” the sergeant’s voice crackled over the radio. It was Sam’s patrol car he was calling. The short break was over. Sam turned off the game, stuffed his Styrofoam coffee cup down a model of Miss Piggy he kept just under the dashboard, somewhat against regulations. This was an NYPD police car, and according to regulations there “shall be no foreign accoutrements not directly in support of police duties.” But he had kept Miss Piggy. As he had told so many people, she seemed to be the one woman who stayed by him.