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Authors: Robert Ludlum

The Scarlatti Inheritance

BOOK: The Scarlatti Inheritance
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WAS THERE SOMEONE ELSE IN THE ROOM?

At the thought she felt pain in the pit of her stomach.

And then she heard it.

“Hello, Mother.”

Out of the shadows from the far end of the room walked a large man dressed in black. His head was shaved and he was deeply tanned.

For several seconds she did not recognize him. The light from the one table lamp was dim and the figure remained at the end of the room. As she became adjusted to the light and the object of her gaze, she realized why the man appeared to be a stranger. The face had changed. The shining black hair was shaved off: the nose was altered, smaller and the nostrils wider; even the eyes—where before there had been a Neapolitan droop to the lids—these eyes were wide, as if no lids existed. There were reddish splotches around the mouth and forehead. It was not a face. It was the mask of a face. It was striking. It was monstrous. And it was her son.

“Ulster! My God!”

“Mother, if you die right now from heart failure, you’ll make fools out of several highly paid assassins.”

THE SCARLATTI INHERITANCE

“What makes this book fascinating is the rapidity of its narration and the scope of the story … A gripping tale.”


Best Sellers

THE SCARLATTI INHERITANCE
A Bantam Book / published by arrangement with the author

Bantam edition / March 1982

All rights reserved.
Copyright © 1971 by Robert Ludlum.
No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher.
For information address: Bantam Books.

eISBN: 978-0-307-81394-7

Bantam Books are published by Bantam Books, a division of Bantam Double-day Dell Publishing Group, Inc. Its trademark, consisting of the words “Bantam Books” and the portrayal of a rooster, is Registered in U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and in other countries. Marca Registrada. Bantam Books, 1540 Broadway, New York, New York 10036.

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Contents

T
HE
N
EW
Y
ORK
T
IMES
, May 21, 1926 (Page 13)

NEW YORKER MISSING

New York, May 21
—The scion of one of America’s wealthiest industrial families, who was decorated for bravery at the Meuse-Argonne, disappeared from his Manhattan brownstone over five weeks ago, it was learned today. Mr.…

T
HE
N
EW
Y
ORK
T
IMES
, July 10, 1937 (Page 1)

HITLER AIDE DISRUPTS
I. G. FARBEN CONFERENCE

Berlin, July 10
—An unidentified member of Reichschancellor Hitler’s Ministry of War today startled negotiators of I. G. Farben and U.S. firms during their reciprocal trade agreements conference. In a surprising display of invective, spoken clearly in the English language, he branded the progress as unacceptable. The unknown observer then departed with his staff.…

T
HE
N
EW
Y
ORK
T
IMES
, February 18, 1948 (Page 6)

NAZI OFFICIAL DEFECTED
IN 1944

Washington, D.C., February 18
—A little-known story from World War II was partially revealed today when it was learned that a high-ranking Nazi figure, using the code name “Saxon,” defected to the Allies in October, 1944. A Senate subcommittee …

T
HE
N
EW
Y
ORK
T
IMES
, May 26, 1951 (Page 58)

WAR DOCUMENT FOUND

Kreuzlingen, Switz., May 26
—An oilcloth packet containing maps of armament installations in and around wartime Berlin was found buried in the ground near a small inn in this Swiss village on the Rhine. The inn is being razed for a resort hotel. No identification was found; just the word “Saxon” imprinted on a strip of the tape attached to the packet.…

PART ONE
CHAPTER 1

October 10, 1944—Washington, D.C.

The brigadier general sat stiffly on the deacon’s bench, preferring the hard surface of the pine to the soft leather of the armchairs. It was nine twenty in the morning and he had not slept well, no more than an hour.

As each half hour had been marked by the single chime of the small mantel clock, he had found himself, to his surprise, wanting the time to pass more swiftly. Because nine thirty had to come, he wanted to reckon with it.

At nine thirty he was to appear before the secretary of state, Cordell S. Hull.

As he sat in the secretary’s outer office, facing the large black door with its gleaming brass hardware, he fingered the white folder, which he had taken out of his attaché case. When the time came for him to produce it, he did not want an awkward moment of silence while he opened the case to extract the folder. He wanted to be able to thrust it, if necessary, into the hands of the secretary of state with assurance.

On the other hand, Hull might not ask for it. He might demand only a verbal explanation and then proceed to use the authority of his office to term the spoken words unacceptable. If such was the case the brigadier could do no more than protest. Mildly, to be sure. The information in the folder did not constitute proof, only data that could or could not bolster the conjectures he had made.

The brigadier general looked at his watch. It was nine twenty-four and he wondered if Hull’s reputation for
punctuality would apply to his appointment. He had reached his own office at seven thirty, approximately half an hour before his normal arrival time. Normal, that was, except for periods of crisis when he often stayed through the night awaiting the latest development of critical information. These past three days were not unlike those periods of crisis. In a different way.

His memorandum to the secretary, the memorandum that had resulted in his appointment this morning, might put him to the test. Ways could be found to place him out of communication, far from any center of influence. He might well be made to appear a total incompetent. But he knew he was right.

He bent the top of the folder back, just enough to read the typed title page: “Canfield, Matthew. Major, United States Army Reserve. Department of Military Intelligence.”

Canfield, Matthew.… Matthew Canfield. He was the proof.

A buzzer rang on the intercom on the desk of a middle-aged receptionist.

“Brigadier General Ellis?” She barely looked up from the paper.

“Right here.”

“The secretary will see you now.”

Ellis looked at his wristwatch. It was nine thirty-two.

He rose, walked toward the ominous black-enameled door, and opened it.

“You’ll forgive me, General Ellis. I felt that the nature of your memorandum required the presence of a third party. May I introduce Undersecretary Brayduck?”

The brigadier was startled. He had not anticipated a third party; he had specifically requested that the audience be between the secretary and himself alone.

Undersecretary Brayduck stood about ten feet to the right of Hull’s desk. He obviously was one of those White House—State Department university men so prevalent in the Roosevelt administration. Even his clothes—the light gray flannels and the wide herringbone jacket—were casually emphasized in the silent counterpoint to the creased uniform of the brigadier.

“Certainly, Mr. Secretary.… Mr. Brayduck.” The brigadier nodded.

Cordell S. Hull sat behind the wide desk. His familiar
features—the very light skin, almost white, the thinning white hair, the steel-rimmed pince-nez in front of his blue-green eyes—all seemed larger than life because they were an everyday image. The newspapers and the motion picture newsreels were rarely without photographs of him. Even the more inclusive election posters—ponderously asking, Do you want to change horses in the middle of the stream?—had his reassuring, intelligent face prominently displayed beneath Roosevelt’s; sometimes more prominently than the unknown Harry Truman’s.

Brayduck took a tobacco pouch out of his pocket and began stuffing his pipe. Hull arranged several papers on his desk and slowly opened a folder, identical to the one in the brigadier’s hand, and looked down at it. Ellis recognized it. It was the confidential memorandum he had had hand-delivered to the secretary of state.

Brayduck lit his pipe and the odor of the tobacco caused Ellis to look at the man once again. That smell belonged to one of those strange mixtures considered so original by the university people but generally offensive to anyone else in the room. Brigadier Ellis would be relieved when the war was over. Roosevelt would then be out and so would the so-called intellectuals and their bad-smelling tobaccos.

The Brain Trust. Pinks, every one of them.

But first the war.

Hull looked up at the brigadier. “Needless to say, General, your memorandum is very disturbing.”

“The information was disturbing to me, Mr. Secretary.”

“No doubt. No doubt.… The question would appear to be, Is there any foundation for your conclusions? I mean, anything concrete?”

“I believe so, sir.”

“How many others in Intelligence know about this, Ellis?” Brayduck interrupted and the absence of the word “General” was not lost on the brigadier.

“I’ve spoken to no one. I didn’t think I’d be speaking to anyone but the secretary this morning, to be perfectly frank with you.”

“Mr. Brayduck has my confidence, General Ellis. He’s here at my request.… My orders, if you like.”

“I understand.”

Cordell Hull leaned back in his chair. “Without offense,
I wonder if you do.… You send a classified memorandum, delivered under the highest priority to this office—to my own person, to be exact—and the substance of what you say is nothing short of incredible.”

“A preposterous charge you admit you can’t prove,” interjected Brayduck, sucking on his pipe as he approached the desk.

BOOK: The Scarlatti Inheritance
12.26Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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