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.He frantically began pushing the boulders from his buried legs, but each try was a tremendous agony, and he had precious little left to give the effort.Delphi's fingertips touched and clawed at the Colt.The barrel tilted slightly and he hooked two fingers around the muzzle tip and pulled.The gun gave an eighth of an inch, but Delphi lost his fragile grip.Again and again he tried, until at last the.44 fell within reach of his palm.Then he clutched the handgrip with such force his knuckles turned bone-white.Delphi coughed and a wave of blood spilled from his mouth, staining the rocks beneath him.But his intent never wavered; his face twisted fiendishly as he raised the gun barrel.He thumbed the hammer back A grin swept his face, revealing a set of crimson-coated teeth as he leveled the sights at a point between Pitt's eyes.Suddenly there was a movement a few feet in front of Delphi.Pitt watched in stunned fascination as another arm snaked upward from the rubble.Lake a ghostly apparition rising from the grave, the arm and its attached hand rose and swung in an arc toward Delphi.Slowly the hand doubled up and closed into a fist except for the little finger which remained extended.Next, in one lightning motion, the fist fell and rammed against the gun muzzle, imbedding the little finger up to the first knuckle inside the barrel.Giordino could not quite reach far enough to grasp the gun; he had jammed his finger in the barrel, knowing that if Delphi squeezed the trigger, the stoppage would momentarily expand the charge and the breech would blow up in the giant's face.Incredulous surprise cast its shadow over Delphi's eyes.He feebly jerked the Colt from side to side—his strength was gone; he could hardly hold the gun level, much less engage in a struggle to dislodge the obstruction.The finger stayed.Delphi seemed to ponder the situation, but blackness was seeping into his mind.For the last time he flashed his blood-covered grin, and pulled the trigger.Dirk Pitt 1 - Pacific VortexThe muffled crash shook the cavern; several small rocks broke and tumbled from the vaulted ceiling.The right side of Delphi's face dissolved.The mangled gun dropped from his hand, and he fell forward, his head striking heavily on the rocks.Giordino had uttered no sound.His arm and hand were still erect as he unclenched the fist and revealed a thumb and three fingers—the little finger was smashed to its base.Pitt renewed the fight with his rock prison.He finally managed to tear himself free.Then he lifted Adrian from her confining position and leaned her against the standing statue.She had passed out cold.“If you're up to it,” Giordino murmured through tight lips, “how about excavating me from the ruins?”“Hold on,” Pitt answered.He crawled over the rubble to Giordino.Together they shoved away the boulders that had entombed all but Al's face and right arm.“Any other bones broken besides your missing pinkie?” Pitt asked.“No,” Giordino answered tersely, grimacing from the pain in his hand.“How about you?”“A bent rib or two.” Pitt slipped out of his torn swimming trunks and began tearing them into strips.“Here, let me wrap your hand.”“I've heard of giving a friend the shirt off your back,” said Giordino, smiling gratefully, “but this is a new twist.”Just as he finished, Pitt heard a low gasp where the rock slide ended in the pond.Summer was pulling herself out of the water, her eyes dazed and glassy.She looked vacantly at Pitt.“My father.what?.” Her voice trailed off and the words became jumbled and incoherent.“Rest easy,” Pitt said.“We'll be out of here and safe in a few minutes.”He reached over and pulled her to him, cradling her head in his arm.His fingers gently pushed the dripping hair from her face; he could see a dark red cut on her temple which was starting to swell.He whispered a few words in her ear and kissed her lightly on the mouth.The water was rising rapidly throughout the cavern, creeping up the stairway, but Pitt wasn't aware of it.His face was tight with pity for Summer.He wanted to cry out that he loved her, but his lips moved soundlessly.She looked up into Pitt's eyes with an expression of faraway detachment.Her lips moved; she reached up and placed her hand on his chest.“He's dead, isn't he?”“Yes, the rock slide,” he lied, but it was only a little lie.The exploding Colt only hastened Delphi's end.His crushed and broken body would have given up the fight within the hour.“I hate to keep coming between you two,” Giordino said, “but I think we better make our getaway, if you'll excuse the expression, before the roof falls in.”Pitt kissed Summer once more and then rose unsteadily to his feet He was about to ask Giordino to revive Adrian when she appeared, naked, covered with golden phosphorescence, looking like a gilded nymph.“Do you think you can swim?” Giordino asked her.“I'll try,” Adrian muttered weakly.“Al, you and Adrian go first,” Pitt said.“Have her hold onto your shoulders.Summer and I will follow.” He nodded reassuringly at Giordino.“We'll meet you in the next chamber.”Giordino looked around.“Too bad some of our equipment isn't still around.”“Even if it was, we'd never find it under all this.” “Come along,” Giordino said to Adrian.“The Albert Giordino Great Western and Pacific Underwater Express waits for no one.” He led Adrian gently into the water.He had trouble walking, but swimming came easily.He guided her arms around his bull-like neck and she buried her face on his back between the shoulder blades.“Now hold tight and take a deep breath,” he ordered.Then they both disappeared, leaving only a spreading circle of ripples.Summer gazed back at the mound of rocks surrounding the fallen statue.“There's nothing that can be done?” she asked.“Nothing.”Grief is a strange emotion.Summer's sad and lovely face suddenly became a mask of haunting serenity, edged by an icy expression of determination.“I love you, Dirk, but I.I cannot go with you.” Pitt stared at her.“That's nonsense.” “Please understand,” she pleaded.“This seamount has always been my home.My mother lies buried here and now my father.” “That's no reason to die here too.” She laid her face against his chest.“I once promised my father I would never leave his side.I must honor that promise.”Pitt had to fight to overcome an urge to order her to dive into the water.Instead he stroked her hair and tenderly said: Tm a selfish man.Your father is gone and now you belong to me.I want you.I need you.Even he wouldn't wish you to die to fulfill a young girl's promise.“ He hugged her tightly.”No more arguments.We're leaving together and we're leaving now [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]