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.When I'm finished, colored stones will be the prestige gems for jewelry.Diamonds will merely be used for background settings.'Pitt 's gaze traveled from Boudicca to Deirdre and then Maeve.“Like most men, I'm a poor judge of women's inner thoughts and emotions, but I know it won't be easy convincing them that diamonds are not a girl's best friend.”Dorsett laughed dryly.“It's the men who' buy precious stones for women.And as much as they want to impress their true love, men have a higher regard for value.Sell them on the fact that rubies and emeralds are fifty times more rare than diamonds, and they'll buy them.”“Is that true?” Pitt was skeptical.“That an emerald is fifty times more rare than a comparable diamond?”Dorsett nodded solemnly.“As the deposits of emeralds dry up, and they will in time, the gap will become much higher.Actually, it could safely be said of the red emerald, which comes only from one or two mines in the state of Utah, that it is over a million times as rare.”“Cornering one market while destroying another, there has to be more in it for you than mere profit.”“Not `mere profit,' my dear Pitt.Profits on a level unheard of in history.We're talking tens of billions of dollars.”Pitt was incredulous at the staggering sum.“You couldn't achieve that kind of money unless you doubled the price of colored gemstones.”“Quadrupled would be closer to the truth.Of course, the raise would not take place overnight, but in graduated price hikes over a period of years.”Pitt moved until he was standing directly in front of Dorsett, peering up closely at the taller man.“I have no quarrel with your desire to play King Midas,” he said with quiet steadiness.“Do what you will with the price of diamonds.But for God's sake shut down the ultrasonic excavation of your mines.Call your superintendents and order them to stop all operations.Do it now before another life is lost.”There came a strange stillness.Every pair of eye, turned toward Dorsett in expectation of an outburst of wrath at being challenged.He stared at Pitt for long seconds before turning to Maeve.“Your friend is impatient.He does not know me, does not recognize my determination.” Then he again faced Pitt.“The assault on the diamond cartel is set for February twenty-second, twenty-one days from now.To make it work I need every gram, every carat, my mines can produce until then.Worldwide press coverage, advertising space in newspapers and time on television is purchased and scheduled.There can be no change, there will be no change in plans.If a few rabble die, so be it.”Mental derangement, Pitt thought, those were the only words to describe the eerie malignity in Dorsett's coalblack eyes.Mental derangement and total indifference to any thought of remorse.He was a man totally without conscience.Pitt felt his skin crawl from just looking at him.He wondered how many deaths Arthur Dorsett was accountable for.Long before he began excavating diamonds with ultrasound, how many men had died who stood in his way to becoming rich and powerful? He felt a sharp chill at knowing the man was a sociopath on the same level as a serial killer.“You will pay for your crimes, Dorsett,” Pitt said calmly but with a cold edge in his voice.“You will surely pay for the unbearable grief and agony you have caused.”“Who will be the angel of my retribution?” Dorsett sneered.“You, maybe? Mr.Giordino here? I do not believe there will be ordained retaliation from the heavens.The possibility is too remote.The only certainty I can bank on, Mr.Pitt, is that you won't be around to see it.”“Execute the witnesses by shooting them in the head and throwing their bodies overboard, is that your policy?”“Shoot you and Mr.Giordino in the head?” There was no trace of emotion, of any feeling in Arthur Dorsett's voice.“Nothing so crude and mundane, nor so merciful.Thrown in the sea? Yes, you may consider that a foregone conclusion.In any event, I will guarantee you and your friend a slow but violent death.”After thirty hours of pounding through the sea at incredible speeds, the powerful turbodiesels fell off to a muffled throb, and the yacht slowed and began to drift amid a sea of gentle swells [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]