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.If that were true, it would explain why he'd been watching me; he could have been trying to remember where he'd known me before—just as I was doing.I glanced over my shoulder again.For a moment I thought he had gone—or had realized I'd seen him and had ducked behind one of the racks—but then I saw him at the counter, buying the book he'd been looking at.Obviously he was making no attempt to hide.At the moment he was leaning on the counter, looking thoroughly unconcerned, waiting for the cashier to bring back his change, casually watching the crowd moving around him.He was a large man and rather good-looking—or perhaps “rugged” was a better word.I guessed he would stand an inch or so taller than I—maybe six-two or six-three.Dark hair, broad shoulders, a solid, muscular body.(I decided that women would probably find him very “sexy".) There was something about him that seemed out-of-place, and it took several moments before I could decide what it was.He looked so natural and at ease in his clothing that it wasn't until I'd looked around at several other men that I realized what made him look different.Most of the men I could see were dressed like myself, in sport coats and slacks, or in business suits; he was wearing a plain white t-shirt and the tightest pair of Levi's I'd seen in a long time.With his faded denim jacket hanging over one muscular arm, he looked like a burly sheepherder just down from the hills, freshly scrubbed, ready for a “night out in the Big City".But a friendly sheepherder.He didn't look at all sinister or dangerous.I couldn't quite picture him sneaking into my room, or skulking after me in the street.He looked more like the type who would march up and say, “Hey, don't I know you from somewheres?"The only thing that really disturbed me about him was the obscene slouch he affected, which tightened his Levi's even more, displaying a thick and embarrassing bulge in his crotch; even from where I was sitting, the details of his sex organs were obvious.There was no way anyone could have helped noticing.He stood up from the slouch as the cashier said something behind him, and I looked up to his face—and found his eyes looking directly at mine.He nodded and grinned, then turned to the cashier, and I quickly looked away, embarrassed at having been caught staring.A tinny voice startled me: “Your attention please.United Airline's flight nine-seventeen, nonstop to Salt Lake City, is now loading at gate twenty-two."The voice pushed all thought of the man totally out of my mind.I sat staring out of the window again, feeling numb.Now that the moment had come, I didn't want to get on that plane.I'd planned it all so carefully up to this point, but now that the end of my plan was in sight I didn't want to complete it.I wanted to rush back outside, jump into the nearest cab, and speed back into San Francisco.But I couldn't do that and I knew it; I had to go through with it; I had to be sure.Now it was even too late to have that drink.The announcement came again and I reluctantly stood up and started toward the long corridor to the loading ramps."Hey! Hey, you! Wait!"The voice was like a blast of icy wind.I stopped short, my back muscles tensing like fists along my spine.I wanted to turn, to glance back casually, but for a terrible moment I couldn't move.Wildly in my mind I saw several men coming toward me, guns drawn from secret holsters, handcuffs open, ready to arrest me for some dreadful crime I hadn't committed."Hey! Your briefcase."I looked down at my empty hand.“Oh, God!"The note was in that briefcase!I spun around—and almost collided with the man who'd been watching me.He smiled as he held out the briefcase, and I forced myself to smile calmly as I took it.“Thank you,” I told him.“Don't want to lose that.” I added: “Nothing really valuable in it, but I wouldn't want to just leave it behind."He nodded and smiled again.“Good thing I noticed.""Yes.Thank you."Now that we stood face to face, that feeling that I knew him grew even stronger.I waited before saying anything, hoping he'd ask: “Aren't you Robert Thorne? Remember me? I'm.” But he didn't.I watched his brown eyes for a flicker of recognition, but if there was any he didn't let it show.I felt foolish asking, but I had to know.“Do I know you from someplace?"He looked startled.“I don't think so.""Oh.” I looked down uncomfortably.“I.just thought.the way you were.staring [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]