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The Da Vinci Code (chapter 53)

2006-07-07 17:48

  CHAPTER 53

  “Monsieur Vernet!” The night manager of the Depository Bank of Zurich felt relieved to hear the bank president's voice on the phone. “Where did you go, sir? The police are here, everyone is waiting for you!”

  “I have a little problem,” the bank president said, sounding distressed. “I need your help right away.”

  You have more than a little problem, the manager thought. The police had entirely surrounded the bank and were threatening to have the DCPJ captain himself show up with the warrant the bank had demanded. “How can I help you, sir?”

  “Armored truck number three. I need to find it.”

  Puzzled, the manager checked his delivery schedule. “It's here. Downstairs at the loading dock.”

  “Actually, no. The truck was stolen by the two individuals the police are tracking.”

  “What? How did they drive out?”

  “I can't go into the specifics on the phone, but we have a situation here that could potentially be extremely unfortunate for the bank.”

  “What do you need me to do, sir?”

  “I'd like you to activate the truck's emergency transponder.”

  The night manager's eyes moved to the LoJack control box across the room. Like many armored cars, each of the bank's trucks had been equipped with a radio-controlled homing device, which could be activated remotely from the bank. The manager had only used the emergency system once, after a hijacking, and it had worked flawlessly-locating the truck and transmitting the

  coordinates to the authorities automatically. Tonight, however, the manager had the impression the president was hoping for a bit more prudence. “Sir, you are aware that if I activate the LoJack system, the transponder will simultaneously inform the authorities that we have a problem.”

  Vernet was silent for several seconds. “Yes, I know. Do it anyway. Truck number three. I'll hold. I need the exact location of that truck the instant you have it.”

  “Right away, sir.”

  Thirty seconds later, forty kilometers away, hidden in the undercarriage of the armored truck, a tiny transponder blinked to life.

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