something you can give to Langley as your own. You'll make a few points that way. Makes everyone look good."
    Burke moved toward the door, then turned. "They're probably going after the Malone woman. Maybe even after the consul general."
    Major Martin shook his head. "I don't think so. Sir Harold has no involvement whatsoever in Irish affairs. And the Malone woman-I knew her sister, Sheila, in Belfast, incidentally. She's in jail. An IRA martyr.
    They should only know-but that's another story. Where was I?Maureen Malone. She's quite the other thing to the IRA. A Provisional IRA tribunal has condemned her to death in absentia, you know. She's on borrowed time now. But they won't shoot her down in the street. T'hey'll grab her someday in Ireland, north or south, have a trial with her present this time, kneecap her, then a day or so later shoot her in the head and leave her on a street in Belfast. And the Fenians, whoever they are, won't do anything that would preempt the Provos' death sentence. And don't forget, Malone and Sir Harold will be on the steps of Saint Patrick7s most of the day, and the Irish respect the sanctuary of the church no matter what their religious or political beliefs. No, I wouldn't worry about those two. Look for a more obvious target. British property. The Ulster Trade Delegation. The Irish always perform in a predictable manner."
    "Really? Maybe that's why my wife left me."
    "Oh, you're Irish, of course . . . sorry. . . ."
    Burke unbolted the door and walked out of the room.



    Major Martin threw back his head and laughed softly, then went to the sideboard and made himself a martini. He evaluated his conversation with Burke and decided that Burke was more clever than he had been led to believe. Not that it would do him any good this late in the game.


Book III
The Parade

    Saint Patrick's Day in New York is the most fantastic aflair, and in past years on Fifth Avenue, from Fortyfourth Street to Ninety-sixth Street, the white traffic lines were repainted green for the occasion. All the would-be Irish, has-been Irish and never-been Irish, seem to appear true-blue Irish overnight. Everyone is in on the act, but it is a very jolly occasion and I have never experienced anything like it anywhere else in the world.

    Brendan Behan,
    Brendan Behan's New York

    In the middle of Fifth Avenue, at Forty-fourth Street, Pat and Mike, the two Irish wolfhounds that were the mascots of the Fighting 69th Infantry Regiment, strained at their leashes. Colonel Dennis Logan, Commander of the 69th, tapped his Irish blackthorn swagger stick impatiently against his leg. He glanced at the sky and sniffed the air, then turned to Major Matthew Cole. "What's the weather for this afternoon, Major?"
    Major Cole, like all good adjutants, had the answer to everything. "Cold front moving through later, sir. Snow or freezing rain by nightfall."
    Logan nodded and thrust his prominent jaw out in a gesture of defiance, as though he were going to say, "Damn the weather-full speed ahead."
    The young major struck a similar pose, although his jaw was not so grand.
    "Parade'll be finished before then, I suspect, Colonel." He glanced at Logan to see if he was listening. The colonel's marvelously angular face had served him well at staff meetings, but the rocklike quahty of that visage was softened by misty green eyes like a woman's. Too bad.
    Logan looked at his watch, then at the big iron stanchion clock in front of the Morgan Guaranty Trust Building on Fifth Avenue. The clock was three minutes fast, but they would go when that clock struck noon. Logan would never forget the newspaper picture that showed his unit at parade rest and the clock at three minutes after. The caption had read: THE
    IRISH START LATE. Never again.



    The regiment's staff, back from their inspection of the unit, was assembled in front of the color guard. The national and regimental colors snapped in a five-mile-an-hour

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