The Templar Cross

The Templar Cross by Paul Christopher Page B

Book: The Templar Cross by Paul Christopher Read Free Book Online
Authors: Paul Christopher
Tags: Fiction, Historical
anyone on the pier. They went forward on the main deck and then carefully down a lower companionway to the foc’sle, listening as they descended. The only sound was the clicking hum of an automatic bilge pump somewhere below and the faint lapping echo of small waves against the hull.
    The foc’sle consisted of two small cabins, six pipe berths against the port and starboard bulkheads, a small galley and a zinc-topped mess table with benches bolted to the floor. Dim pan lights dangled above them, throwing shadows everywhere. The ceiling was low, a forest of cables and conduits hanging on metal brackets. The stuffy little area had obviously been in recent use; there were photographs and pinups above the narrow berths and the unmistakable smell of fried onions in the air.
    “No one home,” said Rafi.
    “Let’s not stretch our luck,” answered Holliday, a nervous edge in his voice. Being belowdecks and blind to possible attack went against all his military experience, not to mention his basic survival instincts. “Five minutes more and then we’re out of here.”
    They made their way aft down a narrow corridor and then stepped through a bulkhead door into a cargo area between the foc’sle and the engine room farther back. The cargo area was stacked with seventy or eighty long wooden crates. The crates were each secured with lead customs seals and stenciled with arcane numbers and letters. The only clue to their contents was a stenciled logo of a rearing horse and the word DIEMACO.
    “All of a sudden I’m getting a bad feeling about this,” said Holliday.
    “What’s DIEMACO?” Rafi asked.
    “Die Manufacturing Corporation of Canada. They make machine guns.”
    “Canada?” Rafi asked with a look of surprise.
    “Sixth-largest exporter of small arms in the world. Bigger than Israel.”
    “You’re kidding.”
    “A billion dollars a year. Don’t let the maple leaves and maple syrup fool you. The Green Berets can trace their history back to the Devil’s Brigade, a Canada-U.S. commando unit. Nobody mentions it much these days, but it was Canadians from the Second Parachute Battalion who trained the Americans, not the other way around.”
    “One history lesson after another,” Rafi said with a grin.
    “Let’s open one of these up,” said Holliday.
    There was a short pry bar on a shelf against the portside bulkhead. Holliday used it to twist off the wire customs seal, then slipped it between the crate and its stapled wooden lid. Inside the crate were half a dozen flat, neutral-colored hard cases. Holliday undid the clasps on the top case and opened it.
    “Our man’s not smuggling stuff out of Egypt—he’s smuggling stuff in,” said Holliday, peering into the case. Inside, seated in custom-cut foam niches, was an entire weapons system. The weapon was sand-colored with an odd, flat surface texture.
    “What is it?” Rafi asked.
    “A Timberwolf sniper rifle. Dead accurate at four thousand yards. And I mean ‘dead’ accurate.”
    “That’s more than two miles.”
    “That’s right,” said Holliday flatly.
    There were a dozen much smaller cases fitted into the ends of the crates. He took one of the small cases out and dug even deeper, coming up with a dozen or so parcels wrapped in heavy paper. He opened up one of the small cases. Inside was a squat, dead black handgun with a beavertail grip and a snub barrel shorter than his index finger. The entire gun fit into the palm of his hand.
    “A Para-Ordnance Nite Hawg,” murmured Holliday. “Another Canadian company. Forty-five automatic.” He ripped the paper off one of the smaller packages. Boxes of ammunition. He slipped the handgun into the right-hand pocket of his jacket and stuffed half a dozen boxes of ammunition into the left.
    “You get caught with a handgun in Egypt and we’ll both go to jail for a very long time.”
    “We get caught by the bad guys without one and we could wind up dead,” responded Holliday. He stuffed the empty gun case

Similar Books

A Deadly Shade of Gold

John D. MacDonald

In Pieces

Nick Hopton

Love, Me

Tiffany White


Tori Carrington

Negroland: A Memoir

Margo Jefferson

This Is How

Augusten Burroughs