The streetcar jerked forward. Gabriel sat down and looked to his right. Scrawled on the carriage wall, in black indelible marker, was a swastika superimposed over a Star of David. Beneath it were two words: Juden Scheiss.
The tram took him directly to Hauptbahnhof. Inside the terminal, in an underground shopping arcade, he purchased an exorbitantly priced pair of Bally leather boots. Upstairs in the main hall he checked the departure board. A train was leaving for Munich in fifteen minutes. From Munich he could make an evening flight back to London, where he would go directly to Isherwood's house in South Kensington and strangle him.
He purchased a first-class ticket and walked to the toilet. In a stall he changed from his loafers into the new boots. On the way out he dropped the loafers into a rubbish bin and covered them with paper towels.
By the time he reached the platform, the train was boarding. He stepped onto the second carriage and picked his way along the corridor until he came to his compartment. It was empty. A moment later, as the train eased forward, Gabriel closed his eyes, but all he could see was the dead man lying at the foot of the Raphael, and the two words scrawled on a streetcar: juden scheiss.
The train slowed to a stop. They were still on the platform. Outside, in the corridor, Gabriel heard footfalls. Then the door to his compartment flew back as though blown open by a bomb, and two police officers burst inside.
Reprinted from The English Assassin by Daniel Silva by permission of The Putnam Publishing Group, a member of Penguin Putnam Inc. Copyright © March 2002, Daniel Silva. All rights reserved. This excerpt, or any parts thereof, may not be reproduced in any form without permission.
Blood at the Root
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