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Chapter 93

London's Opus Dei Centre is a modest brick building at 5 Orme Court, overlooking the North Walkat Kensington Gardens. Silas had never been here, but he felt a rising sense of refuge and asylum ashe approached the building on foot. Despite the rain, Rémy had dropped him off a short distanceaway in order to keep the limousine off the main streets. Silas didn't mind the walk. The rain wascleansing.

  At Rémy's suggestion, Silas had wiped down his gun and disposed of it through a sewer grate. Hewas glad to get rid of it. He felt lighter. His legs still ached from being bound all that time, butSilas had endured far greater pain. He wondered, though, about Teabing, whom Rémy had leftbound in the back of the limousine. The Briton certainly had to be feeling the pain by now.

  "What will you do with him?" Silas had asked Rémy as they drove over here.

  Rémy had shrugged. "That is a decision for the Teacher." There was an odd finality in his tone.

  Now, as Silas approached the Opus Dei building, the rain began to fall harder, soaking his heavyrobe, stinging the wounds of the day before. He was ready to leave behind the sins of the lasttwenty-four hours and purge his soul. His work was done.

  Moving across a small courtyard to the front door, Silas was not surprised to find the doorunlocked. He opened it and stepped into the minimalist foyer. A muted electronic chime soundedupstairs as Silas stepped onto the carpet. The bell was a common feature in these halls where theresidents spent most of the day in their rooms in prayer. Silas could hear movement above on thecreaky wood floors.

  A man in a cloak came downstairs. "May I help you?" He had kind eyes that seemed not even toregister Silas's startling physical appearance.

  "Thank you. My name is Silas. I am an Opus Dei numerary.""American?"Silas nodded. "I am in town only for the day. Might I rest here?""You need not even ask. There are two empty rooms on the third floor. Shall I bring you some teaand bread?""Thank you." Silas was famished.

  Silas went upstairs to a modest room with a window, where he took off his wet robe and kneltdown to pray in his undergarments. He heard his host come up and lay a tray outside his door. Silasfinished his prayers, ate his food, and lay down to sleep.

  Three stories below, a phone was ringing. The Opus Dei numerary who had welcomed Silasanswered the line.

  "This is the London police," the caller said. "We are trying to find an albino monk. We've had a tip-off that he might be there. Have you seen him?"The numerary was startled. "Yes, he is here. Is something wrong?""He is there now?""Yes, upstairs praying. What is going on?""Leave him precisely where he is," the officer commanded. "Don't say a word to anyone. I'msending officers over right away."

伦敦的天主事工会活动中心位于奥姆宫街5 号,它是一座外表朴素的砖房,从楼上可以俯瞰到肯辛顿花园的北大道。塞拉斯从未到过那里,然而当他以步代车向那栋房子走去时,他的心中逐渐有种越来强烈的前来寻求避难的感觉。尽管下着雨,雷米还是把车停在离房子不远的地方,让他下车,为的是使豪华轿车远离热闹的大街。塞拉斯并不介意走路。雨,正在洗刷着天地间的一切。

塞拉斯听从了雷米的建议,他把枪擦拭干净,把它放进带栅条的炉篦里。他很高兴把它处理掉了,感觉轻松了许多。他的双腿因为一直被绑着,至今还有点疼,然而他曾经承受过的苦难远比这大得多。不过,他倒是在为被雷米绑在车子后面的提彬而感到惊奇。这个英国佬肯定要吃一番苦头了。

"你打算怎么处置他呢?"早在开车到这里来时,塞拉斯就已经问过雷米。

雷米耸耸肩:"还是让教主做决定吧。"他以一种奇怪的果断语气说道。

此刻,塞拉斯向天主事工会的房子走去。雨下得更大了,将他身上的长袍淋了个湿透,他前天留下的伤口,因为雨淋的缘故,此时像针一样刺痛了他的神经。他正准备将过去二十四小时的罪孽统统抛诸脑后,以便净化自己的灵魂。如今,他的使命已经完成。

塞拉斯穿过小院,来到大门前。他发现门没有锁,却一点也不感到奇怪。当他从地毯上走过时,楼上的电子钟骤然响了起来。在这些居住者每天要花上大部分时间闭门祷告的大厅里,钟,是在寻常不过的摆设。塞拉斯听到头上的木板发出"吱吱呀呀"的声音。

一位身披大氅的男人走下楼来。"有什么事需要我帮忙吗?"他的目光很和蔼,似乎毫不在意塞拉斯那令人吃惊的外表。

"谢谢。我叫塞拉斯,是天主事工会的成员。"

"你是美国人吗?"

塞拉斯点点头:"我来城里就呆一天。我可以在这里歇歇脚吗?"

"那还用说,四楼有两间房子空着呢。要不要我去给你拿些面包与茶来?"

"谢谢。"塞拉斯此时已经饿坏了。

塞拉斯上楼挑了一个有窗户的房间,他脱下身上被雨淋湿的长袍,只穿着贴身的衣服,跪在地上祷告。他听到主人上了楼,将盘子放在门边。塞拉斯做完祷告,吃完东西,便躺下睡觉。

三层楼以下,有人正打电话进来。接电话的,是刚才接待塞拉斯的天主事工会的那个人。

"这里是伦敦警察局,"打电话的人说道:"我们在寻找一名患了白化病的修道士。我们已经听说,他可能就在你们那里。你见过他没有?"

天主事工会的人大吃一惊:"他是在这里。他闯了什么祸吗?"

"他真的在你们那里?"

"是的,他正在楼上祷告呢。到底出什么事了?"

"你别放他走。"那位警官下了命令:"也不要跟任何人说。我马上就派人过来。"



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