There should be a sheet suspended from the washing line in front of the safe house: the white all-clear is missing. Probable the sign has been neglected, an enemy would try a false flag to lure you in, but the position could be watched. NEMESIS’ absence has been noted by now, at most you had a five-minute lead before they realized he would never return from the bathroom; no doubt sentinels are prowling the city. Drive on past. One block. Anonymous townhomes pressed together. Scattered lights. Parked cars. No heads. A cobbler. No sign of activity. Two blocks. Shopping corridor. Closed for the night. Empty. Pull in. Circle the lot. Attorney. Dentist. High prole boutique. Optics. Framer. Photo developer. Oriental cuisine, still open for business. Exit left. Double back abruptly, tires shriek out. Quick J-turn. Accelerate hard. Decelerate. Observe. No visible tail. Follow a lonely access road toward airport. Occasional articulated lorries rush past, connected to their cargos with coiled plastics. No passenger cars. No motorbikes. No one follows. Behind, NEMESIS lights another cigarette. Neon red on the horizon. Pull into a motor inn. Courtyard access. En suite bathrooms. Color television. Two motorway exits. Ample parking. Airport shuttle. Check in. Continental breakfast option ticked. Non-smoking rooms, two, to muddle the trail. Nemesis waits in the car. No one must see him. You must act as if they will. Return. Remove contents of ashtray. Unscrew Corps Diplomatiqué plates. Scatter ashes in hotel room. Find estate wagon owned by family. The American make with the inflatable balls, plush animal dolls, and sand pails will suffice. Switch plates. Catch an early commuter bus back to the capital. Stop at train station. Not the Grand Station, but an exurban one, on the outskirts, when the train has already filled. Standing room only. NEMESIS coxed along, tired and complaining, promised a dollop of jam dissolved in his tea (i.e. the way it ought to be.) Ride north to the border. Step off into a seaside town flocked with bargain hunters from the north. A docked fishing trawler waits. Diesel. Liberian registry. Suspicious. Singapore or Grenada is better. Ten thousand dollars currency pressed into a soot-blackened palm. Included in the price: a single knit sweater and two merchant marine certificates. You expect NEMESIS to comment, but he remains mute, gripping the handrail and gazing out at the rolling grey water.