Donald E. Westlake
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In Uganda in 1977, a particular trainload of coffee, mostly belonging to dictator Idi Amin, is worth six million dollars. As a group of scoundrels and international financiers hijack the train, the double and triple crosses pile up and the comic tension escalates in a brawling brew of buffoons, bumblers, beans and boxcars.
valuable to them. Give me a pragmatic people, and I won’t care what they think of me.” Smiling, Lew said, “What sort of business will you open?” “We wait upon opportunity,” Young Mr. Balim said. “First this adventure, and then we settle down to Paki respectability.” * * * The thirty miles to Macdonald Bay took just over three hours, of which the last part was the most difficult. The rafts weren’t particularly agile and had to be jockeyed into position against a very narrow slice of muddy
Denis the trucks waiting to carry the coffee from the train to the aircraft at Entebbe. As they drove, alone in the car, they talked about their plans. “I’m not making any promises,” Patricia said. “Of course not. We’ll simply take each day as it comes.” Sir Denis beamed on her. “I’m looking forward to showing you Brazil.” “Brazil.” She shook her head, a bemused smile on her lips. “That’s one future I never even suspected,” she said. * * * Amin had anticipated a report from Colonel Juba
leading from the water directly to their hearts. When the helicopter did return within the hour and, after only the slightest hesitation, landed on the island of their hiding place, they could only believe it was devilry. The officer in the helicopter was extremely angry. When the six men were found and lined up in front of him, he beat their faces with his fists and lashed their arms with a piece of brush. They had killed one of his men and wounded two others; it was a personal humiliation, an
the top sergeant he had frequently been. “Look at yourselves,” he ordered. “You’re a crowd of big, tough, no-nonsense sons of bitches, you look like you could hunt bear with a baseball bat, but you walk in here and all of a sudden you’re a goddam bunch of ballet dancers.” The man who’d complained before complained again. “You’re a trained professional, that’s why.” Lew shook his head. “Tell me the truth,” he said, making it a general question. “You want to throw in the towel, just give up and
and waited while they listened to the translation and then did actually look back and forth, confused and self-conscious, laughing at one another. Lew went on slowly, giving Charlie plenty of time to put it all in Swahili: “That man beside you has very little experience with guns, and no experience at all with war. Imagine you are walking in the woods, with an entire army somewhere around. Imagine that man now sitting beside you is also in the woods, somewhere nearby. There’s a commotion up