"I don't know anything. I swear!"
"Think harder," Bolan said.
Dodge Reed shook his head. "I don't know what you want."
"I want to know what information you have. The kind the KGB would be interested in."
"I don't have any information. Not for the KGB or anyone else."
Bolan blew an exasperated sigh and stamped harder on the gas pedal. The Toyota zipped around another curb on the way to the secluded cabin. Next to Bolan sat Dodge Reed, nervous, fidgeting with a loose piece of paper sticking out of the glove compartment. In the back seat, Rita kept watch out the rear window while Shawnee practiced her nursing on Lynn's arm.
"How is she?" Bolan asked Shawnee, watching her in the rearview mirror. "Not too bad. Some blood loss, but nothing serious."
"That's easy for you to say," Lynn deadpanned.
Shawnee smiled. "I thought you Orientals are supposed to be strong silent types. No complaints. You lose face or something."
"Hey, losing face is one thing, but losing six inches of skin and half a pint of blood, even we Asians draw the line there."
Bolan watched Shawnee finish taping the bandage around Lynn's forearm. Some blood was already seeping through, but Shawnee had done a first-rate job and the bleeding would stop soon. He turned his attention back to Dodge Reed.
"Listen, son. By now you must know we saved you from the people who killed the guards back there."
"Maybe," Reed said, "but maybe you got the wrong guy. There were a bunch of other fellas in that van. Maybe you want one of them."
Bolan caught a glimpse of Shawnee's expression in the mirror. She looked doubtful, as though she wondered if maybe the kid was right, and he had made a mistake. The thing was, Dodge Reed was convincing. Bolan tended to believe him. But the KGB didn't make mistakes like that.
If they wanted him dead, he knew something, something very important. Even if he didn't know that he knew.
"Let's take it from the top, kid."
Dodge Reed groaned. "Listen, Mr. Blue, I wanna help, I truly do. I appreciate you getting me away from those assassins and all, and if I knew what you wanted, I'd surely tell you. Out of sheer gratitude."
"Turn left up here," Shawnee interrupted.
She reached her arm over his shoulder and pointed to a narrow dirt road almost hidden by brush. It was an unmarked route that looked as if it had been hacked out of the brush with a butter knife.
Branches scraped along the sides of the car as Bolan geared down to negotiate the trail. "Go on, kid," Bolan said to Reed.
"Like I said, I'd tell you anything you wanted to know. But I honestly think you got the wrong guy. I'm just some college student studying computers at night and working in a record store during the day."
"In jail for embezzlement," Bolan reminded him.
"A mistake. Honest. I don't know why they got so damned upset. Sure I used their computer when I shouldn't have. But I had all this homework to do from my computer science class, and it was during my lunchtime anyway and the computer wasn't being used. I was just experimenting with this program I had to write. I dunno, it was weird."
"Well, first of all, I had to use their system disk. I didn't want to screw it up, so I just made a copy of their system disk and used that to work on my own program. I was having trouble, so I thought there might be something wrong with the system disk. I checked it out and created a file there to run a simple program. Somehow that overloaded the disk so that when I printed it out, some of the files crashed together and I started to get all kinds of strange stuff."
"Like what?" Bolan asked.
Reed shrugged. "Like all these dates and cities. Labeled 'Delivery Dates.' And distribution maps and coordinates. All kinds of crazy stuff like that."
"Record shipments maybe?"
"I don't see how. The store's not that big. Besides, the point of shipment was in Miami."
A heavy branch whomped the roof of the car as they drove deeper into the brush.
"Can you remember where in Miami?" Bolan asked. "An address or something?"
Ahead the road widened and the tiny cabin built by Shawnee's parents stood in a small clearing amidst the lush plants. Birds, unafraid of the intruders, cawed loudly, almost belligerently.
"An address, Dodge," Bolan repeated. "Can you remember?"
"Sure, I remember. I saw it often enough on the printer."
Bolan nodded. They were finally getting somewhere. They didn't know what the KGB was up to, but now they knew where.
"But I swear," Reed continued, "I didn't embezzle a cent. I was just doing homework."
"Based on what you just said," Lynn explained, "I don't see how they'd ever convict you in a court of law."
Bolan snorted. "He wasn't supposed to live long enough for it to get to court."
Reed shifted uneasily in his seat, rubbing his wrists where the cuffs used to be.
Bolan pulled the Toyota right next to Belinda's parked Honda. He jumped out, helped ease Lynn out of the back seat and followed Shawnee to the front door. Rita accompanied Reed, who tagged after Bolan.
Shawnee pushed the front door open and entered.
"Hey, Belinda, what the hell kind of greeting is this?" Then she stopped dead. The others bunched up behind her. Bolan edged around her into the single room.
"Welcome," the man with the shotgun said. "Is that better?"