Wheres Langdon? Fache demanded, exhaling the last of a cigarette as he paced back into the command post.
Still in the mens room, sir. Lieutenant Collet had been expecting the question.
Fache grumbled, Taking his time, I see.
The captain eyed the GPS dot over Collets shoulder, and Collet could almost hear the wheels turning. Fache was fighting the urge to go check on Langdon. Ideally, the subject of an observation was allowed the most time and freedom possible, lulling him into a false sense of security. Langdon needed to return of his own volition. Still, it had been almost ten minutes.
Any chance Langdon is onto us? Fache asked.
Collet shook his head. Were still seeing small movements inside the mens room, so the GPS dot is obviously still on him. Perhaps he feels ill? If he had found the dot, he would have removed it and tried to run.
Fache checked his watch. Fine.
Still Fache seemed preoccupied. All evening, Collet had sensed an atypical intensity in his captain. Usually detached and cool under pressure, Fache tonight seemed emotionally engaged, as if this were somehow a personal matter for him.
Not surprising, Collet thought. Fache needs this arrest desperately . Recently the Board of Ministers and the media had become more openly critical of Faches aggressive tactics, his clashes with powerful foreign embassies, and his gross overbudgeting on new technologies. Tonight, a high‑tech, high‑profile arrest of an American would go a long way to silence Faches critics, helping him secure the job a few more years until he could retire with the lucrative pension. God knows he needs the pension, Collet thought. Faches zeal for technology had hurt him both professionally and personally. Fache was rumored to have invested his entire savings in the technology craze a few years back and lost his shirt. And Fache is a man who wears only the finest shirts.
Tonight, there was still plenty of time. Sophie Neveus odd interruption, though unfortunate, had been only a minor wrinkle. She was gone now, and Fache still had cards to play. He had yet to inform Langdon that his name had been scrawled on the floor by the victim. P.S. Find Robert Langdon . The Americans reaction to that little bit of evidence would be telling indeed.
Captain? one of the DCPJ agents now called from across the office. I think you better take this call. He was holding out a telephone receiver, looking concerned.
Who is it? Fache said.
The agent frowned. Its the director of our Cryptology Department.
Its about Sophie Neveu, sir. Something is not quite right.