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John Grisham

The Broker

Pentagon, Clayburn placed his hand over the receiver and said to Joel, "They prefer to meet at the Pentagon.' Joel was already shaking his head. "No. I'm not going in there with the software until there's a deal. I'll leave it behind and give it to them later, but I'm not walking in there with it." Clayburn relayed this, then listened for a long time. When he covered the receiver again he asked, "The software, what's it on?" "Four disks," Joel said. "They have to verify it, you understand?" "Okay, I'll take two disks with me into the Pentagon. That's about half of it. They can take a quick look." Clayburn huddled over the receiver and repeated Joel's conditions. Again, he listened for a long time, then he asked Joel, "Will you show me the disks?" "Yes." He placed the call on hold while Joel picked up his briefcase. He removed the envelope, then the four disks, and placed them on the bed for Neal and Clayburn to gawk at. Clayburn went back to the phone and said, "I'm looking at four disks. Mr. Backman assures me it is what it is." He listened for a few minutes, then punched the hold button again. "They want us at the Pentagon right now," he said. "Let's go." Clayburn hung up and said, "Things are hopping over there. I think the boys are excited. Shall we go?" "I'll meet you in the lobby in five minutes," Joel said. When the door closed behind Clayburn, Joel quickly gathered the disks and stuck two of them into his coat pocket. The other two- numbers three and four-were placed back in the briefcase, which he handed to Neal as he said, "After we leave, go to the front desk and get another room. Insist on checking in now. Call this room, leave me a message and tell me where you are. Stay there until you hear from me." "Sure, Dad. I hope you know what you're doing." "Just cutting a deal, son. Like in the old days." The taxi dropped them at the south lot of the Pentagon, near the Metro stop. Two uniformed members of Major Roland's staff were

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John Grisham: The broker  

John Grisham - 2005

John Grisham: The broker  

John Grisham - 2005

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