Chapter 09



When the bus stopped, a potbellied border agent with a white beard and spectacles came aboard.  He made his way down the aisle asking each passenger for their passport and their reason for coming to Quebec.  The questioning shifted from English to French depending on the passport, which he stamped before hearing the answers.  A couple of times he came across Canadian passengers and shifted his line of questioning to accommodate.  Once he spoke in Polish.  Though Cameron could not hear all of the interactions, he was able to make out by the bursts of laughter coming from the border agent that they were cordial.

Marie clutched two passports in her hands.  Cameron recognized them as French.  He had French papers of his own, French citizenship was a fringe benefit of serving the first five years in the Legion.  Marie closed her eyes, whispered a prayer Cameron did not fully hear, and then put the passports to her lips.  When the border agent got to Marie and Nicole he did not give their passports a second look, quickly stamping them while he asked his questions, and then with a fraternal smile he nodded and offered the passports back before moving across the aisle.

Cameron had only his US passport to offer the agent.  Cameron decided his French passport would have been preferable.  The border agent looked Cameron up and down.  What had not occurred to Cameron before was that he was overdressed for the Chinatown express in his blazer and slacks, most of the passengers were dressed very casually in jeans and khakis.  When the border agent asked Cameron if he had anything to declare Cameron said no.  The P226 was stowed safely in the bathroom where Cameron had hid the gun soon after boarding.  Cameron was now certain that the handgun would be safe there.  The border agent smiled, stamped his passport, and moved on to the next passenger.

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