Suparwita looked at Bourne for a long time. "I imagine you knew, once."
"Noah Perlis had the ring last, so he must have murdered Holly to get it." Bourne took the ring in his hand. "Why did he want it? What's so important about a wedding ring?"
"That," Suparwita said, "is a part of the story you were trying to discover."
"That was some time ago. Now I wouldn't know where to start."
"Perlis had flats in many cities," Suparwita said, "but he was based in London, which was where Holly went when she traveled abroad during the eighteen months before she returned to Bali. Perlis must have followed her back here to kill her and obtain the ring for himself."
"How do you know all this?" Bourne asked.
Suparwita's face broke into one of his thousand-watt smiles. All at once he looked like the genie conjured up by Aladdin. "I know," he said, "because you told me."
Soraya Moore noticed the differences between the old Central Intelligence under the late Veronica Hart and the new CI under M. Errol Danziger the moment she walked into CI headquarters in Washington, DC. For one thing, security had been beefed up to the point that getting through the various checkpoints felt like infiltrating a medieval fortress. For another, she didn't recognize a single member of the security personnel on duty. Every face had that hard, beady look only the US military can instill in a human being. She wasn't surprised by this. After all, before being appointed as DCI by the president, M. Errol Danziger had been the NSA's deputy director of Signals Intelligence, with a long and distinguished career in the armed forces and then in the DoD. He also had a long and distinguished career as a brass-balled sonovabitch. No, what startled her was simply the speed with which the new DCI had installed his own people inside CI's formerly sacrosanct walls.
From the time that it had been the Office of Strategic Services during World War II, the agency had been its own domain, entirely free of interference from either the Pentagon or its intelligence arm, the NSA. Now, because of the growing power of Secretary of Defense Bud Halliday, CI was being merged with NSA, its unique DNA being diluted. M. Errol Danziger was now its director, and Danziger was Secretary Halliday's creature.
Soraya, the director of Typhon, a Muslim-staffed anti-terrorist agency operating under the aegis of CI, considered the changes Danziger had instigated during the several weeks she had been away in Cairo. She felt lucky that Typhon was semi-independent.
She reported directly to the DCI, bypassing the various directorate heads. She was half Arab and she knew all her people, had in most instances handpicked them. They would follow her through the gates of hell, if she asked it of them. But what about her friends and colleagues inside CI itself? Would they stay or would they go?
She got off at the DCI's floor, drenched in the eerie green light filtered through bullet- and bombproof glass, and came up against a young man, reed-thin, steely-eyed, with a high-and-tight marine haircut. He was sitting behind a desk, riffling through a stack of papers. The nameplate on his desk read: LT. R. SIMMONS READE.
"Good afternoon, I'm Soraya Moore," she said. "I have an appointment with the DCI."
Lt. R. Simmons Reade glanced up and gave her a neutral look that nevertheless seemed to hold the hint of a sneer. He wore a blue suit, a starched white shirt, and a redand- blue regimental striped tie. Without glancing at his computer terminal he said, "You had an appointment with Director Danziger. That was fifteen days ago."