Action Adventure, Historical Romance. Love and intrigue in the middle of the Russo-Japanese War. The novel recreates long ago battles, blending fictional characters with the dramas real men and women faced.
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The Jerusalem Train
The Jerusalem Train
The Jerusalem Train
This is an historical romand and an action-adventure novel doused with a healthy quotient of blood and sex. You need not know one whit of history or even be romantically inclined in order to enjoy this novel. The action revolves around a massive stash of gold and the attempts by the protagonists to liberate that gold from the clutches of the Tsar. The finest achievement of the author is the creation of a cast of memorable characters whose paths will all intersect by the time of the explosive finale.
But now Plehve sensed that this imminent war with Japan, one he knew had to come, would open up new opportunities for settling the Jewish problem once and for all.
Plehve never doubted that Russia would eventually win the war, but he believed the Japanese might do quite well in the early stages. Military setbacks would shock a population that had been told their country would crush the "macoes." Anything less than total success from the outset would cause initial confusion and a hunt for scapegoats.
And then, in the midst of the chaos, Plehve would strike. Russian newspaper headlines would scream about a powerful Jew who had embezzled from the Czar's bank and left the Far Eastern army unprepared. Russian sons dead because of a criminal act by a Jew!
More stories would follow, carefully crafted to imply that Jews in the army were helping the Japanese, and Jews in Europe were financing the war machine of the Yellow Peril.
Plehve never doubted the stories would be believed. After all, the people believed fabricated newspaper accounts that Jews were drinking the blood of Christian children in religious ceremonies. That ploy had been used many times to launch pogroms.
But this time it would be different-more organized, more thorough. An angry Russia, suffering defeats, would be less sensitive to international outrage over the treatment of Jews. This time the job could be done right.
A new and powerful organization of patriots, the Black Hundreds, would be sent, as they had been in the past, into the Pale. But this time Okhrana agents and regular army troops would augment them. Kill the Christ killers!
It would be the last pogrom. Those Jews who survived would be rounded up and concentrated in one province, probably Odessa, where they could be deported. Plehve even had a plan for sabotaging the ships on the high seas. The rest of the world might mumble a few protests, but Plehve knew in his heart no country would allow thousands of Jews to wash up on their shores. Better to turn a blind eye and let them drown, and bemoan the tragedy over cups of tea in quiet chambers among friends.
Plehve knew a lot was riding on Vasilov's shoulders. He had to catch Bakunin and the Jew with their hands in the till. Then again, maybe not. If the war began badly for Russia, Plehve was prepared to accuse Lieberman without any proof. As always in Russia, it was the Jewish people's lot to prove themselves innocent, not the state's to prove them guilty. Still, it would be best if Vasilov could prove stealing was going on.
'A Jew-free Russia,' Plehve thought, 'and I can make it happen.'
Maria's emotions whipsawed, and she was very quiet during the evening meal. Don Alvaredo noticed her distraction, and when she told him she was going out for a walk after dinner, he consented, but sent his son, Fernando, to follow her at a discreet distance. He often sent her brother to follow her clandestinely, and she had never suspected it.
Maria walked slowly down city streets, looking in shop windows, but in reality she was building up the courage to go to the Branch House. Fernando kept a good distance behind, never losing sight of his sister.
After two hours, she was a block from the hotel. She glanced in the lobby and observed the desk clerk walk to a back room. There was no one else around, and she made a split-second decision. She walked briskly past the desk and up one flight of stairs to room six. She hesitated for a moment, and then knocked.
"Come in," Daniloff said. He was lying in bed with only a pair of trousers on. The long wait for Maria, the uncertainty of her compliance, had inflamed his libido. Maria stood stone still as Daniloff just stared, not saying a word to her. She felt dizzy as he rose slowly from the bed and walked over to her. She could feel her heart pounding madly. The danger of this assignation made it all the more thrilling. Daniloff cupped the back of her head in his hand. He kissed her softly, and then harder. She dropped her small purse on the floor and placed both her arms around him. Daniloff slowly moved his tongue deep inside her mouth, and he was pleasantly surprised when she responded in kind. He no longer cared what happened, as long as Maria did not leave. He clawed at the fastenings on her clothing. Her hand, not unintentionally, brushed against his groin. He was ready to explode with desire. He carried her over to the bed and laid her roughly on a pillow. In a matter of moments they were both naked and their bodies locked together. Had the armies of Alexander the Great burst into the room, Daniloff would not have stopped his savage conquest for even a second.
Moving silently, Vasilov edged his way down the hill. From a hundred and fifty meters Vasilov could tell that the object of his investigation was Oriental. The man had binoculars. He would scan the harbor and then squat down to write on a piece of paper. He appeared to be a bit under five and a half feet tall. He had olive skin and jet-black hair. Vasilov smiled. There was no question now. The man was almost certainly a Japanese intelligence agent monitoring the ships in the harbor. The square-jawed Okhrana agent knew what he had to do.
Silently he checked his Walther automatic. He kept it in his right hand as he crept closer to his quarry. Scanning the sloping ground in front of him as he progressed in a crouching posture downhill, he carefully avoided stepping on twigs that might snap, or the occasional pebble that might loosen and tumble.
He did not know the man's name was Kinsaburo Naruta or that he worked as a waiter in Chin's Restaurant. But he knew all he needed to know: that Naruta was a spy like himself and that they were opponents in a deadly game.
When Vasilov was thirty meters away he decided to act. He rose slowly from his crouch, gripping the gun lightly, resting the butt in his left hand. The sun was shining directly overhead and there was no shadow to betray him. A gusty autumn breeze from the harbor whipped Vasilov's trousers as he rose, and he could feel them buffet and flap against his ankles and shins. He was grateful for this wind, however, as its high monotone whistling helped to dampen any sound he might have made during his cautious descent. All his senses were acutely attuned as he concentrated on the man directly downslope from him. His right index finger began a slow squeeze.
"Macoe!" Vasilov contemptuously barked the insult. Stunned, Naruta whirled to face his stalker. Had his reflexes been better, he would have dove head first into the tall grass and gone for the revolver in his boot. But his training failed him this day, his last.
The report from the Walther was sharp and final. The bullet found its mark in the triangle above the victim's nose and between his eyes. It exited the back of his skull. Naruta's body flew backwards, and landed in a limp, lifeless heap on the ground.