Suleiman stared at Arsalan and Ali with something approaching despair. Mohamed and Rashid had been gunned down in cold blood and Ali and Arsalan had done nothing to help their brothers.
“What should we have done?” asked Arsalan. “Start massacring the passengers on the train when our aim is to capture and kill one person?”
“You could have taken the passengers hostage until the assassin gave himself up.”
“The assassin wasn’t in his seat, the assassin wasn’t on the train, the assassin wasn’t in the Urzaiz station, and the assassin is now not even in Vigo, in fact he might not even be in Spain,” replied Ali. “We searched the train and then kept watch at the entrances. He tricked us. Again. He does this all the time.”
“I see, Ali, and what about that man you shot near Guixar, what did he do to trick you, other than to be wearing two or three items the assassin discarded before arriving at Guixar?” asked Suleiman. “He was pushing a shopping trolley full of empty bottles, why would our assassin do that?”
“I made a mistake,” replied Ali. “I know the assassin is a smooth operator, and I thought he had adopted that disguise to fool us.”
“Us,” roared Suleiman, looking around the nearly deserted car park where they were talking, “us? You mean you, you idiot, but anyway, luckily, our organisation goes beyond international boundaries, so we have friends in places keeping their eyes open, and not shooting everyone who looks a little like our assassin. You, Ali and Arsalan, can redeem yourselves, because I have some news for you. Our friend saw our assassin in Oporto, a couple of hours ago, ostentatiously admiring the tile work in Sao Bento railway station while gripping a cup of coffee – he likes trains, have you noticed that – before getting on a train to the city of Braga. He is in the guise of a holiday maker, but our friend reckons it is him, due to his height, build, and the length of his hair. I believe he will actually go to Braga and admire the Christian churches there – there are thirty-five within the city boundaries – but the best known one is Bom Jesus do Monte, where all tourists go, around three miles outside the city. I want you two to go to Braga from here right now. Ali, stay in Braga and see if you can spot him, he will carry an orange bag, while you, Arsalan, have the honour of going to Bom Jesus and waiting for him there. Do not fail me and try not to shoot anyone else.”
“And where will you be going?” asked Arsalan resentfully.
“Me,” said Suleiman gripping his gun inside his cloak, “I will go to Guimaraes, where I reckon our assassin will head next after Braga, almost certainly to Monte Penha on the cable car.”
“Assuming we don’t kill him first,” said Arsalan.
“Yes,” said Suleiman, trying not to adopt a sarcastic tone, “assuming you and the Sundance Kid, here,” he gestured to Ali, “don’t kill him first.” Suleiman spat on the ground and headed away towards his car parked on the opposite side of the car park. He didn’t offer Ali and Arsalan a lift to Braga.
They had to get there on their own.