Free Rebound by Ian Barclay

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Authors: Ian Barclay
openly admitted that although he might
     be Velez’s match in brains and ruthlessness, he could never match him in wealth, illustrious family name, and, most important
     of all, the raw ability to command. It never ceased to fascinate Montova how people
before Happy Man, even when he was falling down, drooling and half out of his mind. Happy Man was like a great actor who had
     only to walk on the stage to electrify an audience. Montova had to make threats. Happy Man had only to stare. In Ruben Montova’s
     opinion Velez was a born leader whose firm hand could make the Philippines great again.
    “I don’t believe Bonifacio had a hand in this,” Velez stated. “If he wanted to give me this message, he would never have put
     it in words, and he would never have hit two low-ranking men like guards at my gate. He would have hit inside our organization,
     someone close to me and worthy of his attention. Like you, Ruben.”
    Montova smiled ruefully and looked at Velez in admiration. Here he was, lying on the floor sloshed with his dick hanging out
     and he could make sense when he wanted to. A great leader. A man of the people.
    “You think it’s the Americans?” Montova asked. “The CIA?”
    Happy Man lolled his head from side to side and sucked on the bottle. “The CIA wouldn’t go after me. They can’t get involved
     in an extended war with us—they have too much to lose if even a single killing was traced back to them. They would have to
     go straight to the top for maximum results with the least exposure to risk.”
    Montova nodded. “And the communists? The New People’s Army is being blamed for the Yankee deaths, and they’re taking some
     extra heat from the army because of it. They’d like to get you.”
    “No, they wouldn’t. They depend on me as a check to the government’s power. Anyway, they have infiltrators in our movement.
     They don’t need to shoot through the bars of the gate at us. That’s it, Ruben! Don’t you see? The bars of the gate.”
    “Tell me,” Montova said patiently.
    “This is someone who doesn’t know our organization, who doesn’t have either the knowledge or means to hurt us where it counts.
     This is just some patriotic nut who thinks he can bluff me. Maybe he’s an American, maybe Filipino.” Happy Man laughed and
     his jowls shook. “Two for one, he says. That’s fine with me. I can hire dumb guards by the thousand. What do I care if he
     uses them up? He’ll never get to me.”
    The corporal knocked on the general’s door at eight A.M. sharp and poked his head in.
    The corporal said, “The American military attaché, sir.”
    “Send him in.”
    A small, thin American with a gaunt face walked into the office with his hand extended. “Hi, Phil,” he said.
    General Bonifacio rose to meet him and shook his hand warmly. They walked together away from the desk to a glass-topped table
     and some easy chairs. The general had gotten the nickname Phil when he was a major on a training course at Fort Bennington,
     Georgia. Americans had been unable to handle his first name, Pominador, and settled on Phil, for Philipines. Some other Filipino
     officers on the course with him continued to call him this as a joke after they all came home. The name stuck.
    By coincidence, the military attaché was an old boy from Georgia. Or maybe it was not a coincidence—the CIA was devious. Roscoe
     James was the top-ranking military adviser at the American Embassy despite being a civilian and keeping an eye on what was
     happening to military aid. He was also the top-ranking CIA man in the Philippines. When Filipino power brokers were annoyed
     at Washington, they complained to the American ambassador. When they were really mad, they yelled at Roscoe James.
    Phil was mad at Washington. He told Roscoe about the accusations against him from the Presidential Palace. The general had
     no way of knowing that they had originated with Velez and couldn’t have cared

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