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CHAPTER 93

London’s Opus Dei Centre is a modest brick building at 5 Orme Court, overlooking the North Walk at Kensington Gardens. Silas had never been here, but he felt a rising sense of refuge and asylum as he approached the building on foot. Despite the rain, Rémy had dropped him off a short distance away in order to keep the limousine off the main streets. Silas didn’t mind the walk. The rain was cleansing.

At Rémy’s suggestion, Silas had wiped down his gun and disposed of it through a sewer grate. He was glad to get rid of it. He felt lighter. His legs still ached from being bound all that time, but Silas had endured far greater pain. He wondered, though, about Teabing, whom Rémy had left bound in the back of the limousine. The Briton certainly had to be feeling the pain by now.

«What will you do with him?» Silas had asked Rémy as they drove over here. Rémy had shrugged. «That is a decision for the Teacher.» There was an odd finality in his tone. Now, as Silas approached the Opus Dei building, the rain began to fall harder, soaking his heavy robe, stinging the wounds of the day before. He was ready to leave behind the sins of the last twenty-four hours and purge his soul. His work was done.

Moving across a small courtyard to the front door, Silas was not surprised to find the door unlocked. He opened it and stepped into the minimalist foyer. A muted electronic chime sounded upstairs as Silas stepped onto the carpet. The bell was a common feature in these halls where the residents spent most of the day in their rooms in prayer. Silas could hear movement above on the creaky wood floors.

A man in a cloak came downstairs. «May I help you?» He had kind eyes that seemed not even to register Silas’s startling physical appearance.

«Thank you. My name is Silas. I am an Opus Dei numerary.» «American?» Silas nodded. «I am in town only for the day. Might I rest here?»

«You need not even ask. There are two empty rooms on the third floor. Shall I bring you some tea and bread?»

«Thank you.» Silas was famished.

Silas went upstairs to a modest room with a window, where he took off his wet robe and knelt down to pray in his undergarments. He heard his host come up and lay a tray outside his door. Silas finished his prayers, ate his food, and lay down to sleep.

Three stories below, a phone was ringing. The Opus Dei numerary who had welcomed Silas answered the line.

«This is the London police,» the caller said. «We are trying to find an albino monk. We’ve had a tip-off that he might be there. Have you seen him?»

The numerary was startled. «Yes, he is here. Is something wrong?» «He is there now?» «Yes, upstairs praying. What is going on?»

«Leave him precisely where he is,» the officer commanded. «Don’t say a word to anyone. I’m sending officers over right away.»

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