The Bourne Identity | Study Guide

Robert Ludlum

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The Bourne Identity | Book 3, Chapter 32 | Summary

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Summary

Jason Bourne is confused. Why has the embassy instructed him to stay on the move? They are making him call in at specific times, each from a different location. He doesn't like the look of this, and tells Marie St. Jacques, "Let's get out of here."

Alexander Conklin has arrived in Paris. He sets up a meeting time with Bourne through the embassy. Bourne tells Marie to stay close but not to come with him. Should anything go wrong, she can contact André François Villiers.

Heading to the "rented" Renault, Jason realizes there is a man waiting for him in the parking garage. He is probably a minion of Carlos, ready to report on Cain's appearance. He corners the man (Jules) and presses him (literally—Bourne almost presses his eyes out with his thumbs) to find out how many others are watching the car. There's another man waiting outside the parking garage, Jules says. Bourne forces Jules outside where they find the man waiting outside the parking garage. Bourne takes their car and, at gunpoint, commands them both into service as his drivers. They're off to a rendezvous with an American CIA master at a graveyard outside of Paris. Halfway there, Jason Bourne forces Jules and the second man out of the car and drives the rest of the way alone.

Bourne knows to be suspicious. It is dark—and raining. He sees the beam of a flashlight hit a gun held by (who turns out to be) a hired gun, a killer. Jason sneaks up on and grabs the man, knocking him out and taking his gun. Now he is ready for Alexander Conklin. Bourne explains his true story to Conklin: he was wounded and has amnesia. This is why he was missing for six months. Dr. Geoffrey Washburn in Port Noir can prove it.

Conklin is unconvinced. Bourne paid the doctor so much; he would be willing to say anything. Jason counters that he had a photographic negative of his bank information surgically implanted in his hip. That's how he knew to go to Zurich. Yes, Conklin says, Delta insisted upon implanting the negative. Not to mention, how could it be a coincidence that Marie St. Jacques, a supposedly random stranger, is a financial expert?

No, Jason insists. He really has amnesia. Yes, he knows the name Carlos, but he doesn't remember many details of his assignment. Yes, he remembers the name the "Monk," but he doesn't know why. Conklin names the people killed at Treadstone Seventy-One in New York, accusing Jason of being there, of killing them all. Apparently, one of the men he killed was his own brother. The fingerprints don't lie, and Conklin doesn't believe Carlos engineered the massacre in New York. Jason is the only one who could have done it. Then it becomes clear to Bourne that Alexander Conklin is preparing to shoot him. Four shots ring out in the darkness—another hired gun (the killer from Saint Gervais). Bourne fires twice and sees the man collapse.

Jason lashes out, felling Conklin, who uses a cane, and then holding a gun to the old man's head. He explains he's taken out Conklin's hired guns. As Conklin goes for his own weapon, Jason is unable to pull his trigger and kill him. He must get back to Paris—Paris and Marie.

Marie and Jason call André François Villiers. They need him to speak with his wife now. A confession is required to clear Jason's own name. They can't, Villiers says. The general has killed his wife.

Analysis

Finally the reader begins to understand what has taken place in the past 31 chapters. This is Jason Bourne's first opportunity to directly speak to one of the men who trained him to be this mindless killing machine in the first place. When Alexander Conklin doesn't believe Bourne never even went to New York, Bourne's anger at Conklin feels completely justified.

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