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THE CHASE

DIRK PITT® ADVENTURES BY CLIVE CUSSLER

Treasure of Khan

Black Wind

Trojan Odyssey

Valhalla Rising

Atlantis Found

Flood Tide

Shock Wave

Inca Gold

Sahara

Dragon

Treasure

Cyclops

Deep Six

Pacific Vortex

Night Probe

Vixen 03

Raise the Titanic

Iceberg

The Mediterranean Caper

KURT AUSTIN ADVENTURES BY CLIVE CUSSLER WITH PAUL KEMPRECOS

The Navigator

Polar Shift

Lost City

White Death

Fire Ice

Blue Gold

Serpent

OREGON FILES ADVENTURES BY CLIVE CUSSLER WITH CRAIG DIRGO

Skeleton Coast

Dark Watch

Sacred Stone

Golden Buddha

NONFICTION BY CLIVE CUSSLER AND CRAIG DIRGO

The Sea Hunters II

Clive Cussler and Dirk

Pitt Revealed

The Sea Hunters

THE CHASE

CLIVE CUSSLER

G. P. PUTNAM’S SONS

NEW YORK

G. P. PUTNAM’S SONS

Publishers Since 1838

Published by the Penguin Group

Penguin Group (USA) Inc., 375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014, U.S.A. • Penguin Group (Canada), 90 Eglinton Avenue East, Suite 700, Toronto, Ontario M4P 2Y3, Canada (a division of Pearson Penguin Canada Inc.) • Penguin Books Ltd, 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England • Penguin Ireland, 25 St Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2, Ireland (a division of Penguin Books Ltd) • Penguin Group (Australia), 250 Camberwell Road, Camberwell, Victoria 3124, Australia (a division of Pearson Australia Group Pty Ltd) • Penguin Books India Pvt Ltd, 11 Community Centre, Panchsheel Park, New Delhi–110 017, India • Penguin Group (NZ), 67 Apollo Drive, Rosedale, North Shore 0745, Auckland, New Zealand (a division of Pearson New Zealand Ltd) • Penguin Books (South Africa) (Pty) Ltd, 24 Sturdee Avenue, Rosebank, Johannesburg 2196, South Africa

Penguin Books Ltd, Registered Offices: 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England

Copyright © 2007 by Sandecker, RLLLP

Endpaper map and illustrations by Richard Dahlquist

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission. Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author’s rights. Purchase only authorized editions.

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Cussler, Clive.

The chase / Clive Cussler.

p. cm.

ISBN: 1-4295-6650-7

1. Bank robberies—Fiction. 2. California—History—1850–1950—Fiction. I. Title.

PS3553.U75C4720072007017291

813'.54—dc22

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, businesses, companies, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

While the author has made every effort to provide accurate telephone numbers and Internet addresses at the time of publication, neither the publisher nor the author assumes any responsibility for errors, or for changes that occur after publication. Further, the publisher does not have any control over and does not assume any responsibility for author or third-party websites or their content.

To Teri, Dirk, and Dana

No father was blessed with more-loving children

THE CHASE

Contents

GHOST FROM THE PAST

THE BUTCHER BANDIT

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

THE CHASE QUICKENS

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

Chapter 17

Chapter 18

Chapter 19

Chapter 20

Chapter 21

Chapter 22

Chapter 23

Chapter 24

Chapter 25

Chapter 26

Chapter 27

Chapter 28

Chapter 29

Chapter 30

Chapter 31

Chapter 32

Chapter 33

Chapter 34

Chapter 35

Chapter 36

Chapter 37

Chapter 38

Chapter 39

Chapter 40

Chapter 41

Chapter 42

Chapter 43

Chapter 44

Chapter 45

Chapter 46

Chapter 47

Chapter 48

Chapter 49

Chapter 50

UP FROM THE DEPTHS

GHOST FROM THE PAST

APRIL 15, 1950

FLATHEAD LAKE, MONTANA

IT ROSE FROM THE DEPTHS LIKE AN EVIL MONSTER in a Mesozoic sea. A coat of green slime covered the cab and boiler while gray-brown silt from the lake bottom slid and fell off the eighty-one-inch drive wheels and splashed into the cold waters of the lake. Ascending slowly above the surface, the old steam locomotive hung for a moment from the cables of a huge crane mounted on a wooden barge. Still visible under the dripping muck, beneath the open side window of its cab, was the number 3025.

Built by the Baldwin Locomotive Works of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 3025 rolled out of the factory on April 10th of 1904. The “Pacific” class was a common large-sized, high-drive-wheeled steam engine that could pull ten steel passenger cars long distances at speeds up to ninety miles an hour. She was known as a 4-6-2 because of her four-wheeled truck in the front, just behind the cowcatcher, the six massive drive wheels below the boiler, and the two small wheels mounted beneath the cab.

The crew on the barge watched in awe as the crane operator orchestrated his levers and gently lowered old 3025 onto the main deck, its weight settling the barge three inches deeper in the water. She sat there almost a minute before the six men overcame their wonderment and detached the cables.

“She’s in remarkably good shape for sitting underwater for almost fifty years,” murmured the salvage superintendent of the battered old barge that was nearly as ancient as the locomotive. Since the nineteen twenties, it had been used for dredging operations on the lake and surrounding tributaries.

Bob Kaufman was a big, friendly man, ready with a laugh at the slightest hint of something jovial. With a face ruddy from long hours spent in the sun, he had been working on the barge for twenty-seven years. Now seventy-five, he could have retired long ago, but as long as the dredging company kept him on he was going to keep working. Sitting at home and working jigsaw puzzles was not his idea of the good life. He studied the man standing beside him, who was, as close as he could figure, slightly older.

“What do you think?” Kaufman asked.

The man turned, tall and still lean in his late seventies, hair full and silver. His face was as weathered as buckskin. He stared at

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