The Rapture Series
Why Do you Believe? What Do you Believe? How Do You Believe? Who Do You Believe?
“Reason to Believe
Natszal: "Left" (5:1)
THE EARTH'S LAST DAYS
TIM LAHAYE & JERRY B. JENKINS
BUCK Williams ducked into a stall in the Pan-Con Club men's room to double-check his inventory. Tucked in a special pouch inside his jeans, he carried thousands of dollars' worth of traveler's checks, redeemable in dollars, marks, or yen. His one leather bag contained two changes of clothes, his laptop, cellular phone, tape recorder, accessories, toiletries, and some serious, insulated winter gear.
He had packed for a ten-day trip to Britain when he left New York three days before the apocalyptic disappearances. His practice overseas was to do his own laundry in the sink and let it dry a whole day while wearing one outfit and having one more in reserve. That way he was never burdened with lots of luggage.
Buck had gone out of his way to stop in Chicago first to mend fences with the Global Weekly's bureau chief there, a fiftyish black woman named Lucinda Washington. He had gotten crossways with her—what else was new?—when he scooped her staff on, of all things, a sports story that was right under their noses. An aging Bears legend had finally found enough partners to help him buy a professional football team, and Buck had somehow sniffed it out, tracked him down, gotten the story, and run with it.
“I admire you, Cameron,” Lucinda Washington had said, characteristically refusing to use his nickname. “I always have, as irritating as you can be. But the very least you should have done was let me know.”
“And let you assign somebody who should have been on top of this anyway?” “Sports isn't even your gig, Cameron. After doing the Newsmaker of the Year and covering the defeat of Russia by Israel, or I should say by God himself, how can
you even get interested in penny-ante stuff like this? You Ivy League types aren't supposed to like anything but lacrosse and rugby, are you?” “This was bigger than a sports story, Lucy, and—”
“Hey!” “Sorry, Lucinda. And wasn't that just a bit of stereotyping? Lacrosse and rugby?” They had shared a laugh. “I'm not even saying you should have told me you were in town,” she had said. “All
I'm saying is, at least let me know before the piece runs in the Weekly. My people and I were embarrassed enough to get beat like that, especially by the legendary Cameron Williams, but for it to be a, well—”
“That's why you squealed on me?”
Lucinda had laughed again. “That's why I told Plank it would take a face-to-face to get you back in my good graces.” “And what made you think I'd care about that?” “Because you love me,” she had said. “You can't help yourself.” Buck had smiled.
“But, Cameron, if I catch you in my town again, on my beat without my knowledge,
I'm gonna whip your tail.” “Well, I'll tell you what, Lucinda. Let me give you a lead I don't have time to follow up on. I happen to know the NFL franchise purchase is not going to go through after all. The money was shaky and the league's gonna reject the offer. Your local legend is going to be embarrassed.”
Lucinda had begun scribbling furiously. “You're not serious,” she had said, reaching for her phone. “No, I'm not, but it was sure fun to see you swing into action.” “You creep,” she had said. “Anybody else I'd be throwing out of here on his can.” “But you love me. You can't help yourself.” “That wasn't even Christian,” she had said.
“Don't start with that again.” “Come on, Cameron. You know you got your mind right when you saw what God did for Israel.”
“Granted, but don't start calling me a Christian. Deist is as much as I'll cop to.” “Stay in town long enough to come to my church, and God'll getcha.” “He's already got me, Lucinda. But Jesus is another thing. The Israelis hate Jesus,
but look what God did for them.” “The Lord works in—” “In mysterious ways, yeah, I know. Anyway, I'm going to London Monday.
Working on a hot tip from a friend there.” “Yeah? What?” “Not on your life. We don't know each other that well yet.” She had laughed, and
they had parted with a friendly embrace. That had been three days ago. Buck had boarded the ill-fated flight to London prepared for anything. He was following a tip from a former Princeton classmate, a Welshman who had been working in the London financial district since graduate school. Dirk Burton had been a reliable source in the past, tipping off Buck about secret high-level meetings among international financiers. For years Buck had been slightly amused at Dirk's
tendency to buy into conspiracy theories. “Let me get this straight,” Buck had asked him once, “you think these guys are the real world leaders, right?” “I wouldn't go that far, Cam,” Dirk had said. “All I know is, they're big, they're
private, and after they meet, major things happen.”
“So you think they get world leaders elected, handpick dictators, that kind of a thing?” “I don't belong to the conspiracy book club, if that's what you mean.” “Then where do you get this stuff, Dirk? Come on, you're a relatively sophisticated
guy. Power brokers behind the scenes? Movers and shakers who control the
money?” “All I know is, the London Exchange, the Tokyo Exchange, the New York exchange—we all basically drift until these guys meet. Then things happen.”
“You mean like when the New York Stock Exchange has a blip because of some presidential decision or some vote of Congress, it's really because of your secret group.”
“No, but that's a perfect example. If there's a blip in your market because of your president's health, imagine what it does to world markets when the real money people get together.”
“But how does the market know they're meeting? I thought you were the only one
who knew.” “Cam, be serious. OK, not a lot of people agree with me, but then I don't say this to just anyone. One of our muckety-mucks is part of this group. When they have a meeting, no, nothing happens right away. But a few days later, a week, changes occur.”
“You're going to call me crazy, but a friend of mine is related to a girl who works for the secretary of our guy in this group, and—” “Whoa! Hold it! What's the trail here?” “OK, maybe the connection is a little remote, but you know the old guy's secretary
is not going to say anything. Anyway, the scuttlebutt is that this guy is real hot on getting the whole world onto one currency. You know half our time is spent on exchange rates and all that. Takes computers forever to constantly readjust every day, based on the whims of the markets.”
Buck was not convinced. “One global currency? Never happen,” he had said. “How can you flatly say that?” “Too bizarre. Too impractical. Look what happened in the States when they tried to
bring in the metric System.” “Should have happened. You Yanks are such rubes.” “Metrics were only necessary for international trade. Not for how far it is to the
outfield wall at Yankee Stadium or how many kilometers it is from Indianapolis to
Atlanta.” “I know, Cam. Your people thought you'd be paving the way for the Communists to take over if you made maps and distance markers easy for them to read. And where are your Commies now?”
Buck had passed off most of Dirk Burton's ideas until a few years later when Dirk had called him in the middle of the night. “Cameron,” he had said, unaware of the nickname bestowed by his friend's colleagues, “I can't talk long. You can pursue this or you can just watch it happen and wish it had been your story. But you remember that stuff I was saying about the one world currency?”
“Yeah. I'm still dubious.”
“Fine, but I'm telling you the word here is that our guy pushed the idea at the last meeting of these secret financiers and something's brewing.” “What's brewing?” “Well, there's going to be a major United Nations Monetary Conference, and the
topic is going to be streamlining currency.” “Big deal.” “It is a big deal, Cameron. Our guy got shot down. He, of course, was pushing for
world currency to become pounds sterling.” “What a surprise that that won't happen. Look at your economy.” “But listen, the big news, if you can believe any leak out of the secret meeting, is
that they have it down to three currencies for the entire world, hoping to go to just one inside a decade.”
“No way. Won't happen.” “Cameron, if my information is correct, the initial stage is a done deal. The U.N. conference is just window dressing.”
“And the decision has already been made by your secret puppeteers.” “That's right.” “I don't know, Dirk. You're a buddy, but I think you would rather be doing what I'm
doing.” “Who wouldn't?”
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