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Don Winslow

  Also by Don Winslow

  A Cool Breeze on the Underground

  The Trail to Buddha’s Mirror

  Way Down on the High Lonely

  A Long Walk up the Water Slide

  While Drowning in the Desert

  Isle of Joy

  The Death and Life of Bobby Z

  California Fire and Life

  Looking for a Hero

  The Power of the Dog

  The Winter of Frankie Machine

  The Dawn Patrol

  The Gentlemen’s Hour


  Also by Trevanian

  The Eiger Sanction

  The Loo Sanction

  The Main


  The Summer of Katya

  Incident at Twenty-Mile

  Hot Night in the City

  The Crazyladies of Pearl Street

  1339 or So: Being an Apology for a Pedlar (Writing as Nicolas Seare)

  Rude Tales and Glorious (Writing as Nicolas Seare)


  Copyright © 2011 Don Winslow and The Trevanian Beneficiaries

  All rights reserved under International and Pan-American Copyright Conventions. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means, including information storage and retrieval systems, without permission in writing from the publisher, except by a reviewer, who may quote brief passages in a review. Published in 2011 by Alfred A. Knopf Canada, a division of Random House of Canada Limited, and simultaneously in the United States of America by Grand Central Publishing, a division of the Hachette Book Group, New York. Distributed by Random House of Canada Limited, Toronto.

  Knopf Canada and colophon are trademarks.

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

  Library and Archives Canada Cataloguing in Publication

  Winslow, Don, 1953—

  Satori / Don Winslow.

  A novel based on Trevanian’s Shibumi.

  eISBN: 978-0-307-39873-4

  I. Trevanian. Shibumi II. Title.

  PS3573.I555S28 2010 813′.54 C2010-904204-2


  To Richard Pine



  Other Books by This Author

  Title Page



  Part One: TOKYO, OCTOBER 1951

  Chapter 1

  Chapter 2

  Chapter 3

  Chapter 4

  Chapter 5

  Chapter 6

  Chapter 7

  Chapter 8

  Chapter 9

  Chapter 10

  Chapter 11

  Chapter 12

  Chapter 13

  Chapter 14

  Chapter 15

  Chapter 16

  Part Two: BEIJING, JANUARY 1952

  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

  Chapter 51

  Chapter 52

  Chapter 53

  Chapter 54

  Chapter 55

  Chapter 56

  Chapter 57

  Chapter 58

  Chapter 59

  Chapter 60

  Chapter 61

  Chapter 62

  Chapter 63

  Chapter 64

  Chapter 65

  Chapter 66

  Chapter 67

  Chapter 68

  Chapter 69

  Chapter 70

  Chapter 71

  Chapter 72

  Chapter 73

  Chapter 74

  Chapter 75

  Chapter 76

  Chapter 77

  Chapter 78

  Chapter 79

  Chapter 80

  Chapter 81

  Chapter 82

  Chapter 83

  Chapter 84

  Chapter 85

  Chapter 86


  Chapter 87

  Chapter 88

  Chapter 89

  Chapter 90

  Chapter 91

  Chapter 92

  Chapter 93

  Chapter 94

  Chapter 95

  Chapter 96

  Chapter 97

  Chapter 98

  Chapter 99

  Chapter 100

  Chapter 101

  Chapter 102

  Chapter 103

  Chapter 104

  Chapter 105

  Chapter 106

  Chapter 107

  Chapter 108

  Chapter 109

  Chapter 110

  Chapter 111

  Chapter 112

  Chapter 113

  Chapter 114

  Chapter 115

  Chapter 116

  Chapter 117

  Chapter 118

  Chapter 119

  Chapter 120

  Chapter 121

  Chapter 122

  Chapter 123

  Chapter 124

  Chapter 125

  Chapter 126

  Chapter 127

  Chapter 128

  Chapter 129

  Chapter 130

  Chapter 131

  Chapter 132

  Chapter 133

  Chapter 134

  Chapter 135

  Chapter 136

  Chapter 137

  Chapter 138

  Chapter 139

  Chapter 140

  Chapter 141

  Chapter 142

  Chapter 143

  Chapter 144

  Chapter 145

  Chapter 146

  Chapter 147

  Chapter 148

  Chapter 149

  Chapter 150

  Chapter 151

  Chapter 152

  Chapter 153

  Chapter 154

  Chapter 155

  Chapter 156

  Chapter 157

  Chapter 158

  Chapter 159

  Chapter 160

  Chapter 161

  Chapter 162

  Chapter 163

  Chapter 164


  Author’s Note

  Part One



  NICHOLAI HEL WATCHED the maple leaf drop from the branch, flutter in the slight breeze, then fall gently to the ground.

  It was beautiful.

  Savoring the first glimpse of nature that he’d had after three years of solitary confinement in an American prison cell, he breathed in the crisp autumn air, let it fill his lungs, and held it for a few moments before he exhaled.

  Haverford mistook it for a sigh.

  “Glad to be out?” the agent asked.

  Nicholai didn’t respond. The American
was as nothing to him, a mere merchant like the rest of his compatriots, peddling espionage instead of automobiles, shaving cream, or Coca-Cola. Nicholai had no intention of engaging in meaningless conversation, never mind allowing this functionary access to his personal thoughts.

  Of course he was glad to be out, he thought as he looked back at the bleak gray walls of Sugamo Prison, but why did Westerners feel a need to voice the obvious, or attempt to give expression to the ineffable? It was the nature of a maple leaf to drop in the autumn. I killed General Kishikawa, as close to a father as I ever had, because it was my filial nature — and duty — to do so. The Americans imprisoned me for it because they could do nothing else, given their nature.

  And now they offer me my “freedom” because they need me.

  Nicholai resumed his walk along the pebbled path flanked by the maple trees. A bit surprised that he felt a twinge of anxiety at being outside the closed, small space of his cell, he fought off the wave of dizziness brought on by the open sky. This world was large and empty; he had no one left in it except himself. His own adequate company for three years, he was reentering a world that he no longer knew at the age of twenty-six.

  Haverford had anticipated this, having consulted a psychologist on the issues that face prisoners going back into society. The classic Freudian, replete with the stereotypical Viennese accent, had advised Haverford that “the subject” would have become used to the limitations of his confinement and feel overwhelmed at first by the sheer space suddenly confronting him in the outside world. It would be prudent, the doctor warned, to transfer the man to a small, windowless room with voluntary access to a yard or garden so that he could gradually acclimate himself. Open spaces, or a crowded city with its bustling population and incessant noise, would be likely to upset the subject.

  So Haverford had arranged for a small room in a quiet safe house in the Tokyo suburbs. But from what he could learn from what there was to be learned of Nicholai Hel, he couldn’t imagine the man being easily overwhelmed or upset. Hel displayed preternatural self-possession, a calm that was almost condescending, confidence that often crossed the line into arrogance. On the surface, Hel appeared to be a perfect blend of his aristocratic Russian mother and his samurai surrogate father, the war criminal Kishikawa, whom he had saved from the shame of a hangman’s noose with a single finger-thrust to the trachea.

  Despite his blond hair and vibrant green eyes, Haverford thought, Hel is more Asian than Western. He even walks like an Asian — his arms crossed behind his back so as to take up as little space as possible and not cause inconvenience to anyone coming from the other direction, his tall, thin frame slightly stooped in modesty. European in appearance, Haverford decided, Asian in substance. Well, it made sense — he was raised by his émigré mother in Shanghai, and then mentored by Kishikawa when the Japs took the city. After the mother died, Kishikawa moved the boy to Japan to live with and study under a master of the impossibly complicated and nuanced board game Go, a sort of Jap chess, albeit a hundredfold more difficult.

  Hel became a master in his own right.

  So is it any wonder that Hel thinks like an Asian?

  Nicholai sensed the man’s thoughts on him. The Americans are incredibly transparent, their thoughts as obvious as stones at the bottom of a clear, still pool. He didn’t care what Haverford thought of him — one doesn’t solicit the opinions of a grocery clerk — but it did annoy him. Shifting his attention to the sun on his face, he felt it warm his skin.

  “What would you like?” Haverford asked.

  “In the sense of what?”

  Haverford chuckled. Most men emerging from long confinement wanted three things—a drink, a meal, and a woman, not necessarily in that order. But he was not going to indulge Hel’s arrogance, so he answered, in Japanese, “In the sense of what would you like?”

  Mildly impressed that Haverford spoke Japanese, and interested that he refused to surrender such a small stone on the board, Nicholai responded, “I don’t suppose that you could organize an acceptable cup of tea.”

  “In fact,” Haverford said, “I’ve arranged a modest cha-kai. I hope you find it acceptable.”

  A formal tea ceremony, Nicholai thought.

  How interesting.

  A car waited at the end of the walk. Haverford opened the back door and ushered Nicholai in.


  THE CHA-KAI WAS not only acceptable, it was sublime.

  Nicholai savored each sip of the cha-noyu as he sat cross-legged on the tatami floor next to the lacquered table. The tea was transcendent, as was the geisha who knelt nearby, discreetly just out of hearing range of the sparse conversation.

  To Nicholai’s shock, the functionary Haverford knew his way around the tea ceremony and served with impeccable courtesy, his ritual flawless. Upon arrival at the teahouse, Haverford had apologized that there were, by necessity, no other guests, then led Nicholai into the machiai, the waiting room, where he introduced Nicholai to an exquisitely lovely geisha.

  “This is Kamiko-san,” Haverford said. “She will serve as my hanto today.”

  Kamiko bowed and handed Nicholai a kimono to put on, then offered him sayu, a cup of the same hot water that would be used to brew the tea. Nicholai took a sip, then, as Haverford excused himself to go prepare the tea, Kamiko took Nicholai outside to the roji, the “dew ground,” a small garden that held only arrangements of rocks but no flowers. They sat on the stone bench and, without conversation, enjoyed the tranquility.

  A few minutes later Haverford, now kimono-clad, walked to a stone basin and ceremonially washed his mouth and hands in the fresh water, then stepped through the middle gate into the roji, where he formally welcomed Nicholai with a bow. In turn, Nicholai purified himself at the tsukubai.