Chinita Macri was on the run. She had the story of her life.
Her video camera felt like an anchor as she lumbered across St. Peter’s Square, pushing through the gathering crowd. Everyone seemed to be moving in the opposite direction than her . . . toward the commotion. Macri was trying to get as far away as possible. The man in the tweed jacket had seen her, and now she sensed others were after her, men she could not see, closing in from all sides.
Macri was still aghast from the images she had just recorded. She wondered if the dead man was really who she feared he was. Glick’s mysterious phone contact suddenly seemed a little less crazy.
As she hurried in the direction of the BBC van, a young man with a decidedly militaristic air emerged from the crowd before her. Their eyes met, and they both stopped. Like lightning, he raised a walkie‑talkie and spoke into it. Then he moved toward her. Macri wheeled and doubled back into the crowd, her heart pounding.
As she stumbled through the mass of arms and legs, she removed the spent video cassette from her camera. Cellulose gold, she thought, tucking the tape under her belt flush to her backside and letting her coat tails cover it. For once she was glad she carried some extra weight. Glick, where the hell are you!
Another soldier appeared to her left, closing in. Macri knew she had little time. She banked into the crowd again. Yanking a blank cartridge from her case, she slapped it into the camera. Then she prayed.
She was thirty yards from the BBC van when the two men materialized directly in front of her, arms folded. She was going nowhere.
“Film,” one snapped. “Now.”
Macri recoiled, wrapping her arms protectively around her camera. “No chance.”
One of the men pulled aside his jacket, revealing a sidearm.
“So shoot me,” Macri said, amazed by the boldness of her voice.
“Film,” the first one repeated.
Where the devil is Glick? Macri stamped her foot and yelled as loudly as possible, “I am a professional videographer with the BBC! By Article 12 of the Free Press Act, this film is property of the British Broadcast Corporation!”
The men did not flinch. The one with the gun took a step toward her. “I am a lieutenant with the Swiss Guard, and by the Holy Doctrine governing the property on which you are now standing, you are subject to search and seizure.”
A crowd had started to gather now around them.
Macri yelled, “I will not under any circumstances give you the film in this camera without speaking to my editor in London. I suggest you—”
The guards ended it. One yanked the camera out of her hands. The other forcibly grabbed her by the arm and twisted her in the direction of the Vatican. “Grazie,” he said, leading her through a jostling crowd.
Macri prayed they would not search her and find the tape. If she could somehow protect the film long enough to—
Suddenly, the unthinkable happened. Someone in the crowd was groping under her coat. Macri felt the video yanked away from her. She wheeled, but swallowed her words. Behind her, a breathless Gunther Glick gave her a wink and dissolved back into the crowd.