A Gift Horse (A Lieutenant David Chan Mystery, Part 32)

Chan gave his godfather a hard look.  He was about to say something, but decided not to.  Apana and AhYou sauntered off.

Yamamoto sighed.  “David, there’s a hell of a lot of hiding out going on.  We do have one more possible lead for sure, and I’m not talking about Byung Yu, okay.  We need to find Nina Goo, David, and we need to do that asap.”

Chan agreed.  They finished processing this latest massacre scene, then drove back to the station.

On the way, Chan said, “Sometimes I don’t understand Snuffy at all.”

Yamamoto said, “You mean when he says you can always find new leads?”

“How did you know that’s what I meant?”

“Shit, boss, you being pissed off when he said that was written all over your face.”

A vision of his father flashed through Chan’s mind.  So where was the magically appearing lead on that case?

Back at the office the two bounced around ideas of Nina’s whereabouts.  With no known relatives, they were stumped, all guesses seeming fruitless the moment they were spoken.  Even Captain Kauhane was at a loss for a good hunch.

Chan said, “Vic, not to sound like a jerk, but you really shouldn’t have told her I was off-island.  If she knew I were here, I guarantee you we’d know right now where she was.”

Yamamoto said nothing, but his look made Chan feel like a jerk anyway.

Just then, Byung Lee walked into the squad room.  Yamamoto gave the Korean a look that would wither anyone else, but Yu’s reaction was a hardy laugh.

“It’s good to see you too, Mr. Yamamoto.  How’s the steak and chop business treating you?”

Yu was referring to the Yamamoto family’s butchering business at the open market a few blocks away in Chinatown.  It had been hard for them there, given that the majority of vendors were Chinese, and Yamamoto, growing up, had often to defend his family’s right to be there competing with the Chinese.  It was there that his reputation as a brawler and a strongman had first been noticed, and many in police department were indeed happy when Victor Yamamoto had joined them on their side of the law, as his ending up a criminal, which might very well of happened, would have made him a formidable adversary.

Chan kept a lid on his own emotions as best he could.  He said nothing either, however, allowing Yu to state his business.

“Mr. Chan, I see you’re speechless at a surprise visit from an old friend.”  Yu laughed.  Dropping a large manilla envelope on Chan’s desk, he said, “I thought about sending this to you, but then I said to myself, ‘Why should I deny myself the pleasure of seeing the expression on my old friend’s face when he opens this.’”

He stood waiting.  Chan shifted his attention to the envelope.  Glancing as Yamamoto, who rolled his eyeballs, Chan touched the envelope with his index finger, sliding it gently toward him.

“Come, come, old friend, it’s not a bomb.  Would I be here if it were going to blow up in your face?”

Chan said nothing, picked it up, opened the clasp on the back.  It was a single sheet of paper.  Chan slid it out and looked at it.  He blinked. Looking up at Yu, he searched for something appropriate to say.

Then, “This means nothing,” he said to Yu.  “For all I know you could have printed this up yourself.  I don’t see any kind of official seal.”

Yu smiled.  “Well, why don’t you go ahead and think that, Mr. Chan, if it’ll help you get a good night’s sleep.”  He snorted.  “I just wanted you to have that, you know.  Something to add to your little case file.”

He turned and headed for the door.

“Yu,” Chan said.

Yu stopped, looked back.

“If you hurt her, I swear to God . . . ”  His voice trailed off.

Yu came back and Chan stood up at the same time.

The smiling Korean said, “What on earth are you babbling about, Mr. Chan?”

“Nina Goo,” Chan said, coming so close to Yu’s face that he could count the fillings in his back teeth.  “If anything happens to her you will have nowhere to hide.”

Yu stepped back and surveyed Chan’s face.  “My old friend,” he said, giving the slightest smile.  “For the last time, I have not the slightest idea who that is.”

He whirled around and exited the room.

* * * * *

Aloha #WriterMonday. Today’s #WrtingPrompt is

old sayings

Use it to inspire a piece of writing, and then post that piece on your site and link back to me, or leave it as a comment below. I would love to read it : )

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