A Helping Hand (A Lieutenant David Chan Mystery, Part 33)

In his mind, Chan had just knocked Yu down on the floor and was kicking his teeth in.

“David?”  Yamamoto brought Chan out of his reverie.  “What’d he give you?”

Chan handed over the paper.  Yamamoto looked it over.  “Yeah, this is good for shit,” he said.  “Like you said, that garlic munching Yobo asshole could have printed it himself.”

He’d learned early on not to comment about Yamamoto’s racist remarks.  Since his partner hated pretty much everyone, including most Japanese, it just was what was.

“I don’t know, Vic, is he that stupid?  We could just go through channels and find out if it’s genuine.”

Yamamoto nodded.  “Well,” he said, feeling a little guilty lying to Nina about Chan’s whereabouts, “if it’s real, and Nina’s married to him, then maybe we can get him for bigamy.”

Chan didn’t think Yu could be that stupid either, to be caught in something so straightforward as being married to two women.  But he said nothing, didn’t want Yamamoto to think that any doubts might be creeping in.

The phone rang.  Yamamoto picked it up.  “Yes, Miss Goo, he’s back.  Hold on.”

Chan practically ripped the phone from his partner’s hand.  “Nina, where are you?”

“I can’t tell you.”

“Nina, you have to.  I can protect you from Yu.  Please, let me help.”

“No one can protect me from him.  I could be on the moon and it wouldn’t be far enough away.  I’m not sure I should even be making this call.  Who knows who can be trusted anymore.  Do you know how many people that maniac has in his pocket?  Look around the room, David.  How many people do you see that might belong to Yu?”

Chan said nothing.  Dirty cops existed.  Everyone just prayed that the number was as small as possible.  You had to be able to trust your brothers on the force.  You never knew when your life might depend on them.

“Nina, yes, you’re right.”  He knew that the only man he trusted completely was Victor Yamamoto.  “Okay, don’t tell me where you are.  But why are you calling?”

“I think I know where you can find the guys that Byung had kill the men in Waikīkī.”

This struck Chan as strange.  Why she should know anything about this if she were in hiding?  Sure, she could have heard the news, but to know anything about anyone’s involvement, this just seemed odd.

But Chan said, “Okay, Nina, who and where are they?”

“They’re from out of town.  I overheard him talking to them on the phone a week or so ago.  They came in on one of Byung’s father’s fishing boats from Korea.  They’ve been in port, helping him sew up some kind of loose ends he was going on about.  Little did I know he was talking about my folks, the crew and my brother at Mō‘ili‘ili Chop Suey Gardens, my other two brothers.  And these guys at the hotel, too.   They’re all related somehow, and I’m pretty sure it’s these guys from Korea.”

“Okay,” said Chan, “do you know the name of the boat?”

“I don’t, but there can’t be that many Korean fishing vessels in Honolulu Harbor.”

“Right,” said Chan, “right.  Hey Nina, thanks.  Can you at least give me a number where I can reach you?”

“I’m sorry, David, I don’t want to take that chance.  You know what I’m up against with Byung.  He’s a Korean devil, David.  He’s Satan.”

After Chan hung up, he told Yamamoto what Nina had said.

Hearing this, Yamamoto said, “Wow, good to have such a great pulse on Hawai‘i’s top criminal.  Too bad we didn’t know about this connection before.  We’d have that bastard by now.”

Yamamoto tried to sound genuine, but a little bit of his sarcasm leaked.  Chan heard it, and while he resented it, he was more intent on acting fast with the information at hand.

According to the Harbor Master, there were three fishing boats in port with Korean registry, all three, coincidentally, out of Wanhei.

Together Chan and Yamamoto headed down to the docks.  Both were a little tense, given the residual friction over Nina, and both were tense as well since they knew they might be up against a good number of men with a good number of guns.

“You sure we don’t need backup for this?” Yamamoto asked as they parked the car.

“I don’t think we have to force any kind of a confrontation right now,” said Chan.  “Let’s just scope out the three, see if we can get any general indication of what’s up with then, and then reassess what we might need in terms of manpower.”

Yamamoto, never really a wall flower when it came down to a big dance anyway, thought this a solid plan.

* * * * *

Aloha #WriterWednesday. Today’s #WritingPrompt is

a helping hand

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

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