Chan hated himself for feeling momentary relief when Mrs. Jones blurted this out. He would not have to deliver the bad news himself.
The woman collapsed in a chair, sobbing. Chan asked, “Who was it?”
Amid moans and gasps she said, “I don’t know. He didn’t say. Just that they’ve killed Calvin.” She looked at Chan. “Could that be true?”
Chan hesitated. “I, I’m afraid it is true, Mrs. Conrad.”
The woman let out a chilling howl.
“Mrs. Jones,” said Chan, “I’m so sorry for your loss, but can you tell me anything about the man?”
“He wants some kind of merchandise from me, he says, says Calvin told him he’d stolen it, it’s in a suitcase. He says to get rid of you police, and take it to the parking lot of the Pali Safeway, that if he doesn’t see me there in one hour, he’ll kill me and Connie too.”
“So he said you have it then, that Calvin left the suitcase here?”
“Yes, I, I guess maybe that’s what he meant.”
“Where’s his room?” Chan asked.
She directed them to the guest house out back.
Chan and Stillman went out into the back yard. The guest house sat on the opposite side of a large kidney-shaped swimming pool.
It was a simple dwelling. A combination living-dining room, a small kitchen, a bedroom and a bathroom. Chan and Stillman searched the place in short order. No suitcase. Back in the house, they went from top to bottom, finishing in the garage.
They’d found a couple of empty suitcases that Mrs. Jones identified as her and her husband’s.
Chan called headquarters and asked them to contact any patrol units in the area. He wanted two officers to stand guard there.
Back in the squad room, Chan contacted the Intelligence Division of the Mexican Federales. They confirmed that the tattoo on the biceps of the three Mexican victims was that of a gang called Three Daggers.
“I don’t suppose we can hope,” said Sergeant Stillman, “that those were all three of the daggers so the gang’s finished.”
“No such luck,” said Chan. “Apparently that gang’s a growing concern throughout Mexico. As is the heroin industry.”
“And you really think it’s the Yus protecting their market?”
Chan wasn’t sure. It was just a suspicion. But he knew that the Yu clan was always uppermost in his thoughts about any crime, and he wasn’t the only cop with a burning desire to tear them down.”
Just then Chief of Ds, Delbert Kauhane came over. “Boys, the Governor’s been briefed about this heroin case with the Mexicans. He wants a 49ers meeting.”
The Hawai‘i Four-9 was the name the Governor’s special police investigation unit had adopted back when everyone thought the Territory of Hawai‘i would become the 49th State. Of course this didn’t happen, Alaska sneaking in ahead of them. But the name had stuck even though the group’s members thought they should update it to Hawai‘i Five-0.
The original four members of this investigative team, put together by the Governor in 1948, had been Chan’s father’s partner Lieutenant Wilbur “Snuffy” Apana, who also happened to be Chan’s godfather, Chief of Detective’s Kimo Kauhane, Chan’s former partner, Sergeant Victor Yamamoto, and Chan himself.
After the death of Victor Yamamoto, and the forced retirement of Apana, two new members were brought on board, Sergeant Chin Ho Kelly, who’d actually been recruited from the Sheriff’s office, and Detective Kono Kalākaua out of Vice.
When a crime appeared to be larger than simply a straightforward HPD matter, the Governor sometimes stepped in, and would direct that the 49ers give extra attention to a particular case. Sometimes this was because politicians or other VIPs were somehow involved. In this particular case, it was the idea that three three dead men might be the first wave of an influx of heroin from Mexico. It was a case taking on international importance, and Governor Monteith wanted it solved and this pipeline shut down ASAP.
The four emerged from their meeting with the Governor shaking their heads. What special duty invoked by the Governor meant was that they needed to work overtime. They were now supposed to focus on the case, but they were also expected to keep up with their other work. What it boiled down to was that they were to forget about sleep until they closed the case.
“David,” said Kauhane, “since you’re already knee deep in this, you to spearhead it. What do you need from the three of us.”
The team sat in the Blue Light Bar & Grill, nursing the beer they hoped would fuel their overtime efforts.
“I need one of you to coordinate protection for Mrs. Jones in her Kailua home, and one to coordinate protection for Mr. Jones at Queen’s Hospital. I was there when she was threatened earlier. Right now I’ve got a couple of uniforms sitting both she and with her husband, but I want you to work out the around the clock details, even if you have to do some of the watching yourselves.”
He looked at the three. Kauhane said he’d take care of Conrad Jones, and Kalākaua would cover Mrs. Jones.
“David,” said Kelly, “what would you like me to do?”
“Chin, can you check out the airline and hotel reservations for the three men. Probably nothing there, but please trace payments, see if there’s anything interesting special about who made the arrangements. Also, if you can see about any phone calls the three may have made from the hotels, that would be great.”
When the meeting adjourned, it was night out. After the others drove off, Chan sat in his car. His overwhelming gut instinct told him he should pay a visit to Gi Yu, but he still chided himself for always wanting to see the Yu’s involvement in everything.
One more beer, he thought, and I’ll be knocking on her door tonight. Real late.
Instead, he drove back to headquarters. Where was that suitcase?
* * * * *
Aloha #WriterThursday, I hope you’re well. Today’s #WritingPrompt is
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 : )