No Kidding Around (A Lieutenant David Chan Mystery, Chapter 9)

Sure enough, there was a duffle bag in the locker.  It contained three large bags of white powder.

The next morning, Chan took the bags to the lab where it was confirmed to be pure heroin.  The street value of the drug cut for sale, Chan discovered, was roughly $200,000.

“It’s a large amount,” said Chan at the morning meeting of the 49ers, “but it must be a sample, given the way this story is going.”

He asked Chin Ho Kelly if anything had come from looking into the purchase of the airline tickets or the making of the hotel reservations.”

“Nothing, David.  They paid for their own tickets, made their own reservations.”

“Any phone calls out?”

“If they made calls, they were probably using payphones.”

“So this is how our story’s shaping up,” said Kalākaua.  “The three brought in heroin to give someone a look, and the deal went sour.”

Chan said, “Let’s say, for the moment, the Yus aren’t involved.  Who would try to get a foothold on the heroin market?  Who would risk it?”

“Either a stupid player or a new one,” said Kelly.  “If they already know that the Yus might come down on them, they’re idiots to try.  If they didn’t know about um, then they weren’t doing their homework.  Due diligence would’ve told um they were headed for a smash-up.”

“How about,” said Kauhane, “if there’s a third possibility.  What if they knew about the Yus, but went ahead anyway.  What would cause them to go ahead if they weren’t stupid?”

Chan said, “How about they were contracted by the Yus to take over the heroin market, paying a percentage to them.  Let’s say they got a little creative.  Rather than just deal heroin from China, like we know the Yus did, they thought they could get a better deal from the Mexicans.  Up their take with lower supply prices?”

“Would that involve any double-dealing with the Yus?” asked Kelly.

“No,” said Chan.  “They made the fatal mistake of crossing the suppliers.”

Kauhane said, “So the guys killing our Mexicans are whoever the Yus had done business with in the past back in China.  The Chinese come to town to make sure they don’t lose their market.”

“Right,” agreed Chan.  “And that means we’re looking for killers from China, and a Yu contracted local dealer.”

The four agreed this was a good scenario upon which to base the investigation going forward.  Chan did not like that it took direct involvement of the Yus out of the equation, but Gi and her grandfather were pulling more than enough crap all the time.  Their day was coming.

Chan asked Kalākaua to continue handling protection of the Joneses.  He put Kelly on the track of visitors from China arriving over the past three to five days, identifying likely individuals with criminal ties.

“If necessary, Chin, call the authorities in Peking about every single visitor during that period.”

Kauhane would look into the Aquino Import and Export Company, and the background and dealings of Angelo Aquino.

Chan would try to determine who the person contracted by the Yus might be.  In order to do this, he began with the salient information they already knew.

First, three Mexicans, traveling separately, had all arrived four days ago and gone to separate hotels. Two days ago, sometime early the day they were to leave together, they’d been killed.

Later on that same day, Conrad Jones had been beaten for information about the whereabouts of his son.

The son had been located and killed because he’d stolen the heroin brought in by the Mexicans.

Chan pondered these pieces of the puzzle, and then it struck him.  Only Juan Pérez at the Hawaiian Surfrider held the heroin.  How did Calvin Jones know that?  How did he know to steal the heroin from Pérez?

Again the nagging feeling Calvin might be knee-deep in the enterprise surfaced in Chan’s mind.  He forced it down.  The kid was just a kid.  Peripherally involved at most.

He remembered a crime of his own youth. One New Year’s Eve he’d been sitting on the roof of his grandfather’s house on Punchbowl, watching fireworks all over town. While he was up there, he noticed a car parking down the street. The driver opened the trunk and pulled out a large box. Then, strangely, he stuffed the box under a hedge and walked off.

Curious, Chan made his way with great caution to that bush.  The box was a case of beer.  How odd that the man would hide a case of beer.  And what bad luck for the man that David Chan had seen him do it.

Chan had never drunk beer, and he didn’t particularly care for the taste or that it was warm.  But he’d drunk three, and this made him sick.

Before he knew it, Chan was throwing up in the bathroom.  His father knelt by his side, smelled the alcohol, and grounded David for a month.  He didn’t care that the man had hidden the beer under a bush.  Yes, he was a policeman, but no, he was not going to pursue the matter. The only matter he was going to pursue was making sure his son was through vomiting and then putting him to bed.  He’d placed the remaining beer in the refrigerator for further investigation at a later time.

“That’s it,” said Chan.

* * * * *

Aloha #WriterMonday, I hope you had a good, safe weekend. Today’s #WritingPrompt is

child’s play

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

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