When the call from Shanghai came, Chan’s adrenaline rush quickly died.
“There was no tall woman in a mu‘umu‘u on either flight?”
There was not.
“He could have changed.”
They questioned everyone on both flights, matching them with their passports. There was no Wo Lai Chan.
“But someone like him would have an easy time obtaining a forged passport.”
All passports had been in order
On the way to Queen’s Hospital, Chan grew sicker by the minute. Steve McGarrett, one of the officers on duty, let him into Conrad Jones’ room.
“Mister Jones, you’re better.”
“Thank you, Lieutenant, they say I’ll be out of here in two or three days.”
“Good,” said Chan, knowing what he had to say would be hard. “Mister Jones, the man responsible for your son’s death, the death of the Mexicans, and, of course, your own beating has escaped.”
Chan didn’t mention Bobby Stillman or the woman on the beach.
“His name is Wo Lai Chan. He also goes by Wo Fat.”
Now the old man began to shake.
“He has connections here. The heroin those Mexicans brought in. They were going to make some deal with a Honolulu distributor, compete against Wo Fat in the market here. Do you know the name Kang Yu?”
Jones, looking terrified, nodded. “Yes, yes of course. Your father talked of him often.”
“Yu’s daughter,” said Chan, “runs the syndicate here now. She’s moving them into legitimate businesses. But the Yus won’t give up the income Kang grew his criminal enterprise on, and it’s Wo Fat, I’m sure, who is supplying the Yu’s designated distributor.”
Jones was having trouble breathing.
Chan continued. “Wo Fat came here to send a message to the Mexicans. He also came here to teach this distributor a lesson about double dealing. For all we know, that man might be dead now too.”
Jones closed his eyes, shook his head, then simply said, “I’m so sorry for everything.”
“I know you are, Mr. Jones,” said Chan. He looked at the old man, crumpled on the bed. Finally, almost whispering, Chan said, “It’s a hard thing to choose saving your own life at the cost of your son’s.”
Chan had suspected it. Calvin Jones had been in the warehouse that day. Wo Fat, who’d been beating the Mexicans to death, or more accurately enjoying watching his men beat them, had seen the boy get away, knew the kid knew where the heroin was.
“You were there,” said Chan. “At first you held out identifying him. But Wo Fat knew you knew. And when they beat you, you talked, told them it was Calvin, told them where they might find him. Calvin grabbed the Mexicans’ heroin from the hotel, stashed it at Siu Lum Pai, and then hid out at the beach house. He thought he was safe. He believed you wouldn’t tell them who or where he was.”
Chan regarded at the old man, thought about how his father had been such good friends with this man who had let his die.
“You’re a lot luckier than your son, aren’t you? Why are you even alive?”
Jones looked up at him. “If you hadn’t protected me, David, they would have killed me here in the hospital.”
Chan nodded. “You’re probably right. But why didn’t they just kill you at the warehouse?”
“The Yus. It’s them. They told Wo Fat they wanted to do it themselves. I know what you think of me, David, but without your protection, I, they . . . .” His voice died away.
“Mr. Jones,” Chan said, “you’re an accessory to your son’s murder, as well as the Mexicans. I’d also have to look into charging you with drug trafficking. I’m thinking you’d have to serve several lifetimes. I don’t think that’s fair. Do you? You’re not going to live much longer. Really, the cost of putting you behind bars for a couple of years, it’s too expensive, it’s a real waste of time deal all the way around.”
Chan, exhausted, turned and exited.
Outside, he told McGarrett and Williams they were relieved of their duty.
“He won’t be needing protection anymore,” Chan said, and the three walked out into the evening.
* * * * *
Aloha #WriterSaturday, and a Happy Halloween. Today’s #WritingPrompt is
a parent’s love
Use it to inspire a piece of writing, and then post that piece somewhere I can read it. I would love to see what you come up with : )