Trying To Figure

Lieutenant Chan had asked me to come down to the station so we could talk further about my housesitting for the Robertsons.  Just as I arrived at police headquarters, he received a call. When he hung up he said, “Let’s go, that was a friend of mine.  He’s involved in this case too, and he’s in trouble.”

We drove over the Pali and out to the Bayview Golf Course.  When we walked into the restaurant, a man sitting at the bar waived us over.

David introduced me to him.

“Rodney Kim, this is Lanning Lee.  Rod, Lanning was housesitting for the Robertsons.”

Mr. Kim nodded.  “David,” he said, “when I got in my car after Woolworth’s, the guy we were waiting for got in beside me.  He made me drive out to a house down the street here.  There were two other people inside, a Haole guy, and some woman, maybe a Japanese mix.  The Haole guy killed our guy.  He killed Eugene Kanai, and Kama and Amelia too.  He was getting ready to plug me, but I jumped out the window and beat it over here.  He tried to shoot me while I was getting away.”

“Let’s go,” said David.

“You think you should call for backup?” asked Mr. Kim.

“Not now.”

We all jumped in David’s car.  Mr. Kim directed us down Kāne‘ohe Bay Drive.  Instead of going into the driveway, David parked on the street.  He reached into the glove compartment, pulled out a gun, and handed it to Mr. Kim.

“Lanning,” he said, “stay here.”

The two made their way down the driveway, disappearing around the corner.  I didn’t know whether to expect gunfire or what.  My heart was beating like crazy.

The next thing I saw was David coming back.  He called to me to join him.  We walked down the driveway and into the house, where Mr. Kim knelt over the body on the floor.

“Do you by any chance recognize this guy?” David asked me.

“No, sorry, I don’t know him,” I said.

David went over to the phone and called headquarters.  He asked for forensics and a meat wagon.

All three of us sat down.

“How do you figure this?” Mr. Kim asked.

David shook his head.  “I can’t understand how this guy fits into the scheme.  He tries to get a thousand out of you to point out that the man who shot him here is the one who killed Kama.  The guy kills him and admits to you that he also killed Amelia and Eugene.  We have him and a woman out there now.”

“Right, right,” said Mr. Kim.  “And?”

“Well, Lanning is at the Robertson’s house.  A woman brings a man up to him, strangles the guy, and disappears.  I’m thinking she didn’t know what Robertson looked like.  I think she thought Lanning was him.  She either wanted to frame Robertson, or threaten him with the same treatment.  Maybe it was less a threat and more of a warning.”

* * * * *

The Case of the Strong Swimmer, Chapter 3: Trying to Figure (A Lieutenant David Chan Mystery, 550 words)

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