I said, “David, what if she was bringing him some kind of sacrifice?”
“Well, maybe the man she strangled had betrayed Robertson somehow. Maybe she was delivering him to Robertson. Letting him know that she’d killed him for whatever reason.”
Mr. Kim said, “That would make it so she knew Robertson. If she were dropping off a kill for him, wouldn’t she recognize him?”
David said, “I don’t know, Rod. She could be delivering the kill because someone had directed her to do so.”
“But,” said Mr. Kim, “why wait to strangle him while Lanning here was in the house? Why not just haul up a corpse?”
“Right, good point,” said David. “Lanning, do you know when the Robertsons are due back?”
“Tonight. Their flight gets in at 7:30.”
Just then one of the officers came in from the back. “Lieutenant Chan, we got another body in the yard out back.”
“Right, Danno, I’m coming.”
Mr. Kim and I followed David and officer Williams out the back door.
“That’s the woman,” said Mr. Kim.
“I know her,” I said. “She’s the swimmer. I’d recognize that body anywhere.”
David bent down over the woman’s corpse. “She’s been strangled,” he said.
Mr. Kim said, “Live by the sword, die by the sword. The strangler gets strangled. How ironic life can be sometimes.”
David and I looked at him. “Rod,” said David, “you’re quite the philosopher.”
“Huh? What? What did I say.”
I said, “You were talking about one of life’s ironies.”
“Oh, I guess I musta read something once.”
David said, “So now we’re looking for this tall Caucasian guy. He really seems to be cleaning up a whole lot of loose ends.”
All three of us drove around the bay to the Robertson house. While we waiting for them to come home, I cooked up some spaghetti for dinner. Mr. Kim complimented me on the garlic bread.
“Lanning, this is good, but I can tell you’re only half Korean.”
I looked at him. “How’s that?”
“Not enough garlic.”
David, whose wife had been Korean, nodded. “My wife used to smother her garlic bread in garlic. It was more like garlic with a bread chaser.”
Mr. Kim said, “Yeah, David, she was a great cook. Reminded me of my Mom’s food. She escaped from Korea – ”
The front door opened and Mr. and Mrs. Robertson stepped in. They’d been expecting me, of course, but they did look surprised to see the Lieutenant and Mr. Kim.
“Lanning,” said Mrs. Robertson, “I’m glad to see you’re holding down the homestead well. Who are your friends?”
David showed her his badge and introduced himself and Mr. Kim.
“Well,” said Mr. Robertson, “I feel that our house was extra safe with all you gentlemen on hand.”
David said, “Well, as a matter of fact, it wasn’t very safe here at all. A man was strangled on your lānai. Joey Soto. Do either of you know him?”
Both Robertsons looked flustered at the news. I couldn’t tell, however, if it were about the murder or about the mention of Joey Soto’s name.
We all sat down in the living room.
“Can you please tell me where you were these past two weeks?” David asked.
“We were in Europe,” said Mr. Robertson.
“Work or pleasure?”
“Both, really. As you may know, I have a car dealership here on O‘ahu. I sell European imports. I was visiting with factories, Mercedes, BMW, you know, talking about shipping quotas and the like. So lots of business, but my wife and I did a good deal of sightseeing as well.”
* * * * *
The Case of the Strong Swimmer, Chapter Four: Mr. and Mrs. Robertson (A Lieutenant David Chan Mystery, 600 words)