Here’s my draft for today, Aloha Friday, 09.24.21
To See What He Had Seen — Part Three
Captain Kauhane emerged from his lair again. “David, Victor, please. In my office.”
The two rose.
Yamamoto said, “You gonna tell the Cap about the noose?”
Chan shook his head. “No. At least not right now.”
Entering the office, the two sat in front of Kauhane’s desk. It looked like a tsunami of paperwork was about to break on the shore.
“Guys,” said Kauhane, “this just came in. Someone on patrol called in what looks like a mini-massacre. He counted twelve vics. All shot execution style.”
“Where at?” asked Chan.
“Out behind Kailua Drive-In.”
Chan and Yamamoto glanced at each other.
Kauhane noticed this. “What? What are you two thinking?”
“Nothing,” said Chan. “Nothing.”
Yamamoto said in his typical sarcastic way, “Gangland killing, huh? Wow, I wonder who that could be?”
“Yeah,” agreed Kauhane. “Yu leaps to mind. I’m assigning you two this case because of that obvious suspicion.”
Chan and Yamamoto made the trip over the Pali.
“David, is this one spooky coincidence, or what?”
“Yes,” said Chan. “I mean, I’ve never had a psychic experience before. Not that I can remember, at least. Kind of blows the mind, you know?”
“I bet it’s blowing yours. It’s sure blowing mine.”
“Wrong body count though,” said Chan. I had two dozen in my dream.”
“Right,” said Yamamoto. “But even then, uh?”
“Yeah.” Chan shivered.
They parked and went around back. The forensics team was already on the job. Chan and Yamamoto split up and began to move among the bodies.
“David,” Yamamoto called. “Another mistake in your dream. These guys aren’t Tongs. Check out the tattoos on their forearms. They’re some gang, but what? I never seen this one.”
Chan nodded. “Yes. Asian for sure, but the tattoo is definitely new.
Chan did a quick sketch of the tattoo. It was a black spade, like on a deck of cards, surrounded by four five-pointed stars at compass points.
Each victim had been shot in the back of the head. The bodies had all fallen forward with the force of the bullet, and all had lost large parts of their faces.
“Well,” said Yamamoto, “should we play out your dream and head over to Mānoa?”
Chan hesitated. “Vic, you know and I know that Yu could very well be behind this, but – ”
Yamamoto interrupted his boss. “David, no buts about it. I don’t have to do much thinking here. No hesitation. Let’s go talk to him and bust his ass.”
Chan signaled his partner to slow down. “Wait, Vic, wait. I think we need to figure out who these guys are first. We need to check into this tattoo. Call some friends in Japan and China, maybe,” he knelt and turned one of the heads up towards him, “maybe Korea. Hard to tell with their faces blown off.”
Yamamoto exhaled with noticeable volume. “Right, right. You right. Just me, you know, I hate that guy and this is so much his kinda work.”
“Really?” asked Chan. “You know, with Byung Yu, and with his father for that matter, I don’t recall any killing this big. If this is his work, then the guy is definitely stepping up his game. I mean, twelve people? It’s a war, Vic.”
“Eh, like you say, David, we don’t know of anything this big, not yet, but you know that doesn’t mean it hasn’t happened before. We could do some digging in the cane fields and maybe find more like this one.”
“Yes, yes,” said Chan, “that’s so, it’s true. Or drag the bottom of the Pacific Ocean. But still, Vic, I think we need to know who these people are. Let’s go back to the office and make some calls.”
“Eh, David, you da boss.” Yamamoto was obviously hot, and to tell the truth, so was Chan. But . . .
Back at the office, Chan called PSF, the Chinese People’s Public Security Force, and Yamamoto called NPA, the National Police Agency in Japan.
Chan was first off the phone. The PSF did not recognize the tattoo. Chan dialed up another friend with the Korean Bureau of National Security, the BNS.
Yamamoto had drawn a blank as well, and now Chan had learned that the Koreans didn’t recognize the tattoo either.
“Well,” said Yamamoto, “so are we gonna call every police agency in Asia?”
Chan shook his head. What he needed after his dream night, was a nap. Damn Byung Yu. He said, “No, I don’t think so. I have a feeling we’re dealing with something new. If it is Yu, only a new gang would try to muscle in on him. A new one might not know how strong Yu is.”
That strength of the Yu gang, built on the foundation first laid by Yu-Kang Ho, was enormous. Immediately after coming to Honolulu in 1905, he’d begun to bring friend after friend over from Korea. With more and more making the move to Honolulu as time passed, the Yu “family” now surely numbered in the high hundreds, if not in the thousands. Those who came, their sons – and daughters – then the grandchildren. The numbers really were staggering. Any organization that tried to get a foothold in the islands came up against Yu’s not inconsiderably sized army. Maybe it was war.
“There,” said Yamamoto. “You’re talking Byung Yu too. David, let’s pay him a visit already. Come on, brah, it’s time.”
David shook his head. His gut instinct told him this wasn’t Yu. He looked at the box on his desk. Maybe, just maybe the noose and the note were from Yu. But the mass killing. He felt uneasy about jumping the gun on Yu-Byung-hi.
“Okay, okay,” he said, “let’s go then.” Why he gave in, he didn’t know. But Yamamoto had great instincts too, the kind that make great police officers.
Neither said much on the drive to Mānoa. Yu’s home was indeed huge. One of the last monstrous properties left in the valley. Properties were being subdivided and divided again. Mānoa was one of the most desirable locations in town. Almost anyone who could afford it looked for a home there first.
Even David Chan’s father had looked at this lush valley before finally deciding on a modest house on Pacific Heights. He had of necessity to look for something nowhere near the size of Yu’s mansion, for David Chan’s father, of course, was living on a police salary.
Chan knocked with the heavy, ornate fleur-di-lis metal knocker mounted on the enormous double-door. They waited. Yamamoto looked for some kind of doorbell button. There was none.
Chan knocked again, longer and louder. Finally a small, elderly Korean woman opened the door.
Chan flashed his badge, and the two detectives were ushered into the foyer. It was large, with a vaulted ceiling. Directly across the area was a long, highly polished koa table, a single arrangement of fresh protea sitting directly in the middle.
Chan stuck his head into the living room on the left. Just as in his dream it was filled with many seats. There was no grand piano, however, but there was a very, very grand fireplace. There was no parquet floor either, but Chan could see that moving a few couches and chairs would provide ample room for dancing.
Byung Yu strolled out of a room on the left. He was dressed in a suit that would have cost David Chan a minimum of an arm plus part of a leg.
The smile on Yu’s face was as huge as the foyer.
“Gentlemen,” he said bowing slightly, to what do I owe the honor of a visit from Honolulu’s finest?”
“Mind if we sit, Mr. Yu?” asked Chan, feeling exhausted.
“Not at all, not at all, Mr. Chan. Please.” Yu made a sweeping gesture toward the doorway from which he’d just emerged.
Chan and Yamamoto made their way into what was Byung Yu’s office. Of course there was a huge koa desk, as beautiful and highly polished as the koa table in the entranceway. Everything on the table looked so neat Chan thought it could be staged.
Yu went around and sat in his chair behind the desk, while Chan and Yamamoto sat in two chairs in front.
“And so?” said Byung Yu, opening the conversation.
“Mister Yu,” said Chan, “I was wondering if you were aware of a shooting that took place sometime last night. It happened out at Kailua Drive-In.”
“Hmmm,” said Yu. “I’m curious, Mister Chan, why come to me about this?”
Chan had been half hoping that, as it had happened in his dream, Yu would just blurt out that he knew all about it, was responsible for the mass murder.
“Come on, Yu,” Yamamoto chimed in with some heat. “You know why we come to you. This was a big one. Twelve corpses, one shot in the back of the head. So we come to you, because –”
Chan stuck out his arm and patted Yamamoto on the shoulder. The Sergeant stopped talking immediately.
“We’ve come,” said Chan, “because I saw you admit to doing the shooting in a dream I had last night.”