Chapter 13: Kāhala or Ka’ena Point?

Byung Yu was mightily relieved when Sung-min Wang called him the following day. He’d been concerned that the people at Koreana Air would miss getting the message to Wang, that he would take the connecting flight to Wanhei, and then surprise Kang Yu with his swift arrival.

“Where are you now?” asked Yu.

“I’m staying with a friend in Seoul. She and I grew up together. It had been a long time. But I connected with her last night when I came in.”

“Ah, that’s very good, my friend, one can never have too many friends, yes?”

“Yes, sir, right. But what happened? Did I do something that didn’t meet with your father’s approval?”

“Oh no no no,” said Yu. “He’s thrilled to know that you’ve taken care of Chan. I,” Yu tossed a few ideas around in his head, “I, ah, misspoke. It wasn’t actually my father who wanted you to wait, it was me. I realized that I might be having a problem with some of our people in Seoul, one of our opium suppliers, and I wanted you to stay there in case they needed some hands-on communication from my end.”

“But,” said Wang, “I, ah, well, you know, sir, that I don’t want to do that kind of work anymore.”

“Oh, no, yes, this wouldn’t be that kind of work. Just a little hard talk, an arm twisted here or there. Nothing fatal.”

There was silence from Wang’s end. Then, “So you’ve decided that you don’t need my help with that?”

Yu shifted in his chair. “I will need a few more days. Sit tight, and wait for my call. Once I’ve ironed out the problem, I’ll let you know, and you can go on to Wanhei. But please, do nothing and go nowhere until you hear from me.”

Wang said he would do so, and Byung Yu hung up feeling as though he’d dodged a bullet. Not a fatal one, but one big enough to do a lot of damage short of killing you.

An hour later, Yu was headed for his headquarters at the Beretania Follies. When he arrived, he was surprised to see Detective Sergeant Wilbur Apana waiting for him at the bar. As he sat next to Apana, he smiled, thinking about the Lieutenant and his partner, and how comically appropriate it was that the house was dark that night.

“And to what do I owe the honor of this visit, Mr. Apana?” asked Yu.

Apana wiped at his nose with a handkerchief. “Well,” he looked at Cho polishing glasses down the bar, “we’re concerned about my partner. David Chan hasn’t shown up for work, and he’s not been home. This afternoon his car was found on a sidestreet in Kāhala.”

Yu fidgeted with an ashtray, turning it in a circle on the bar. “In Kāhala, you say. How interesting.”

“Yes,” said Apana. “In Kāhala. And no one in the neighborhood knows who he is or why his car might be there.”

“Huh,” said Yu. “I’m very curious about this. Let me look into it, Detective. I’ll be sure to let you know what I find out.”

Apana smiled slightly and nodded. Downing the last of his drink, he stood, gave a slight bow, and left.

Yu watched David Chan’s partner disappear out the door. What a sorry excuse for a human being. Granted, Apana and Chan were revered in the law enforcement community, but Apana was no Chan. Yu knew who was the brain behind the duo’s success.

Staring at himself in the bar mirror, Byung Yu continued to turn the clear glass ashtray on the bar. In Kāhala? How could that be? Wang had told him the car had been abandoned at Ka‘ena Point. Kāhala? Either someone had found Chan’s car and driven it to Kāhala, or Wang had not told him the truth. But hadn’t he and Wang agreed that the end of the road on the West side of the island was an excellent location? That it would steer the police investigation into Chan’s disappearance off course? If he’d lied about it, why would Wang do that? And wouldn’t he know that Yu would find out about it eventually?

Yu stopped spinning the ashtray, picked it up, and slammed it down on the bar.

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