Chapter 27: Still More About Bobby Stillman

“Bobby, let’s go,” said Chan, moving toward the door.

Stillman hung up the phone abruptly. “Oh, where to, boss?”

“I’ll tell you on the way.”

Stillman put on his jacket and followed Chan downstairs to his car. Pulling out onto Beretania, Chan said, “So you talked to both Philip Tico and his son, then came back to see the Delbert?”

“Right, right,” said Bobby. “Good talk. I was tough on them, but I think they both came out clean.”

Chan laughed. “Yeah, good work, Bobby. You’re coming along just fine now. I’m glad to have you as the man who’d always be there to watch my back.”

Stillman sat silently. Finally, he said, “So, David, where are we going?”

“Don’t worry about it,” said Chan. “We’ll be there in two shakes of a lamb’s tail.” Like a lamb to slaughter, he mused.

As they neared swanky Kāhala, Chan noticed Stillman adjust himself in his seat. He’d call it activity just shy of squirming.

“Okay, we’re almost there,” said Chan, turning onto Hunakai Street.

No need to wonder anymore. Stillman was detective enough to figure out they were headed for the Tico home.

Chan pulled into the same parking place where his father’s abandoned car had been found all those long years ago. His blood began to boil just thinking about it.

“Let’s go,” said Chan, slamming his door.

“If it’s okay with you, boss,” I’ll hang around outside to keep an eye on things.”

Chan laughed. “What, like we’re going to be attacked by gardening and pool cleaning crews? Come on.”

Stillman reluctantly trudged after Chan. Chan rang the doorbell and cursed Für Elise. The same elderly Japanese maid answered the door. Chan felt infinitely sorry for her.

Chan could hardly wait for this face-to-face with Philip Tico. Stillman held back, stood well behind Chan.

“Oh for Christ’s sake,” said Tico, storming into the enormous living room. “What is it now, Lieutenant? Your behavior has crossed over into outright harassment now. I’m going to call your superiors and the Mayor’s office about you.”

Chan smiled. “Hey, Mister Tico, before you jump on the phone, let me advise you of your rights.”

“My rights,” Tico blurted. “My right to use my phone, you mean.”

“No sir,” said Chan. “I mean you have the right to remain silent. Anything you say may be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to an attorney being present during questioning, and if you cannot afford one, one will be provided for you. Do you understand what I’ve just said?”

Tico, fuming, stood open-mouthed.

Chan repeated, “Do you underst –”

“Yes, dammit, yes, Chan, I understand you. What I don’t understand is why you’re telling me this?”

Chan, as calmly as he could, said, “Philip Tico, I’m arresting you for suspicion that you were party to the murder of Lieu –”

“Enough!” shouted Tico, “I’ve had it up to hear with your baseless accusations. Will you shut the hell up and get out of my house?”

Reaching behind him, Chan pulled out a pair of handcuffs.

“Don’t you dare,” said Tico, stepping backward.

Just then Mrs. Tico entered the room. “What is all this shouting about?” she cried. “What’s going on?”

And then, open-mouthed, she pointed at Chan. “You bastard,” she said.

Taken aback, Chan stopped dead. He’d had the impression that Zelda Tico was a kind and compassionate woman. He’d rather admired her for putting up with a husband she obviously hated, and her love for her own son stood in stark contrast to how much she despised Philip Tico.

“Excuse me?” Chan said.

“Bastard!” exclaimed Zelda Tico, still pointing at –

And then Chan realized she was pointing not at him, but at Bobby Stillman, standing behind him.

Turning, Chan looked at Stillman. “What’s she talking about?” he asked. Then, not waiting for a reply, he turned back to Zelda Tico, saying, “I’m sorry, Missus Tico, are you referring to Detective Stillman?”

Zelda Tico broke down crying and dropped into a seat beside her. Chan looked back at Stillman again and then walked over and sat down next to her. All the while Philip Tico stood silently by.

“Missus Tico, what are you talking about?”

Gradually, Zelda Tico managed to quell her emotional state. Then she looked up, and the hatred on her face sent a chill down Chan’s back.

Now she pointed at her husband. “Bastard,” she said again. Then she pointed at Stillman. “Bastard.”

Chan, absolutely confused at this point, asked again, “Missus Tico, what are you saying?”

“Your Sergeant there is the bastard son of my bastard of a husband.”

This threw Chan a ball that dipsy-doed its way past him. “Ah,” he looked first at Tico then at Stillman. “Ah, are you saying that Detective Stillman is your son?”

“No, Lieutenant, not my son. He’s my dear husband’s son. One of a million he’s got out there. I’ve lost count.”

Chan looked up at Tico but still spoke to Zelda. “So you’re saying that Detective Stillman is one of your husband’s several illegitimate children?”

“Several at least,” scoffed Zelda.

Chan sat back on the couch to try to get his head around this new twist. Finally, he said, not asking Tico, but his partner, “Bobby, is this true?”

Stillman, still standing well back, said, “Ah, yes. Yes, David, it’s true.”

Now Chan turned to the father. “This is true, Mister Tico, that Bobby is your son?”

Tico’s lip curled and Chan could hear the snarl in his voice. “Yes, Lieutenant Chan, it’s true. What of it?”

“He’s about as faithful as a defrocked priest,” said Zelda. “He’s out sleeping with his various whores more than he sleeps at home. And this,” she flapped her hand at Stillman, “is one of his bastard byproducts.”

Standing up, Chan changed the topic. Still holding the handcuffs, he walked toward Philip Tico. “As I said, Mister Tico, you are under arrest.”

This brought Tico back to life. “How dare you? I suppose you think you have some kind of proof?”

“Actually, sir, I do. Three hours ago,” he stared at Stillman, “I had a conversation with your son. He told me that you were a participant in my father’s murder and that it was you who parked my father’s car in front of your house.”

Philip Tico, his face grape purple with rage, spit out, “I deny this. I deny any of this, I tell you. We’re calling each other all bastards? Well, Jeffrey’s her bastard of a lying son. I’ve always wished he’d never been born. I’d disown his relationship to me if I could. His stupidity will plague me to my grave.”

“Deny it all you like, sir, but he says it’s you.”

“Where is he?” asked Tico. “Where did you speak to that idiot? Was it on campus?”

Chan looked at Zelda Tico’s face. There were tears and the hatred of her husband. And Chan did not have the heart to tell her that her son was dead. For the briefest of moments, the rape of his daughter always on his mind, he wished for a fleeting instant that he’d not spit on the body of Jeffrey Tico.

“Sir,” said Chan, clearing his throat and holding up the cuffs, “give me your right hand, please.”

The hatred on Tico’s face made him look demonic. Chan shook his head, put the handcuffs on, and, taking Philip Tico by the elbow, escorted him toward the front door.

“Lieutenant Chan,” said Zelda Tico, “thank you for taking both of them with you.”

Chan nodded, then said to Stillman, “Get the hell outside.”

Stillman, his face red with shame, turned and shuffled out the door.

“You’re going to pay for this,” said Philip Tico. “I had nothing to do with your father’s death, and I will swear that your father’s damn car was planted outside my house. I will have your badge, Chan.”

Chan laughed as he forced Tico into the back seat and slammed the door.

“So, Bobby, you know what I’m saying, right?”

Stillman nodded. “Yeah, David, it’s true, I lied about talking to the son.”

Chan shook his head, went around, and sat down in the driver’s seat. He wanted to say it aloud, but he didn’t. He wanted very badly to know what else his partner had lied about.

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