Hong Kong - Friday December 27th, 1996
Jimmy and Sylvia sat together on the sofa, their fingers entwined for comfort. The hands of the clock crawled on.
Finally Jimmy leaped to his feet. ‘I can’t stand this. I’m going out to look for Jenny.’
Sylvia tugged frantically at his hand. ‘No, you can’t leave me. If they find out I set them up, they’ll kill me. Inspector BJ said you weren’t to go.’
He was in an agony of indecision. ‘I can’t just leave Jenny in their filthy clutches.’
‘The inspector said he’d look for her.’
‘He can’t, he’s got other things to do.’ Jimmy made up his mind. ‘Lock the door and don’t open it to anyone except me. They’ll be too busy saving their own rotten skins to think about coming for you. I have to go, Sylvia, I have to.’
She slipped her fingers from his, ‘Yes, you have to,’ she conceded. ‘Be careful, Jimmy, I’m so frightened for you. I don’t want you to be hurt because of me.’
He bent and kissed her. ‘Don’t say that, Sylvia, I don’t blame you. I’ll be back just as soon as I can. Pray the gods protect our little sister from harm.’
BJ met DCI Tan on the stairs to the cells. The chief inspector’s thin face was taut. ‘She’s clammed up tighter than a virgin’s crotch,’ he swore. ‘Damn the woman, she won’t talk. She just keeps saying, “That’s what you say, so prove it.”’
BJ grinned reluctantly. ‘Guy told her to keep shtum.’
‘I told Guy that Jenny Wong is missing,’ Brian said. ‘I thought he might have the decency to say where they’d have taken her. He just gave me his charming bloody smile and asked me not to lay all the colony’s crimes at his door.’
‘Brisbane Homicide’s reopened the case file on Elaine Langford.’ BJ brought his hand sharply down on the stair rail. ‘Damn, Brian, Guy wasn’t in Brisbane and even if eyewitnesses identify any of the photographs of his known associates after all this time, there’s no proof he set it up.’
‘I’m going to talk to him again,’ Tan said. ‘I might convince him Wanda’s shopped him.’
BJ nodded. ‘I’m on my way down. We’ve just picked up third son Ho for suspected complicity over the guns.’
‘Well, I hope you have better joss than us,’ Brian growled.
Guy was returned to the interview room. He sighed. ‘Again, Brian?’
The DCI switched on the tape, ‘I’ll remind you that you’re still under caution,’ he said. ‘Interview with Guy Langford; officers present, DCI Tan, DS Ng.’ He sat down. Ng, a large man with a soft, high-pitched voice took the other chair.
Tan said, ‘Well, Guy, Wanda’s being very cooperative; why don’t you make it easy on yourself?’
Guy raised a sceptical eyebrow but made no comment.
‘Suppose I tell you what we know and you can tell me if we’re right?’
‘Know? Don’t you mean, suspect?’
Tan smiled. ‘If you like. We know that Elaine had made an appointment to see her solicitor with the express purpose of changing her will, leaving the bulk of her fortune to the children to be held in trust. You were cut out completely.’
‘I really don’t know what she had in mind,’ Guy said. ‘Sorry.’
‘Twenty-four hours before her appointment, she met her death.’
‘That was lucky for me, and I never pretended otherwise,’ Guy countered. ‘But it doesn’t mean I killed her. I was in Hong Kong at the time.’
Sergeant Ng cut in. ‘Elaine talked to two Chinese men just before her death.’
Guy glanced at him. ‘It’s entirely possible. She lived here for years. She and Alistair had many Chinese friends.’
‘Friends? They were having a heated argument.’
Guy shook his head. ‘Ellie was going through a very painful time. She was upset, and more likely to show it to her friends.’
‘Suppose we told you Wanda is saying you knew about Elaine’s plan to alter her will, you spoke to her by phone two days earlier and begged her to change her mind, you were deeply in debt to Wing Chang and terrified of the consequences if you were cut out of the will, and you arranged Elaine’s murder which was carried out at your instruction?’
‘Is that what Wanda’s saying?’ Guy looked puzzled. ‘I was told Elaine’s death was an accident. Mind you, she always did drive too fast. And it was a mountain road.’
DCI Tan leaned forward. ‘She could have been run off the road by another car.’
‘Possibly. We’ll never know.’
‘You deny you spoke to her two days before her death?’
‘Of course not.’ Guy shrugged. ‘We were arranging a divorce, trying to decide what was best for the children. Naturally we talked.’ He sat back in his chair. ‘If that’s all you can dig up, quite frankly, Brian, I don’t think you’ve got a case at all.’
Tan bit back his irritation and moved to the present situation.
‘We know that Wanda and Pat had a violent quarrel. During that quarrel she stabbed him with a dagger she always carried. She drove to her mother’s and rang you at the Heavenly Joy Club. She wanted your help.’
‘This is conjecture,’ Guy said softly.
‘Perhaps. What is not conjecture is that you drove to a lockup in Queen’s Road West.’
Guy raised his brows but said nothing. Tan said, ‘You left your car there, exited by the back entrance and picked up Pat’s car at the Lee’s. I assume Pat died when he was stabbed or bled to death before you got to him. I don’t believe that you wanted him dead.’
Guy smiled faintly. ‘Thank you,’ he murmured.
‘You then drove Wanda, and Pat’s body, to the lockup, transferred Pat to the Porsche and cleaned up the Jag, Not well enough.’ Tan considered Guy. ‘Did Wanda forget to tell you she’d used her scarf to try to stop Pat’s bleeding?’
‘You’re telling the story, Brian. What do you think?’
Tan rapped the table impatiently. ‘She must have been hysterical, wanted to get out of there in a hurry,’ he said. ‘You didn’t notice the scarf.’ Guy’s expression remained one of polite interest. ‘You drove to the Evening Star, carried Pat’s body on board, left the Porsche at the yacht club and returned to the lockup while Wanda maintained the pretence that you were on board. Then you drove the Jag to Yau Ma Tei.’
‘Now, why would I do that?’
Ng tilted his head to one side and considered Guy. ‘We know Foreman Lo wrote to David Langford, concerned about something he’d overheard at the site. You intercepted the letter, arranged to meet him and killed him with the same knife Wanda used on Pat.’
‘I was having quite an evening, wasn’t I?’ Guy remarked.
Tan pounced. ‘You admit it?’
‘Not for a minute; but do go on, Brian.’
‘After you dumped Lo’s body you went to Pat’s house,’ Tan said. ‘To foster the belief that he was still alive you slept in his bed, ate his breakfast and collected his luggage. But you left much more of a mess than Pat ever did … it gave you away.’
Guy stirred slightly and Tan’s eyes narrowed. After a pause he continued, ‘You drove to the airport, trusting that anyone seeing you would automatically assume you were Pat. You left the Jag there, returned to the yacht club, and drove the Porsche home. Then, under the pretext of taking the morning off for a sail, you took Wanda to Lantau, disposing of Pat’s body and luggage on the way.’
He sat back, inviting a response.
Guy carefully linked his fingers and rested his clasped hands on the desk. ‘You’ve got no proof that Pat’s dead,’ he said at last. ‘Without a body, you’ve precious little evidence, Brian, and you know it. I deny your story completely.’
DCI Tan looked around the door of BJ’s office and came slowly in. He sank wearily into a chair.
BJ rummaged in his bottom drawer and produced a half bottle of scotch. He silently poured a tot and handed it to Brian.
‘Cheers!’ Tan drank it.
‘Not going well?’
‘He’s shifted ground a little’ Tan grimaced. ‘Not enough, though. We faced him with the faxes he had Chow Lin-chi return as Pat’s. He knows the handwriting will be analysed. Then we told him we had an eyewitness outside the lockup and that Wanda’s earring was found on the floor. We’ve had confirmation the blood on the scarf is the same group as Pat’s, not Wanda’s, by the way. He knows the Jag was sighted at Yau Ma Tei and that he can be placed in David’s office when the foreman’s letter was delivered. We asked him if he had an explanation for any of these.’
BJ poured him another scotch then one for himself. ‘And did he?’
‘He offered to make a statement. He said it was Pat who was injured in the quarrel. He used Wanda’s scarf to staunch the blood then drove her home and called Guy. They met at the lockup. Guy says he hadn’t known Pat planned to kill Lo Chin. The wound wasn’t as serious as they’d thought so he left Pat to rest for a while. He had no idea Pat had gone to Yau Ma Tei but reckoned it would explain his behaviour when he got home. He was injured and had killed a man.’
BJ turned his glass around. ‘Clever … and plausible’
‘Oh, he’s that, all right. Says Pat asked him to cover for him so he could think things through for a while. He’s his cousin and his friend; of course he was going to help him. Oh, and the faxes were simply to stop Pat’s parents worrying about him.’
‘What about Wanda’s presence in his bungalow?’
‘He freely admits she wanted to lie low until the scandal she’d created died down so he let her use his place. And he hasn’t denied they’re still lovers. They used the lockup to meet; he says she could have dropped the earring any time.’
He sighed and stood up. At the end of the interview, Guy had said ‘And now, Brian, I’ve been very cooperative, I’ve listened to your bizarre theories, I’ve given you my version of events. If you’ve nothing concrete to charge me with, I must insist you release me.’
Brian very much feared he’d have to do just that.
Carol met BJ at the door. ‘It’s not going well, is it?’
He wrapped his arms around her and kissed her, then stood holding her for a long moment, grateful to find her still here in his home, waiting for him.
He finally released her and said, ‘No, it’s not going well. I know we’re right but there’s just no evidence. No one’s talking. Wanda’s in a grand sulk and claims she doesn’t know anything. She’s being advised by Richard Forrest, Guy’s solicitor. Guy’s so confident he didn’t even ask for Richard. He’s given us a plausible explanation of the events.’ BJ sighed. ‘Ho Chung and Ho San have pleaded complete ignorance.’
‘What about Wing Chang and the other man, Sung?’ Carol urged.
‘As innocent as doves, or so they’d have us believe. They only admit conspiracy with Alice Lee to obtain information from Sylvia. They’re not about to shop Guy Langford. Without Pat’s body we can’t prove a thing.’
Carol stared at him, her eyes wide.
‘What is it?’
‘Pat!’ she gasped, ‘I know where he is. That’s what was wrong. Guy practically told me - his favourite place on the ocean; I said there was nothing there, he said there was, I just couldn’t see it. He looked mad, excited.’ Horror washed over her. ‘He - he wanted us to make love right there, over Pat’s body. He’s insane.’ She shivered.
BJ put out a hand to steady her. ‘Could you find the place?’
She pulled herself together. ‘His captain would know our route. I could try.’ She gripped BJ’s hand. ‘I took note of the surroundings because I was curious. I wanted to see what Guy was seeing. We were off an island; I think I’d recognise it again.’
‘Excellent!’ he said. ‘We’ll go in the morning. I’ll arrange it with Mitch. Well done, Carol.’