Hong Kong - Friday December 27th, 1996
Connie Wu was in the police station canteen with a couple of her friends. Tommy Chen came in, made a move towards their table, then walked over to the counter.
The other WPCs giggled. One of them said, ‘There’s the big man himself. He’s mad at you, Connie.’
‘He’s sulking,’ the other said shrewdly. ‘You certainly cut him down to size. About time.’
Connie shushed them, her eyes twinkling. She watched Tommy carry his tea to another table then rose and walked casually past, seeming to notice him for the first time. ‘Constable Chen! Fancy seeing you. Not helping Inspector BJ solve the case?’
‘Very funny,’ he growled. ‘So you got all the luck.’
‘You got me the job, watching Carol,’ she said, ‘so she asked me to go with her, that’s all.’
He eyed her suspiciously. ‘You were laughing at me just now.’
‘Not me, Tommy, I’m grateful to you.’ She sat beside him. ‘Look, I know you were just showing off what a big man you were. But you got me noticed and it’ll be good for my career.’
‘I wanted to impress you,’ he admitted awkwardly. ‘You treat me like dirt, think I’m not good enough for you. What’s Sergeant Ng and his friends got that I haven’t, anyway?’
She grinned. ‘They don’t have such big mouths, for one, and they know when a girl’s interested in them.’
He brightened. ‘You’re interested in me?’
‘I might be.’ She smiled mischievously.
‘Why now, when you’ve really gained face, got yourself noticed upstairs?’
‘Perhaps that’s why,’ she retorted softly. ‘You don’t know much about women, do you, for all your talk.’
Tommy swallowed and pushed back his chair. ‘Well, there’s a dance tonight. We could go, and afterwards ...’
‘Afterwards, we’ll see.’ Connie laughed. ‘Come on, Tommy Chen, I feel like celebrating.’
He jumped to his feet and they went out together.
Her friends watched them go. ‘Well!’ one said. ‘Well, I never!’
Daphne knocked on her brother’s door and opened it.
Jon looked up from the sofa. ‘Come in, Daph.’
Her large brown eyes were filled with distress. ‘Jon! I’ve just heard. Guy’s been arrested. And Wanda.’
‘What?’ Jon stared at her in disbelief.
‘Wanda. She’s not dead at all,’ Daphne exclaimed. ‘She was on Lantau, in Guy’s bungalow.’
His face paled. ‘Guy knew she was alive all along? And he let me go on thinking ..?’
‘I know.’ She sat beside him and patted his shoulder. ‘Wanda didn’t hate him at all, Jon,’ she said gently. ‘They’ve always been lovers.’
‘The bastard!’ Jon’s voice shook. ‘The cold-blooded bastard.’
Daphne’s look was sympathetic. ‘Dick Forrest wants to see us,’ she said. ‘The police say Wanda killed Pat and Guy helped her conceal it, but they don’t have any evidence. Dick wants to brief us in case we’re interviewed.’
Jon scowled. ‘He wants me to stand by that lying ...’
‘For the company, Jon,’ Daphne urged, ‘we have to stand together. I told you all along, Wanda was no good for you. Don’t use her as an excuse to destroy Langford-Price. We have to think of our face.’
Tommy took his jacket from his locker and went to the mirror to comb his hair. A couple of uniformed constables were changing into their street clothes.
One of them said, ‘Did you see who was downstairs earlier, waiting for an interview with Inspector BJ?’
‘Ho Chung.’ his friend confirmed. ‘His father’s junk was blown up. That’ll be why they want to see him.’
The other said slowly, ‘Funny thing, I saw Chung on Christmas Eve. I was on patrol and I saw him near the Langford-Price number two warehouse. He wasn’t half in a hurry. Went off as if a dragon was on his tail.’
‘Wasn’t that the night of the warehouse murder?”
‘Yeah. Until I saw him today, I’d forgotten. Think it’s important?’
‘Not enough to miss our dates. C’mon, can’t keep the girls waiting.’
Tommy hesitated. Connie was also waiting, but ... He turned reluctantly. ‘Sorry, guys, it’s very important, Sergeant Lee’s still in the station, isn’t he? You’ll have to report this to him, right away.’
It was midnight when the phone rang. Carol groaned and buried her face in the pillow. BJ leaned over her and picked up the receiver.
‘We’ve got a witness who can put Ho Chung at the Langford-Price warehouse on Christmas Eve, at the time of Ben Price’s murder,’ Bob crowed.
Carol turned and asked drowsily, ‘What is it?’
BJ bent swiftly and kissed her, pulling her close to him. ‘A reliable witness?’ he asked Bob.
‘A PC. He was on patrol.’
‘I’m on my way. Pull Chung in again.’ He rolled from the bed.
‘When will you be back?’ Carol asked resignedly.
BJ was pulling on his trousers. ‘Sorry, love, can’t say. There’s been a breakthrough at last.’
‘Can you tell me?’
He buttoned his shirt and combed his hair back with his fingers. ‘If we’re lucky, a direct connection to the guns, Ben’s murder, the Triad, Captain Ho’s death - and Guy.’
‘Be careful, then,’ she said gravely.
He leaned over her again. ‘If I don’t get back tonight, I’ll pick you up in the morning.’
She clung to him. He kissed her hair, then her mouth, then pulled the covers around her and left the room.