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Authors: G. X. Chen

Tags: #True Crime, #TRUE CRIME / Murder / General, #TRUE CRIME / General, #General

The Mystery of Revenge

BOOK: The Mystery of Revenge
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Dedication

 

 

 

To my daughter Linda for telling me it’s not too late to pick up my writing again after twenty
years.

 

Prologue

 

 

 

On a beautiful summer day, Ms. White in Apartment number 3 on the second floor of a wood-structured building in Allston, could swear the Chinese tenant downstairs had been cooking something rotten while home alone because she saw the tenant’s boyfriend leaving with a big suicase a few days ago. The odd, sweetly decayed smell persisted for the second day, then the day after. Finally, she called the building management to
complain.

Ms. White was on the landing when the manager came in with a ring of the keys. She had knocked several times in the past two days, but nobody answered the door. Ms. White was a mild-tempered, white-haired, retired kindergarten teacher, but she detested her downstairs neighbors because they played loud music all day long, the boyfriend was a piano player, and made love at all hours. The floors and the walls in this old building were thin, and the young couple’s passionate lovemaking made Ms. White often stop in her tracks and her hairs stand up on her back. She complained to the manager several times, but he told her the building management could do nothing about the tenants having sex in their own apartments. Loud music, yes, but the man had the right to practice before 10:00 p.m. and after 8:00 a.m. according to the building bylaws. Ms. White was a seventy years old spinster, and she needed peace and quiet in her own house. She missed the old tenants so! They were the perfect downstairs neighbors, never played loud music, always discreet, except they did fight like cats and dogs on a monthly basis. Ms. White sighed resignedly when she was reminded of the good old
days.

The smell was almost unbearable when the manager approaching the door. “It’s awful,” he complained, trying to cover his nose with one of his
sleeves.

“Didn’t I tell you?” Ms. White retorted while walking toward him down the stairs. The manager didn’t want to be bothered at first because he said the tenant had right to cook exotic food in her own apartment. “Have you heard about the street food in China? They eat rats and turtles,” he told Ms. White.

“Hopefully, it’s not a dead body inside,” the manager, a good-natured old man, said jokingly. He turned the key and the door yielded. The warm air mixed with that peculiar smell, as Ms. White later would tell everyone who cared to listen, hit them fully in the face, making her queasy right on the spot. She gagged, covered her nose, and peeked inside. The curtains were half drawn in the living room, and the afternoon sun shone through two partially covered glass windows, casting yellow daylight on the old brown carpet near the dining
table.

“Oh, my…” The manager’s cry was muffled behind his sleeve. He turned his face hastily away. Then Ms. White saw. The tenant, Yi-yun Lin, was dead on the floor next to the dining table. Ms. White knew it was a dead body because it lay like a puppet without strings, flopping about, deflated.

She felt dizzy and sick. For the first time in her life, she lost her appetite for dinner and remained in bed for the rest of the
day.

 

Chapter 1

 

 

 

Ann Lee almost jumped when the doorbell rang. She had been watching the evening news about a recent homicide in Allston, a working class neighborhood of the city. The name of the victim had just been mentioned, and a photo was plastered on the screen. It couldn’t be! Ann’s eyes opened wider and wider. She had seen her friend Yi-yun Lin less than a week ago, and she looked radiant! She had said she might have some great news to tell Ann in a few days. Yes, that was exactly what Yi-yun said. To back up the news story, the reporter was now standing in front of the apartment building, talking thrillingly. The details were scarce, but the fact that Yi-yun had been dead for days with a gunshot wound floored Ann. She was so stunned that she didn’t know what to think when she heard the doorbell. Through the keyhole, she saw a policeman. Reluctantly, she opened the door and looked at the man
wearily.

“Miss Lee,” the man addressed her with a solemn face while showing his ID, which revealed he was a detective sergeant from Boston Police Department named Paul Winderman. “Can I come
in?”

She stepped aside to let him pass. Paul Winderman was a big man, tall and sturdy. When she stood facing him, Ann didn’t quite reach his
shoulders.

“Based on the search of the victim’s apartment, we are under the impression that you were one of Yi-yun Lin’s best friends.” Paul Winderman looked at the girl, a petite little thing in front of him. The haunted expression in her almond-shaped eyes confirmed his educated guess. The address book they found in one of her drawers told the detective that this girl and the victim at least knew each
other.

Ann simply nodded. Tears swelled up, and she had to bite her lips to prevent them running
down.

Detective Winderman noted the TV and said gravely: “Guess you know what happened to your friend. We would like to catch the killer as soon as we can.” Paul Winderman was one of the first policemen to arrive on the scene. It was quite obviously a homicide as the victim was shot on the chest, and the murder weapon was nowhere to be found. In addition to that, there were bruises on both her arms as if she had had a fight before she died. “Would you please tell me what you know about your friend? Did she have any
enemies?”

Ann shook her head slowly. How could Yi-yun have enemies? She was such a nice girl; everybody liked her, even Shao Mei, who was very opinionated and rough on the edges but adored Yi-yun.

“Do you know if she owned a gun?” Paul Winderman asked. The victim was killed by a bullet from a .22 revolver, a regular
handgun.

She shook her head again. She was so confused that her brain went almost blank. But she did remember faintly about a gun; Yi-yun mentioned sometime ago about a gun or some guns that Tom Meyers, her boyfriend, owned. She frowned, trying to recall when and where she heard
it.

Paul looked at her probingly. The girl was apparently in grieved pain. This was not a good time to ask her questions, but he had to try because if they couldn’t solve the crime in the first ten days, the trail would be cold. Paul Winderman hated to see a murder case go unsolved. “We are trying to piece together your friend’s life so we can find her killer. I don’t mind telling you there was no sign of forced entry, and nothing valuable was taken.” In fact, there was nothing valuable except a grand piano in their Allston apartment. Everything the victim owned had been purchased from discount stores. He found himself shaking his head sympathetically when he looked through her drawers. From what he had learned, Yi-yun Lin was a student living with an upstart pianist. It seemed until recently she had been working as a waitress to support the
man.

“She was murdered,” he continued. “Probably by someone she knew. If you can help us find her killer, we will bring him to the justice. It is what you want for your friend, is it not?” She
nodded.

“I remember her telling me about a gun,” she said slowly. “She found it in Tom’s drawer when she moved in with him. It was a small
handgun.”

This was a breakthrough he was looking for. So the boyfriend did own a
gun.

“Did she mention why her boyfriend owned a
gun?”

“He told her it was his father’s gun. His father is a gun collector. She said Tom hated the gun, but his father insisted that he should have a gun in a big city.” She remembered Yi-yun was laughing when she mentioned it.
“As if he would need a gun to protect himself in Boston,” she had
said.

“I’ll leave you my card, and we will talk again in a few days. In the meantime, if you remember anything, please give me a
call.”

Ann watched the detective closing the door behind him, watching with eyes unseen. It had been almost two years since she had first met Yi-yun. They met on Ann’s first night at China Dragon, the restaurant she had been working at ever
since.

Before she could steady her feet on the sidewalk, the bus she had taken to a town twenty miles west of the city pulled away. She looked around miserably. It was deadly quiet at the bus stop. As far as she could see, there were nothing but a few shops dotted along Main Street, the commercial center of a bedroom community. At the end of Main Street, however, she found what she was looking for, a disproportionately gigantic Chinese restaurant sitting on the top of a hill, overlooking small and traditional Pop & Mom antique shops, convenient stores, a drug store, and sandwich shops on both sides of the street. The sun in late September was lukewarm, but Ann felt hot and sweaty when she arrived at the monstrous China
Dragon.

The door of the restaurant was unlocked, and she stepped into a huge dining hall filled with round and square tables under pink table clothes. The dim lights from the pendent lamps on the walls added a layer of translucent gold upon the four colorful columns carved with flying dragons and dancing phoenixes. At the center of the dining hall, there was a miniature Japanese garden, a stream of water moving smoothly between the artificial rocks, and a wooden
bridge.

“Here you are.” A high-pitched voice brought along the hot greasy smell of a kitchen. A middle-aged Asian woman clothed in a red close-fitting Chinese cheongsam swayed out of the kitchen door hidden in the far corner of the dinning
hall.

“Hi,” Ann smiled and introduced herself. “I am Ann Lee and
I—”

Interrupting her with a gesture of her hand, the woman walked slowly, measuring Ann from head to toes with her small and narrowed eyes painted blue and black. “Lisa, the waitress before you, left her uniform here,” she said to Ann after a lengthy observation. “If it doesn’t fit, you have to pay thirty dollars to get a new
one.”

Before Ann could respond, the woman raised her voice. “Yi-yun!” she yelled toward the kitchen door. “Give the new girl Lisa’s uniform, and make sure she knows my
rules.”

“Yes, Mrs. Chang,” a girl answered while stepping out of the kitchen. From afar, she snapped her fingers, signaling Ann to follow her. “What’s your name?” she asked when Ann reached the kitchen door. “I’m Yi-yun
Lin.”

“Ann
Lee.”

“Nice to meet you, Ann,” Yi-yun said, flashing a smile that made her big and expressive eyes shine like
stars.

“Nice to meet you too,” Ann said, feeling instant warmth toward her fellow worker. Ann’s smile met the beautiful eyes framed by extremely long eyelashes, and it
blossomed.

In spite of having a huge dining hall, the kitchen of China Dragon was incredibly small and crowded as the sink and the dishwasher occupied one-third of room, and the rest was filled with ovens, cauldrons, boilers, cooking tables, frying pans, and
supplies.

“Is she the replacement?” somebody in the kitchen asked. “It’s about
time.”

“Yes,” Yi-yun answered. She told Ann the wait staff had been very busy since Lisa
left.

BOOK: The Mystery of Revenge
6.17Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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