That's Not My Wife

He turns three shades of red and purple and his mouth looks like he sucked a lemon, trying to choke back some words.  Maybe he wants Chan to give him back his passport, too.

“Maybe you are worried you won’t inherit your old lady’s money, is that it?” I ask.  “Yesterday, you say she disappeared.  Tomorrow maybe you will admit your wife is at the bottom of the harbor.”  I gave him my big two-dollar smile that I reserve for police commissioners and college-graduate inspectors.  “If that is not your wife, then maybe we should book you for murder.”

He turns another shade of red, like a firecracker at New Year’s.  “Maybe it is my wife,” he mutters and tries to get up.  “I think it really is my wife and I should see that shrink.”  He walks out the door.

Inspector Chan gets really annoyed and pokes me in the chest.  “You pissed off the richest person I’ve ever interviewed,” he shouts.  “You do not know how to treat people.  You are just a country cop.”

“I knew how to treat this one,” I tell him.  “I lied.  Of course it is not his wife.  Not her fingerprints either.  Mei-Yuan Wu has probably been cut up for dumplings.  That woman in his hotel room is Officer Lee, a policewoman I brought in from Wanchai.  She’s doing me a favor for a few days till Officer Lee gets the guy to admit he killed his wife, or until maybe he really goes nuts.  Killers are nuts to begin with.  In any case, he won’t get his hands on his wife’s money.

“See, Inspector,” I say, poking him in the chest.  “There’s educated people and there’s smart people.”





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