Tension was showing. Elroy was in a despondent mood. “We’re screwed good and proper. As well as the witnesses that we haven’t even begun to find, we got these Chinese mobsters up our asses.”
Innocent looked up from watching TV. “The assholes don’t know one thing, like how we don’t get 20,000 baht, more like 6,000.” He thought a bit and said, “You not telling me something I ought to know?” Thinking maybe he should go get his pistol.
Elroy gave him the eye. “You see me counting it? You think I hide 14,000 up my ass or something? You think I spend it on bar girls?”
Innocent backed off somewhat, seeing that Elroy was all riled up, and changed the subject. “How was she, the one with the big bazoombas at the pool club?”
Elroy distracted and bragging, says, “She sees my rock-hard rod and begs for it. She can’t get enough, everywhere and anywhere whatever, tells me she finishes maybe five or six times and I am Number One.”
Innocent found this difficult to believe, since his girl told him that the other girl was old lady, thirty four or twenty six, had many customers, and two children at school (pronounced schoon) and a mother to support. He had asked his girl what she liked as he drove his pole inside her, and she stared at the ceiling and said, “Money, same.” He looked at Elroy.
“Like I said, she taste so sweet like candy…” Elroy trailed off the bragging as the door buzzer sounded.
Lieutenant Prik Dum settled himself into Innocent’s favourite armchair. He put away his Police badge, but held on to the Police special Beretta. Now in perfect English, or thereabouts, he said, “Don’t even think about it, you think I not have back up?” He watched them carefully. For the moment he was in control.
“You have San Miguel beer Regular? Light no good taste, maybe Black Label whisky?” He turned to Innocent and peeled off 3,000 baht from a thick roll that Elroy stared at. “Mr. Ramnaps, get supplies, not forget soda, have long night ahead.” He could see that the big ape wasn’t going to argue none with the gun right then, especially as he was paying.
When the door closed, he demanded in a ‘do-not-mess-with-me’ tone, waving the Beretta again, “Mr. Biera, open room safe.”
Divide and conquer.
Not happy that the passports were in the hands of the Chinese, but pretty sure that, after a ballistics test, the pistols would provide the DNA evidence that will implicate both, Prik Dum was content for now. He made one discrete phone call to a Pizza take away, and ten minutes later an under-cover policeman dressed in a white jacket with Dice Pizza on it in red letters picked up the pistols while Innocent was out.
Vince walked around the hospital grounds. While he had recovered quickly, he could not understand or believe the bill. Over 250,000 baht to date, which wasn’t to be taken lightly.
Nok said, “Hospital have passport. No go anywhere.”
That is, thought Vince, one of his passports. A few weeks ago he had contacted his condominium management, who had agreed to rent him a secure garage lock up. He had stored his bags there, including his other passports. Now it was time to move on and make contact with the man that had brought him to Bangkok: Colonel Chooshoop.
First though, “Any news about the Grand Palace hotel?” he asked Nok.
“No see what?”
“Black man no good.”
“You see man?”
She hesitated. Shook her head.
Vince wasn’t too sure about that. “Nok, tell me. Who did you see?”
“Policeman come. Lieutenant Prik Dum. I hide.”
What was going on? Robbers, Chinese, and now the police. And was Nok involved? Maybe it would become clearer when he contacted Colonel Chooshoop.
Nok sat in a café, not far from the hospital, where she knew she could get good but cheap Thai food and green tea. Vince had gone back into the hospital building to browse the Internet and look at his e-mails. She had arranged to see him the next day at noon, when they would be leaving the hospital and returning to Vince’s hotel apartment.
She acknowledged the visitor, who sat down at her table. “You have ordered food?” asked the smartly dressed woman, wearing a long maroon skirt and cream blouse with a pearl necklace and matching eardrops. They talked in Chinese/Thai/English.
“Ask for usual. Ok?”
“Ok.” She reached into her cream leather handbag, taking care not to chip her long beautifully manicured fingernails, and returned the Farang credit card, warning Nok, “Grandfather worry. Maybe you not careful, you not safe.”
“Safe. Finish with boyfriend, now have Farang go with me. He find no good black man and kill for dog food. No see ghost Lin again.”
The young waitress named Fon, wearing a green apron with Café Thai inscribed on it came holding a metal tray with their rice and red pork, seafood salad and a large china teapot. While she neatly arranged their cutlery, putting chilli sauce, china cups and saucers on their table, and served their meal, she thought she recognised the well-dressed older lady, but could not remember where.
But after they had gone, she was looking at the TV by the cash till and thought that the lady looked like (Juicy) Lucy Lee, the famous film actress and second wife of a prominent Chinese tycoon. They were invited dignitaries filmed by Thai TV when it covered the new Jackie Chan movie premier of ‘Rush Hour’.
Vince was extra careful. Coincidences never are, in his world. His highly tuned antenna urged precaution and he used the hospital public phone to call a private number.
“I need information, Mr. White. Her name is Nok, she will be with me at midday tomorrow when we leave the Bangkok Sukhumvit hospital.”
“No problem, Mr. Red. Call me again in one week’s time.”
Mr. White took a picture of Nok with his miniature Minox when she left the hospital. He went into two restaurants close by without success, but when he visited Café Thai he struck gold. A waitress, named Fon, recognised the picture of Nok, but did not know who she was. However she was with another lady. “Other lady old, but very beautiful. Look like Lucy Lee, wife of Mr. Dong Sui See, Chinese very rich man. See TV.”
Innocent returned with Tesco Lotus bags with bottles of San Miguel regular, Soda and Black Label whisky inside. Prik Dum watched him stare at the open safe door, open and empty. Innocent swivelled round. “What the fuck’s happening here? You lost it or something? We take any more shit, I’m outta here.”
Elroy said, “The shit ain’t even begun.”
The Black Label bottle was now open, Prik Dum savoured the smooth taste and enjoyed watching Elroy and Innocent drinking chilled San Miguel and trying to work out where he was coming from, and more to the point what he wanted.
Prik Dum asked, “You plan rob more all-night shop, or maybe bank?”
Elroy responded, “We owe money man, we’re screwed anyway. We got no passports, the Hotel is asking for payment and the Chinese are squeezing our balls hard.” We ain’t even got guns now you took them, or even a friggin’ water pistol.” In a few days, we’re friggin’ fish food. So you’re the least of our troubles, what the hell you can do to us that is worse?”
Prik Dum now sitting up put his glass on the armrest and losing his smile said softly “Can help. Give gun, you rob bank.”
Elroy choked on his beer. Recovering somewhat, “What you friggin’ say?”
Prik Dum said, “Thai no like Chinese. Big corruption everywhere. Police need find way stop gangster.”
“So how we rob a bank gonna do it? We give back the friggin’ money and we still likely fish-food.”
“Not if money counterfeit.”