Chase around the world in 80 days
Have you ever considered that you would chase a suspect 80 days,all around the world? That would be amazing,right? Well,it happened to me and some friends of mine. It all started back,80 days ago of this day....
I was just relaxing in my chair,when Joseph Zeo came walking in. "How ya doing Vulkie" and Joseph shaked my hand. "I'm doing fine Joseph. I've got some great Cuban cigars from Camille,out of Costa Rica. Have one" I replied.
As Joseph was looking for a big cigar,the phone began to rang. "Detective Vulkie,private eye,how may I help you" as I said in the phone,while looking at Joseph.
As I heard more and more information,Joseph saw my face turning into despair and trouble. Then,I hung up the phone and told Joseph what I heard.
"We need to catch a guy. The only trouble is,he's disappeared and his wife says that he likes to travel around the world. He left a note for her,saying the first city he was going to visit was London. His wife can't life so long without him,since she is terminally ill. She has 80 days left..." I said to Joseph and his face also began to turn.
"Nah,I don't know. Travelling is not what I like. Unless,I get a great sum of money and personal expences are covered."
As I told Joseph the amount we could get,his face began to turn happy and he immediately packed his suitcases. But first things first. We needed to check the apartment of the man. His name was Gregory Louson and his wife Laura,was desperate to find him. She heard that I solved many cases (already a 1000 cases) and that I could probably find him.
So,Joseph and I went to the apartment...
I stood watching a group of people get off the plain in Bombay, India. I was in India because of a case that I had to solve. After solving the case and collecting my reward, I figured I would stay and shoot the breeze. I knew by looking at this group of five people that they were all Private Detectives; each with their own skills of making people talk.
The were on to something big I knew it had to to something with the suspicious individual I had been seeing here. They had to be looking for him. He was American. 46 days after he arrived and disappeared, they arrived. I listened as I sat in a chair watching their movement. There were three girls and two guys, one in which an older gentlemen who looked as though he could be a judge for a court system. They were talking about that. But what about, I wondered.
I slowly approached them with my fedora down just over my eyes so they couldn't see my face. I wanted to remain as annonymous as possible, hoping they would let me join them.
A source tells me you are looking for someone here in India." I said. "What is an American like you doing here?" One of the girls asked. "That's not important." I snapped. "What is important is that you let me help you. I've seen him here. I'd been watching him. He has disappeared." I said.
"Whats your name?" The younger guy asked "My name is M. Lacrimosa." I replied
"What does the M. stand for?" Another girl asked.
"That as well is not important, however, if you must know, it is Marc. Marc Lacrimosa. Although I cannot tell you much about this man, I can help you find him. What do you say?" I asked. To them, I was just a creepy shady character. But I myself, am also a Private Eye.
After a long conversation with them, they let me in and introduced them selves as Anais Nin, Riza Hawkeye, Joseph Zeo, Heimlich VonVictor and Vulkie. I knew they couldn't trust me yet. But I the interrogation skill of a police detective. I could make people talk when they didn't want to.
The creepy shady character with his fedora covering his eyes seemed enthusiastic enough, but Joseph wasn't sure if they could trust him, yet. "Anyhow, I don't think us guys can be of much help here...." Joseph said.
"What do you mean?" Marc questioned.
"The inner section of the Shree SiddhiVinayak Temple, where the prized Hotri is being kept, only allows female visitors." Riza replied smugly.
"Then how could Louson steal the jewel himself?" Anais asked.
"I don't know, but I myself is not planning to linger around to find out. You girls may want to do that though." Joseph said. "I am getting sick and tired of letting this guy get away every time. From the path he had been taking so far, I suspect that his next stop, if he manage to get away this time again, would be China."
"So you expect us to fail, Joseph?" Riza eyed him cooly.
"No, it's just a precaution. I have some contacts in China, so why don't I run ahead this time? The boys can join me if they like." Joseph handed Vulkie the address of his friends agency in Shanghai. "You can send me telegram any time. I suspect that it will take me about a week to get there by boat."
"What if he's not in Shanghai?" Anais asked.
"My friend have connection all over Asia. We'll find him faster this way." Joseph replied, "If you find out where Louson is headed next, just send me an urgent message. That way, we can cast a net around him."
The team agreed that it was a sound idea. Vulkie, Riza and Anais decided to dress up as local ladies to investigate the temple, where as Heimlich and Marc still couldn't make up their mind if they'd like to stay to look at the girls in the beautiful saris... eh hm, to watch over them, or to join Joseph ahead in China....
As much as I thought about staying to look at the girls, I decided to go with Joseph to China, wondering if Heimlich was going to go. There was too much to do and I didn't have the time to stay behind. This man, Mr. Louson, was a man of mystery. When he arrived, he was acting suspicious and I decided to keep an eye on him. He had disappeared the day before these other investigators arrived.
I caught up with Joseph at the airport and bought myself a ticket.
"Where's Heimlich at?" Joseph asked.
"I guess he stayed behind to do some investigating. I didn't ask him if he was coming. I figured if he was coming, he would meet us here, or meet us there." I said. Joseph looked at me and nodded.
"Look," I said. "I know you and your friends don't trust me. That's fine with me, but I can prove my self worthy of helping you find him."
"We'll see about that." Joseph replied. I nodded.
"Joseph, I understand that you are a former police detective. Am I right?" I asked.
"Yeah, it is as you say." Joseph replied.
"I am too. If you want, we can do the old good cop, bad cop interrogation routine if we need someone to talk." I said with a smile. He looked at me and laughed as we boarded the plane. "Maybe. Have you ever been to China before?" He asked.
"I have not." I replied.
"When the plane lands, stay close. Its easy to get lost over there." He said.
I said okay. The plane took off and we were on our way to China.
"Ah, Professor Munch we are very happy to have you here." The Indian woman with the thick rimmed glasses exclaimed, "but what interest does a German lecturer have in the Rig-Veda Samhita?"
"Ah vell.. vell, vell, vell.." Heimlich responded, "vhe ave great interest in furthering our knowledge in zhis area an forzhing a great friendzhip vis ze country of India!"
Dr. Persaud nodded, "I will not be able to take you directly to it, but we can go to my office at the University where I can give you some information on it." She said with a smile.
Heimlich glanced at himself in the mirror behind Dr. Persaud. He looked absolutely ridiculous wearing his large bifocals, blonde wig, and costume teeth, but it would fool just about anyone who would recognize him. "Tell me Dr. Persaud, ave zhere been any other people azking about zhis?"
"Yes actually," the doctor responded with a puzzled look, "there was a man who came to me earlier. Said his name was Joseph Henderson from America. When I told him I couldn't take him to the Rig-Veda Samhita he left very upset. He said it was his unfortunate luck to have been born male, but thanked me for my help saying he knew what to do."
Heimlich felt his heart begin pounding in his chest. "Zhank you doctor! I must go!" Heimlich hastily yelled as he jumped up and ran out the door. He had to warn the girls!
When a man sidled up to me and asked if I would go with him when I was shopping the market in Delhi, his big wink and slight hip nudge reassured me. I wasn't getting arrested. That was good. He was a handsome man, not quite as tight of a package as I had seen before, but pretty good. He seemed to know his way around, and kept my hand securely in his as he merged in and out of the native people. It was a big, strong hand. I squeezed it, and he glanced over to me. "Hey handsome, where are we going? And can we get there soon? You look like fun," I said with a big wink. "And what should I be calling you?"
He smiled down at me, and said, "Baby, you can call me Joey. And... before we do anything? My book got stolen by some lil thievin son of a-" he broke off. "Baby, my book was stolen, and the thief was a woman. She put it up in that temple over there."
"So, what does that have to do with me, Joey?" I wasn't really paying attention to what he was saying. I wanted to stop the talking.
"Only women can enter the temple. Would you get that book for me, please? Then we can do what ever your heart desires."
Some ropes on a heap nearby caught my attention. "Anything? Sure. Just tell me what it looks like and how to get to that temple," I grabbed his caret and pulled his lips to mine, whispering, "But first a kiss!"
As Riza,Anais and I were looking around at the local market,we saw Heimlich coming,running towards us with a wig.
"You've decided to "hide" your baldness Heim? Tsss,don't use a woman's wig" I said to Heimlich,when he reached us.
Heimlich was all out of breath,but managed to say : "Lou.. Louson.. he... he was here..." Heimlich said and Anais's,Riza's and my eyes were all growing large.
"Did he managed to obtain the book?" Riza asked. All the men started laughing at Heimlich at the market and I pulled his wig off and threw it away.
"Eh Lady,watch out where you throw that thing" a voice said. I suddenly recognized it.
"Louson! Halt! In order of the NYPD and me,you're under arrest!" I yelled and pulled my gun,facing Louson.
"Well,I guess I have no choice.." Louson said,with a sad face and he "held" his hands forward,to be cuffed. Riza approached him,pulling a pair of cufflinks that I gave to her and carefully approached Louson.
Just as she was about to cuff him,Louson grinned and rushed forwards,pushing Riza away into the group. We all fell to the ground,but I managed to fire a shot and heard a "ouch".
I had a straight hit at Louson in his arm and he rushed away with a lady,saying : "That's the thief I told you about. Get that book!"
We all looked shocked. He was going after the book. So Joseph and Lacrimosa were on a false trail...
We decided to rush towards where the book was "stored"... (cont)
The woman that was with Louson scurried into the University for Women only and Riza,Anais and I also scurried into it,leaving Heimlich protecting the only way out. Louson must've escaped in the mean time,because there was a small chase and all the traffice held us up.
As we entered the University,a guard came running towards us,asking what happened. "The book,where is it. The holy book with the heart shaped diamond?" I asked and the guard immediately understood and showed us the way towards the hall.
The door was open that led towards the book and as we entered the room,the book was already taken,the glass was lying everywhere and no sign of the lady.
"Darn,late again! AARGH!" I yelled and punched my fist on a wall,angered. My fist hurted for a while.
"Ehmm,let's go back to Heimlich. See if he's caught her.." Anais said,tapping me on my shoulder.
As we went to Heimlich,Heimlich was lying on the ground,a bit confused. "They always push me away. I hate it" Heimlich said.
"Never mind. Let's go back to our hotel" I said and as we went towards the hotel,a newspaper boy with English papers came by. I paid the lad 25 cents and read the newspaper quickly
The frontpage story scared me. "Guys,you got to take a look at this..." I said and I pointed at the article.
It read : "Delhi Airplane crashes nearly outside China..."
The only thing I murmered was Joseph..... My best friend,possibly dead.... But I didn't know a thing about his condition or so...
After we boarded the small plane, things took a turn from the worse. There were some stranged things in the first place. There were only 2 other passengers on the plane being that it can hold four and two pilots. But they didn't seem normal. Fifteen minutes into the flight, something went wrong. I was sitting behind Joseph and watched someone slowly approach him raising some kind of blunt object. I stood quickly and tried to yell but as Joseph got hit, I did too and fell unconscience.
The impact of the crash woke me up. "Am I dead?" I thought to my self. I touched my face and felt a small trickle of blook on my lip and wiped off. Joseph was awake too making sure he wasn't dead as well. As I crawled out of the wreckage, I helped Joseph to his feet.
"What the hell happened?" Joseph asked rubbing his head. I only knew that his head felt like mine; throbbing from the hit of pipe or what ever blunt object was used to knock us out. Soemthing wasn't right. Both pilots were gone as well as the two other people. Both of us had tattered and torn clothes. We would need to buy more when we got to the next town.
"Both pilots are gone." I said to Joseph.
"You think they had something to do with us finding Louson?" He asked.
"I'm not sure but I do know that the two other passengers who knocked us out didn't want us to find him. It's only obvious and if I'm not mistaken, I think I'd seen those to back in India too." I said
"Well," Joseph replied, "We better start walking. It's miles to the next city."
I checked my side holster and made sure my gun was still there. It was. That was a good sign. Maybe the bad guys didn't think we were armed.
It took six hours for us to reach the neares city. By now, it was dark and we would have to wait until morning before we coud get new equipment. We checked into a Hotel for the night. The next morning, we went to the nearest clothing store, bought new clothes and began looking for a way to get to China.
We got to another city but it was late in the day and too late to buy tickets at the train station to get to China.
"How about a drink, on me?" I asked Joseph. His eyes seemed to light up at the offer of me buying. Of course though, who would turn down a drink that is being bought for them? Two hours after having a few drinks, we decided to leave the bar and go find a hotel room. We would be leaving for China the following day.
As we made our way to the hotel, the unexplainable happened. Joseph took the lead to the hotel. It seemed as if he knew his way around this area..which was good thing because I didn't. Someone stepped around the corner with a gun raised at Joseph. "JOSEPH! GET DOWN!" I yelled. He fell to the ground and I pulled my gun and fired two shots in to the person. The figure howeld and fell to the ground grabbing his leg where I hit him. I dragged him up and threw him agains the wall.
"What do you want?" I spat in his face.
"I was hired to kill you both" He said with a laugh.
Joseph came up and took over. "By who?"
"I can't tell you he said. The man's hat fell off his head as we threw him to the ground. Joseph stepped over him and kicked him hard in the face and the man gurgled as blook ran from his mouth. "Who hired you?!" Joseph yelled.
"Why should I tell you? You're going to kill me when I tell you" the man spat back. I squatted down next to his wounded leg. I doug my finger into his wound and he yelled in agony. "I can do this all night," I said. "Now tell us who hired you!"
He looked at us with tears in his eyes. "I never saw his face," he said to us desperately. "I just know he was an older man...maybe in his mid fifties. That's all I know. I swear." He began to sob in his own failure to carry out a job.
Joseph looked at me as though he knew exactly who the man was talking about. Could it be Louson? I thought...I don't know. But the next day, we got to the train station and headed for China hoping we would get a lead.
Day 48 - Burma
Of all places the plane could've crashed, Lacrimosa and Zeo found themselves looking at the dim landscape of Burma. The on going political unrest with the Dobama Asiayone movement had made the country unstable, and was the original reason why they chose to take the more expensive method of transport to China in the first place. In Yangon, supposedly the largest 'city' in Burma, they could be killed in board day light as people go on with their usual business. The two detectives could 'disappear' from the face of the earth, and no one would ever found out what happened.
They had to get out of the country, fast.
Zeo went through the incident of two days ago in his head, as they waited for the train to arrive. The station was nothing but a few benches in front of worn looking tracks. "There were two men on the plane beside the pilots and us, correct?"
"Yes, and I think the man we interrogated last night could be one of them." Lacrimosa replied, trying to remember what the other man looked like.
Zeo took out his pack of cigarette and offered his partner one. He lit up and inhaled. "I should've been more careful. The chase around the world must be wearing us out. I'm glad we have some fresh blood." Zeo smiled, then he nonchalantly tapped the ashes onto the ground, "Although I made sure the guy last night will be... 'incapable' to follow us anymore, I am sure we haven't seen the end of this."
"Do you think Louson sent these guys?" Lacrimosa asked.
Zeo nodded, thinking that it had Louson written all over it. Why he would try to intervene NOW was beyond him though. Is there something in China that made Louson want to stop them from getting there? Is there someone there? Perhaps the buyer of all his loot? Zeo stubbed out his cigarette as he heard the distant train arriving, finally, after hours of delay as usual. "The train ride to Shanghai will take three days. Marc, let's take turn to keep watch while we're on the train."
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