After a quick lunch at the noodle shop we ate at the day before which was spent in silence, both of us lost in our own thoughts, it was back to the station.
To buy myself a little more time, I asked Lam to verify Miss Lau’s alibi. He was only happy to do it, since it would also give him something to take his mind off the newly risen geong si that was now lying inert in the morgue.
And so it was about a half hour after Dr Hu’s revelation of his startling encounter, I found myself sitting in front of the superintendent’s desk twiddling my thumbs while I waited for him to finish a phone call. Something about some internal matter that could potentially blow up into a scandal in the media. I was glad that I wasn’t in his position.
‘Everything all right, duk-caat?’ I asked.
‘The usual bureaucratic nonsense,’ he muttered. ‘Anyway what was it you wanted to speak to me about? Any new developments on the case?’
‘Yes.’ I took a moment to collect my thoughts. ‘There was an incident at the morgue early this afternoon, and the pathologist is hard-pressed to explain how it happened.’
Superintendent Chien’s eyebrows rose almost up to his hairline. ‘Oh?’
I nodded. ‘And it’s not Lazarus Syndrome, as the victim was definitely dead when the pathologist examined him at the crime scene and during the preliminary analysis at the morgue. It could be muscle spasms or nerve contractions but I’ve never heard of anything like this happening so long after a person has died.’ The explanation wasn’t very well thought out but it was the best I could come up with. ‘Also—’
‘There’s no need to continue the charade, Cheung,’ Chien interrupted me.
I blinked at him. He was smirking.
‘Frankly, I’m a little insulted that you felt the need to outright lie to me.’
‘I’m quite aware of the supernatural, Cheung.’
‘Oh.’ I did not see that one coming.
‘When you’ve been on the job as long as I have, you will often see things that you can’t explain.’
I couldn’t do anything except nod.
‘Though I must admit, it was somewhat amusing to watch you trying to feign ignorance to how Wan sin-saang’s corpse came to life,’ he smiled, wryly.
I wasn’t sure how I felt about my superior finding his amusement at my expense.
‘Incidentally, how long have you known? About the…’ he paused. ‘Other world?’
‘About five years now, sir.’
‘Ah, the fox.’
‘Now that that’s out of the way, you tell me the real story and any new developments on the case,’ he suggested.
I nodded. ‘Yes, sir. Earlier this afternoon, Wan, Yeung’s corpse suddenly came back to life and attacked Dr Hu. He’s all right now, thanks to the quick actions of his assistant.
‘And the hair that that the doctor found on Wan’s body has been determined as belonging to a Chinese woman with long black hair of indeterminate age. It wasn’t dyed, so it rules out the ex-girlfriend. Mind you, I was considering dismissing her after I spoke to her earlier this afternoon. She told me that she hadn’t met with spoken to him since September, and she was having dinner with her family at a Thai restaurant they regularly frequent at Wan, Yeung’s time of death. Lam’s verifying it now, but I’m almost certain her alibi will hold.’
‘I heard that she’d your son’s English teacher at the school he goes to.’
I nodded. ‘The best he’d had so far, according to him.’
‘She must be quite something to attract the attention of the fox.’
‘Even mortals such as ourselves hear snippets from time to time if we know how,’ he smirked. ‘You know; it might be worthwhile to ask him. See if he’s heard about anything like this on the grapevine; information that ordinary humans wouldn’t be privy to. And he’s also very loosely connected to the case through the schoolteacher’
Though it was flimsy, I had to admit it was a viable excuse. Though I was not looking forward to bandying words with that wily fox.