Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
At some distance away, a helicopter was starting.
When Big Ivan realized that the kidnappers had been caught, he felt extremely vexed. “Just like that? They let you catch them so easily? Could it be that they are playing some tricks on us?”
Brother Wolf, who was on the phone, was annoyed too. “Just a few idiots crazy for money. Madman was right, these people are amateurs.”
Sophie drew a cross over her chest and said, “God be praised, this is too fortunate.”
The night was pitch-dark and the Rolls-Royce and Ferrari led the car entourage into the town.
Riverdale was one of those traditional quiet towns in the West. At this time, the residents were asleep and only the street lamps were still lit up. They glowed with a yellow blur.
Everything in the town seemed to have remained as it had been in the seventies and eighties of the past century. The street lampposts were not the commonly seen cement ones. They were made from carbonized tree trunks and looked rustic.
The small town police station looked as rustic as the lampposts. It was simply furnished and old-fashioned and the main entrance was a rustic double door. Inside, only a few of the lights were switched on.
Li Du surveyed the surroundings and said, “This town turns dark early. It’s only eleven and everyone is asleep? Isn’t there any nightlife around here?”
Nobody answered him. This time around, all the people he had brought along with him were the solemn, silent but capable bodyguards.
A few of the guards were holding onto the African American youth. Li Du took the lead and walked into the police station. The joints of the door were old and creaky. When he pushed it open, the door made a loud protesting sound.
Inside, there were two police officers on duty. However, one had his body slumped over the table, fast asleep. The other was slumbering on the sofa. Their snoring was louder than the creaking of the door. Nobody noticed Li Du when he walked in.
He shrugged his shoulders and walked over to wake up one of the men. Li Du said, “Officer, officer, how are you doing? I want to file a report.”
The police officer that Li Du had pushed awake rubbed his eyes and said in a muffled voice, “Report a case? Oh, you have to look for Smith. Smith? Smith! I’m sorry, but it seems this idiot has fallen asleep.”
Li Du did not find anything wrong with them falling asleep while on duty.
Based on how America allocated manpower, a small town like Riverdale had only about four or five policemen. To have arranged for two police officers to be on duty through the night was quite enough. The two men probably had been rostered to do the shift and still had to work during the day. Hence, it was inevitable that they fell asleep when they were on duty at night.
Smith, a young police officer, was nudged awake. Learning that someone wanted to make a report, he scanned Li Du and said, “You look familiar, sir. Where are you from?”
“China, temporarily living in Phoenix,” Li Du grinned.
Smith relaxed. He waved his hand and said, “Chinese? If you have a problem, contact your embassy. I daresay there’s a Chinese embassy in Phoenix.”
The police officer spoke nonchalantly and that annoyed Li Du. Frowning, Li Du said, “I have experienced a violent assault in the area you are responsible for, and you guys are not going to do anything about it?”
“We are the police of the United States. We do not work for foreigners. That would be the responsibility of the FBI and CIA. I can help to connect you with them,” Smith suggested. Then the young African American man they were holding spoke up.
“Please, officer, I want to make a report. I’m an American. This Chinese dude and his companions hit us! Look at my face, look at my body. One of my friends was even hit by their car! D*mn it, oh, oh, let me go, that hurts!”
The black youth lied about what had happened and spoke loudly. Brother Wolf flexed his arm and the youth immediately squirmed and started to whine.
Smith glanced at him with a frustrated expression. “Shut up, Loucester, you trash. What did you do this time around? How many times have I seen you at this station?”
The young man shouted, “I’ve been maligned this time, officer, you’ve got to believe me! They have hit me, they are bullying a black man. This is discrimination, this is godd*mn racism! You have to charge them on my behalf!”
Smith rolled his eyes and said, “Alright, I see I won’t be able to rest tonight. Come on, tell me what happened.”
Loucester was just about to speak when Smith waved him down. “No your turn to speak. Chinese man, you go ahead, what happened? Did this guy do something to you?” Li Du was not happy with that policeman’s attitude. However, that was just how old-fashioned western policemen worked. In a traditional small town like Riverdale, many things remained as they were half a century ago. Even as generations of police officers went past, they kept doing things the same way their predecessors did.
80% of the crimes committed in America during the previous century were done by colored men. Out of them, 80% were blacks. Hence, white policemen were inevitably prejudiced against the colored men.
Li Du said, “This man here kidnapped my friend and tried to extort a ransom from me. Then my companions and I caught him.”
Smith rubbed his chin and said, “Is that so? Loucester now dares to commit such a big crime? Ha, you’re getting braver now. In the past, you only dared to steal, and now you’re even daring enough to kidnap someone?”
The police officer had said those words in a mocking tone. It was obvious that he did not believe Li Du.
Sure enough, Loucester shouted, “I did not kidnap anyone, it’s all a lie! This Chinese dude blames me for nothing. Ahhh, it hurts, save me! Make him let me go!”
Brother Wolf continued flexing his arm and Loucester looked to be in terrible pain.
The policeman did not care and said mockingly, “You have to endure this, Loucester.”
Li Du whipped out his mobile phone and started to play the recordings of the call. Other than the first call that was only half-recorded, the rest had been recorded in their entirety.
The evidence of the crime was clear now. The two police officers started to look more serious.
The older policeman walked over to listen to the recording more carefully. Then, he said, “Arrest these b*stards. They have to suffer now. Get ready to go to jail!”
The last sentence was directed at Loucester and his group. However, they maintained that they were innocent.
“That’s all fake, it’s just a phone recording. Oh sh*t, that hurts!”
“I didn’t partake in that, my voice is not in that recording. D*mn it, ahhhh, ahhh, ahhh!”
“Why hurt me? I didn’t say anything!”
“Arrest them first,” The older policeman continued, “Record the statement of this Chinese citizen. Let him leave quickly once that’s done. We will open a case for this, and they will definitely have to go to jail now.”
Li Du said, “We can’t leave. I’m here to find my companion who has been kidnapped.”
Smith kicked Loucester and asked, “Where is the man?”
With a distressed look, Loucester said, “I really didn’t kidnap anyone. I picked up this mobile phone when I came to the police station the last time. One of the men you guys caught had… forgotten it.”
“You picked it up?” Smith walked over to give Loucester two slaps. “You obviously stole it, right? I think I know now, though. It’s the phone of that gangster who harassed the Bryan lady.”
“Where is my friend?” Li Du asked anxiously.
Smith shrugged his shoulders and said, “No idea.”
Li Du was done with the nonchalant attitude of the policeman. Putting both his palms onto the table and towering over the officer, he clenched his teeth and said, “You go too far, officer! Don’t force me into a corner!”