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   Chapter 45 Investigations

Bactine By Paul Kater Characters: 12233

Updated: 2018-02-11 12:03

The servant guided Daniel through the tube and into the main house. Huajo was behind the desk in his conservatory again.

"Mr. Zacharias, what an unexpected surprise, " the fat man said. "Tea please, for Mr. Zacharias."

"No, thank you, " Daniel said, "I might not stay here that long."

Huajo looked at the visitor. "This sounds somewhat alarming, or pressed for time at least, sir. How can I help you?"

"Last time I was here, Seigner Dogom ko Tzuy, " Daniel said, "I told you about Rayko Dandra ko Galem. That she went missing. Yesterday someone tried to murder me."

"Oh..." Huajo looked genuinely surprised. "That is very bad news. Are you unharmed, sir?"

"I am, yes."

"And, if I may ask of you, why does this attempt on your life bring you to me?" The man either knew absolutely nothing, or he was a perfect actor.

"The man who tried to kill me, Seigner, had a tattoo on his arm. It was a ship, and beneath it was written 'Tzuy'." Daniel threw the words at the man, who actually leaned back a bit.

"I am truly sorry, Mr. Zacharias, " Huajo said, "but I am confident that people who sail on my ships are not the kind that go around killing people as they please."

"Perhaps not as they please, Seigner, " said Daniel as he leaned on the desk, looming over the man. "But perhaps as someone else pleases."

"Sir, I beg of you... are you implying that I would have my hand in some filthy business? I am strongly opposed to matters like that, I hope you can believe this, Mr. Zacharias."

Daniel got up and reached into his pocket. "Maybe this means something to you. Seigner..." He unfolded a piece of paper on the man's desk. On it was the print of a ship. And the word 'Tzuy'. Then Daniel slowly put a broken glass capsule on the paper. "In this capsule, in case you don't know, were drugs. Drugs served on a paper with the name of your ships."

Huajo stared at the paper and the capsule as if they were about to bite him. "What is this, Mr. Zacharias? Where did you get this?"

"So you know what this is?" Daniel asked.

"It is some scrap of paper from an insolent who uses the mark and name of my ships. And what is this glass thing, I would like to know." Huajo picked it up carefully and examined it.

Daniel's initial feeling of victory dwindled a bit. The man behind the desk seemed really not aware of what the broken vial had contained. "Don't tell me, Seigner, that you have never seen a vial that contained liquid drugs."

Huajo almost dropped the vial. "Drugs? Are you meddling with drugs, Mr. Zacharias? I must say I am shocked!"

"I am not. You are, " Daniel said, although he was less convinced now.

"Sir, I try to remember you are not from our planet, so I shall take that as a reason for this. You are deeply offending me, Mr. Zacharias. The house of Dogomo ko Tzuy is not dealing with drugs and other substances of that kind. I am sorry to admit that there are rumours of other ship owner's houses that deal in that shady area, but my house is not one of them." Huajo put the vial on his desk and got up. "You should believe me, Mr. Zacharias. If you do, you are welcome to stay. If you do not, I must ask you to leave."

Daniel wasn't sure, but he decided that this all was circumstantial evidence.

"You are not too well versed in our language, Mr. Zacharias, " Huajo said. "The word Tzuy means 'going to the sea'. My great-grandfather added that to our name long ago, as we have always been ship owners. Tzuy is therefore a common word in any town that has a harbour, as you probably understand."

Daniel nodded. "I can see reason in that, sir. But there still is the attack. And the tattoo on the

called Warlem, told the young man he had something to show him and they arranged a time to meet.

After a trip home and a quick bite to eat, Daniel called for a carriage to take him to Maliser Park, the same place where the cloaked figure had stunned him. Warlem had asked him for a good place to meet, and this park was the first thing that had come to mind.

Daniel had found a bench that gave him a good overview of the park. He'd come early, to make sure things were 'normal'. As far as normal would go lately, anyway.

Warlem leisurely strolled through the entrance, looked around and saw Daniel. He walked over and sat down. "Hello, Daniel. I've been worried since you contacted me." He eyed the strange, rough sack that Daniel did not take his hand off.

"I hope I am wrong, Warlem. I really do. Please brace yourself. This is not going to be a pretty sight." Daniel observed the poetic young man, whose pale face seemed to become even whiter.

"Let's get this behind us, my friend, " Warlem said. He got hold of the bench and kept holding it as if he could fall off at any moment.

Daniel nodded and reached into the bag. "I am going to show you a shoe, Warlem. Maybe you know it. Maybe not. Just so you know."

Warlem nodded and watched Daniel pull something from the sack. As he saw the shoe, his eyes almost popped out of his head. "Oh no..." Immediately sweat appeared on the man's brow, which told Daniel enough.

"It's one of Rayko's, right?"

Warlem nodded. "Is she..." He could not finish his question.

"This is just her shoe, Warlem. I don't know how she is. Or where. As far as I know, she is still alive. I have another thing here. Maybe you recognise that also." He pulled the bloody rag from the sack.

"What's that?" Warlem asked. "I've never seen that before, Daniel." He stared for a moment. "What is that reddish colour?" Awareness seemed to kick in right after asking it. "It's blood, isn't it?"

"Yes. It is blood." Daniel put the rag away again. It was obvious that this was too much for Warlem, who was already depositing his lunch next to his shoes.

"I do apologise, Daniel, " said Warlem as he was able to speak again. He tossed his now thoroughly soiled handkerchief in a basket next to the bench. "I was not prepared for this."

"I understand, Warlem." Daniel was certain that there was no way Warlem could have been prepared for this. The man just had no stomach for such things.

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