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Crimes & Thriller


A. Francis




‘Night Rider’

Night Rider

Charlie Hing kicked off his footwear as he entered the Wat Trimitr temple and knelt before the statue of Buddah. Five and a half tons of solid gold glistened down on him as he offered a prayer and begged forgiveness for the deed he was about to commit.


Charlie’s daughter, Wei Lin was without question, the most beautiful girl in the Chinese quarter of Bangkok. Dressed in the uniform of Chulalongkorn University; dark blue skirt and crisp white blouse; hair tied neatly into two plaits; a satchel packed with schoolbooks slung over her shoulder; she looked no different than any of the other girls making their way to that seat of learning. Night however, presented a different Wei Lin. Gone were the braided plaits and the school uniform. Her jet-black hair cascaded loosely over her shoulders. Her shantung dress, split from thigh to hem, exposed limbs that would be the envy of any catwalk.The sixteen years old girl was transformed into an exquisite young woman

Fat Klaus, a grossly obese middle aged German, had a stake in most of the bars of ill repute along the length of Phat Pong, that street which caters for sexual deviants of every variety. Semi clad young females stroll the pavements imploring men to buy them a drink. Inside the bars, young girls, totally naked, cavort on tables, some performing acts with ping-pong balls that defies description.

Wei Lin had been warned by her parents never to use Phat Pong at night but just this once she decided to take the short cut home.

Always on the lookout for fresh talent, Fat Klaus ordered one of his henchmen to abduct Wei Lin as she passed a poorly lit section and take her to his penthouse at the Mirama, a hotel in which he held a major stake.

Five days later when Fat Klaus had tired of abusing Wei Lin for his own  gratification, she was disposed of in the Chao Phraya River, which snakes through the city.

Fat Klaus made the grave mistake of assuming that as the police could find no clues to the crime, he was in the clear. He hadn’t reckoned on the tenacity with which the Chinese protect their own. A kitchen porter from Canton working at the Mirama had witnessed Wei Lin being dragged into the executive lift that gave access to the penthouse, but like all Orientals he had an inborn distrust of the police. Not without reason, for bribery is a way of life in Thailand. A speeding motorist stopped by the police will offer his driving licence with a one hundred baht note inside the covers and he is sent on his way with a mild reprimand, minus the cash. When the news broke of Wei Lin’s death, the porter told her father Charlie Hing of his suspicions.

For less than five thousand baht, equivalent to around one hundred pounds stirling, Charlie could easily have organised a contract killing of Fat Klaus with no questions asked but to Charlie, honour would not have been satisfied.

This was the reason he was praying for guidance from a deity that has been in  existence for close on two thousand five hundred years. Alone with only the tinkling wind bells to disturb the air, he knew the path he must follow.

The sun’s last rays burnished the riverside Grand Palace’s gilded spires as the Suzuki motorcycle purred into life. Wei Lin’s brother, Charlie Junior, with his father riding pillion, wound back the throttle control grip. Both wearing black helmets, they cruised the streets searching for a large black Mercedes saloon with the initials KH emblazoned in gilt on the driver’s door. The ‘H’ representing Helman. Traversing the dual carriageway of Road Rama 4 from end to end and back; jostling for position with tuk-tuks, (motorised, three-wheeled trishaws), they spotted their quarry. Chauffeur driven, Fat Klaus was sprawled on the rear seat with his arm around a girl young enough to be his granddaughter. Intent on mauling and drooling over his new prey, he paid no heed to the motorcycle that had been tailing him for the last two miles. Turning right at the end of Road Rama 4 the Mercedes quietly slid to a halt by the main entrance of the Mirama. The chauffeur opened the door and stood to one side as Fat Klaus and his new companion emerged.

Using his son’s shoulder as a rest for the long barrel pistol and silencer,  Charlie took aim and called out: “Mister Helman sir” Klaus spun round and presented a fat belly for a target. The chauffeur swears that when the two hollow nosed bullets thudded home, one to the chest and one to the abdomen, Fat Klaus burst like an over-inflated balloon. One more parting shot between the tops of his legs ensured that, even if he should survive the attempted assassination; he would no longer have any interest in young females.

Charlie Junior spun the bike round, raced home, dropped off his father and the two black helmets and donned a red and white chequered headpiece.

Sing Buri is some one hundred and forty kilometres upstream from Bangkok and it was here, at his uncle’s breakers yard, that Charlie Junior spent the night. Uncle Choo’s daughters ground off the frame and engine number and the bike was tossed into the crusher.

When Junior arrived back in Bangkok by bus he was met by the police but the  Chinese driver swore on the bones of his ancestors that Charlie Junior had ridden on the bus the previous morning as far as Chiang Mai and was only now returning

As the golden Buddah gazed down on the two kneeling forms of Charlie Hing and his young son, the eternal smile seemed to broaden. Maybe it was the melodious tinkling of the wind bells again, or did the Buddah really murmur  “Well done my sons”.