False Witness

False Witness by Randy Singer Read Free Book Online

Book: False Witness by Randy Singer Read Free Book Online
Authors: Randy Singer
Tags: FICTION / Christian / Suspense
the bounty hunters he had contacted that afternoon, increasing the bounty on Kumari from five hundred thousand to a million. He would figure out where to get the money later. He also broadened the net. He attached pertinent information and a photo of Johnny Chin, offering a bounty of five hundred thousand. He finished the e-mail with the biggest gamble of all.
    In addition, for information concerning the present whereabouts of a man named Huang Xu, believed to be in the Los Angeles area, I will pay $500,000 U.S.
    Clark corrected a few words highlighted by the spell checker, promised God he would do anything God asked if Jessica came back safely, then hit the Send button.
    The replies were almost immediate. Xu is high-level Chinese mafia, one read. I don’t do mafia. Another came back more bluntly: Take me off your distribution list. And another: Xu and Chin are members of the Manchurian Triad. I don’t mess with the triads, even for a million bucks.
    Clark replied to everyone, asking questions and prying out more information. How do you know that Xu’s with the triads? What businesses are connected with him? Where does he live? Where is his office?
    I’m a bond enforcement agent, not 411, a man called Cyclone wrote back. But Clark was making progress. He learned that Xu was reputedly a lieutenant in the Manchurian Triad and that he was basically responsible for United States operations. Xu was young, tattooed, cold-blooded, and a martial arts expert, like a younger, evil brother of Bruce Lee. He has a thing for women, one e-mail said ominously, especially American blondes.
    Clark deleted it immediately.
    The e-mails seemed to indicate that Johnny Chin didn’t instill the same level of fear that Huang Xu did. Chin was just an independent contractor for the mob, a hit man with no personal loyalties. Apprehending Chin would not guarantee a mob contract on the bounty hunter’s head, though several of Clark’s contemporaries still thought someone would have to be an idiot to try it. Others seemed to believe that, for the right price, they could probably be talked into finding Chin.
    Five hundred grand was apparently the right price. The same guys who had turned up their noses when Clark had been hunting Johnny Chin for a bounty of a hundred and fifty were suddenly interested. Chin liked hanging around the Vegas casinos, they said, and had been known to go on gambling binges for weeks on end.
    By ten thirty, Clark had collected all the information he could gain online and started going stir-crazy again. He spent the next thirty minutes putting together one-page information sheets featuring pictures and identifying information for both Kumari and Chin. He ran off two hundred copies of each.
    He stuffed the tools of his trade into the back of the Escalade—handcuffs, a stun gun, a large black luggage trunk big enough to stuff an entire body inside, a slim-jim for breaking into cars, a baseball bat, glass cutters, pliers, screwdrivers, a ratchet set, his laptop and printer, a laminating kit for fake identifications, two handguns, and a Kevlar vest. He grabbed a Coke out of the refrigerator and pointed the Escalade toward Vegas.
    He couldn’t just sit around. He would be back in Vegas by 2:30 a.m., not too late to begin canvassing the major casinos. If he worked straight through the night and the next morning, he could speak to the security firms for most of the major gambling establishments on the Strip.
    He would find Johnny Chin no matter the cost.

7
    Tuesday, August 10
    Las Vegas
    By 9:00 a.m., Clark had been to more than half the major casinos, passed out dozens of photos of Johnny Chin and Professor Moses Kumari, and still had nothing to show for it. He dropped onto a barstool at the New York–New York casino and checked his stopwatch: 19:13:54. Bone weary, he put his forehead in his hand and tried to think. His nerves had caught fire, the seconds ticking away with Jessica’s life on

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