Telegraph Hill

Telegraph Hill by John F. Nardizzi Read Free Book Online

Book: Telegraph Hill by John F. Nardizzi Read Free Book Online
Authors: John F. Nardizzi
kids hooked on narcotics, and then took ‘em for all they were
worth.”
    Waymon spoke with a slight Southern accent, a
relic of his youth in North Carolina. He showed a certain sunken charm,
suspiciously friendly as only cops can be. A talented detective, he had been
considered a great partner, albeit eccentric. He worked some of the toughest
beats, and had more than his share of good press. But his offbeat demeanor was
seen as a less desirable trait in a supervisor, and so he had been relegated to
working his entire career as a vice detective. And Waymon knew it; knew he had
been tagged with some invisible stamp of noncompliance. But he never cared about
a promotion. He scorned his fellow officer’s willingness to accept mediocrity
in exchange for a pompous title when hair turned white and bellies grew soft.
    “Waymon, I don’t know what Dominique told you
about this case. I’m looking for a girl who disappeared about ten years ago.
Her family’s lawyer asked me to try to track her down. She was last known to be
living here in the 1990's. She may have been a prostitute.”
    “You happen to have a photo?”
    Ray pulled out the photo of Tania. “Her name is
Tania Kong. She would be twenty-eight now.”
    Waymon took the picture, and turned it in his
thick hands. “Hmm. Pretty girl. Never seen her. I can run her name by someone
at the station, see if she was ever arrested.”
    Ray watched Waymon, who seemed to be perpetually squinting.
As if his eyes were rimmed with the grime of criminals spewing lies at him for
a quarter century. He wondered how many suspects the man had interrogated and
bashed down over the years.
    “I know that she was arrested at least once,” said
Ray. “I checked court records. There was a 1997 arrest for prostitution in
Chinatown.”
    “How long was she working?”
    “I don’t know. The fact she worked at all was news
to me. And I don’t think my client had any idea.”
    Waymon scratched his nose absentmindedly. “You
suspect she’s still working?”
    “I don’t know. Where do the girls work usually?”
    “Well, most of ‘em are on the internet.” Waymon
opened his fingers to show cyberspace. “They have web sites now. But the city
has several areas where street girls can still be found. Some guys just like
drive-by pussy.”
    “Where is the drive-by pussy in this city?”
    “You’ve got your downtown girls, mostly on Geary
and O’Farrell near Jones. They get to be thick as flies on a weekend night.
Some of them are known to wander up to Post, but the folks there are more
active—shoo ‘em off right quick. Shemales work the corner of Larkin and Post.
Is she a real girl?”
    “I have no reason to suspect any unusual
surgeries,” Ray said.
    “Good. They give me the creeps, those trannies —
‘You wanna go with me baby?’” Waymon imitated a falsetto voice. “Disgusting.”
    “Anywhere else?”
    “The Mission has a tittering of hookers on 16th.
Roughest corner in the city. Young girl out there at 2 AM, she looks forty-five
by morning. Classic crack whores. Drier than a nun’s twat.”
    “You have a lovely way with words.”
    Waymon shrugged. “Regional aptitude, Ray. All
southerners know how to work their way around a word. ”
    Waymon sipped his beer. All the windows in the
house were closed. The room was cooking, but Waymon looked perfectly
comfortable. Ray looked around at a number of photographs on the walls. Some
appeared to be crime scene photos.
    “And don’t forget the house girls,” Waymon added.
“Like I said, they all have web sites now. Trolling for clients on the web.
Real discreet. Hell, some of those sites are better than IBM.”
    Ray glanced around the room and settled briefly on
a framed picture of Richard Nixon. Waymon noticed his gaze.
    “Here, let me show you something.” Waymon got up
suddenly. He wiped dust from a bureau and retrieved something from a drawer. He
returned with a signed photo showing Richard Nixon shaking hands with a

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