The Darkness in the Tree – Part 6

Chan looked at the OIC and the PC for help. The headache was now almost blinding him.

“Call Sui Lam”, Chan said quietly to the OIC who got up and left the room.

Sui Lam was the detention center that specialised in handling persons suspected of being mentally unbalanced. Chan would send him there for a few days ‘for observation’. It was much more simple than arresting the man. He asked the PC to compile everything they had on Huang and let him have it before he left.

“Mr. Huang,” this time Chan did pronounce it ‘Wong’. “I am ordering you to be held for a few days for observation in a secure establishment, it is not a prison. However, you will not be allowed to leave, for your own safety, until after the observation period is completed and I receive a report on your condition. Do you wish to contact the Singapore Consulate?”

“I am not insane Mr. Chan. I can give you dates, times and places for all the murders I have investigated over the years. You can see for yourself that I am telling the truth”.

Huang asked for a pen and paper and wrote down from memory, the names of the victims and where and when they were killed. It would be an easy matter for Chan to verify the truth of his claims.

Chan told the PC to include the list in the file and left the room. He needed a coffee and a Tylenol and better yet a stiff drink. He hoped the OIC would be kind enough to invite him to the Mess.


The OIC, Superintendent Lai, a long-term service officer, was indeed kind enough to invite Chan to the Mess and they enjoyed a quiet beer in the corner of the bar. Chan stared into his glass wondering if he should take another Tylenol but was afraid the policeman would notice.

“When you arrested him, did he say anything reasonably sensible?” Asked Chan.

The OIC explained that he hadn’t been there at the time so he couldn’t answer accurately. According to the report, which Chan had, but hadn’t looked at yet, he had complied with the officers and not attempted to obstruct them in any way.

They were interrupted by Chan’s mobile, it was Amy. The newspapers were asking for an update and progress. They could only be kept in the dark for so long.

Chan told her that he would be back soon and to arrange something for the reporters. He looked at his beer and felt his stomach churning. Even getting drunk didn’t really appeal to him at this moment in time.


On arriving back at his office Chan had called in one of his assistants. He handed the man Huang’s file, asked him to make a copy, put it in a Top Secret cover, and send it to Security Wing asking for a full check on the man. Criminal background, social, education, whatever they could find. Glancing through the file he saw that Huang was staying at the Luen Sung Hotel in Tsim Sha Tsui, a three-star establishment that would not draw undue attention, Chan recalled.

“Get in touch with PHQ, I want a warrant to have his room searched asap”, Chan told his man. Then it was time for the press conference.

The secret to holding a successful press conference was to tell them everything they thought they wanted to know without actually telling them anything they needed to know. Chan was an expert at this, it was his forte, so to speak. Almost a dozen reporters from various papers, local and regional attended and went away happy, but not a lot smarter.

By now it was mid-afternoon and Chan had still not had lunch. He asked Amy to order a sandwich for him and hoped that he would be left in peace to eat it. The headache he had suffered most of the day had subsided and for reasons which he couldn’t put his finger on, he was feeling better about the case.


The Darkness had watched the drama of Huang’s arrest and detention. Of course, he recognised the mortal. It was, for this reason, that the Darkness decided to remain in the area.

Although Huang had never actually posed a threat to his existence, it was interesting that the persistence he had displayed had led him all the way to Hong Kong. The Darkness had toyed with the idea of destroying the little man years ago but for reasons unbeknownst it had spared him. The next couple of days or weeks would be a challenge to its creativity. Over the centuries it had used snakes, rats, cows and even cats to do its bidding. The use of trees and egrets was a new venture and one that it had enjoyed immensely.

(c) Copyright John Stewart Sloan – 2017 – Not for Distribution


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