[If you have not already done so, you must
read the Introduction
Revenge Should Have No Bounds 078
Chapter 16 (4 of 10): Investigation
“That’s exactly what my dad says too,” she chimed in. “I called police headquarters and your badge numbers checked out. And the way they described you was close enough to what I saw on the monitors.
“Here,” she went on, “let me take your coats.” After she’d hung them up in a closet the size of Ulla’s living room, she said, “Servants’ night out, I’m afraid.” She started into one of the rooms leading off from the huge foyer. “Let’s go in here. Can I get you anything to drink?”
Ulla and Phoebe both declined politely.
“And now,” their hostess asked, “what is all this about?” Suddenly she shot forward to the edge of the sofa she was sitting on and looked horrified. “Oh, my God,” she gasped, “it isn’t my parents, is it? An accident?”
The two detectives looked at each other in surprise. “No, no, nothing like that,” Phoebe said, rushing to allay the woman’s fear.
“Goodness, that’s a relief.” The tightness went out of her body and her shoulders sank together. A smile flashed across her face. “So, why are you here, then?”
“First, if you don’t mind, Miss, may we ask who you are?”
“Sure. That’s easy. I’m Sheena.”
“Sheena?” Ulla and Phoebe both blurted out at the same time.
“Yes, of course, Sheena. My Chinese name is Xin Qian.”
“And your parents are Mr. and Mrs. Wang?”
“Yes, of course.” She was starting to look a little confused. “Say, what’s going on here?”
Phoebe pulled out a photo of the dead woman and showed it to Sheena. “Do you know this woman.”
Sheena tucked her feet under her thighs and settled into the sofa. She studied the photos long and hard. Slowly she shook her head. “No. No, I’ve never seen her before.,” she said thoughtfully. She turned it over. “A beautiful woman. What’s the story on her?”
Phoebe bowed her head slightly at Ulla.
“We’re conducting a … a murder investigation,” she said. “As a matter of fact, we thought it might have been a photo of you.”
“Me?” Sheena was shocked. “Me murdered? Why? What ever gave you that idea?”
Her eyes were saucers and the black hair cascading down the sides of her head swayed back and forth like seaweed in a fast current.
“Our record show,” Ulla said, flipping open her little notepad and paging through it, “that your father reported you missing on the third of January. A Saturday. Nine days ago.”
“Oh, that!” Her eyes were directed at the elegant carpeting. “That was just a misunderstanding.” A peevish twist of the neck punctuated this explanation.
“Yes, I … I spent a couple nights with a … with a boyfriend … just a few days. I hadn’t seen him for almost a whole week. For Heaven’s sake! But my father absolutely freaked, if you can believe it.” Sheena obviously had a hard time believing it. “I mean, I’m over eighteen, an adult, right? And what I do on my own is my own business. Right?” The wry — maybe proud – smile on her face invited some complicitous gesture of understanding from the two older women.
None was forthcoming.
“Wha-at?” Sheena asked in a petulant huff.
“This is very serious business, Ms. Wang,” Phoebe began.
“Oh, really! Call me Sheena.
“All right, Sheena. The police should have been informed immediately when you turned up no longer missing.”
“Don’t look at me. I didn’t do anything. I didn’t even know I was missing.” She was twisting one hand around the other. “You should probably talk to my father about that. I guess he just forgot.”
Her face took on a surly cast.
Then she started to cry. Big, wracking sobs.
Ulla rose and went over to sit next to the girl, and put her hand on a shoulder. “Is something wrong here?” she asked kindly.
Blubbering through the tears, Sheena raised her voice, “Wrong, wrong? Of course there is something wrong here. Why do you think I’m sitting at home on a perfectly good Monday evening. I’m missing all the good parties. School doesn’t start for another week. His house, he says, and I follow his rules. Or else. He grounded me.” Again, the tone brimmed with incredulity. “Grounded me! And I’m nineteen years old. Can you believe that?”
“’He’, that would be your father?” Phoebe interjected.
“Yes.” She yanked a kleenex packet out of a back pocket of her tailored Jordache jeans, angrily ripped out two tissues, and blew her nose loud and hard. As if to say, ‘Who else?’
“Would you excuse us for a minute, please?” Phoebe said.
Sheena waved a hand in dismissal. “Whatever!”
Ulla and Phoebe walked out into the foyer but kept Sheena in sight.
“I think we should …” Phoebe began.
“… make sure this really is Xin Qian Wang,” Ulla finished.
They returned to the comfortable room where they had been interviewing Sheena.
“Are you feeling better?” Ulla asked solicitously. “Are you O.K.”
“I’m fine.” Curt, businesslike.
“Do you mind answering a few questions for us?”
“Ask away.” Bored monotone.
“Well, now it’s our turn to verify your identity. Do you have any proof that you are who you are?”
Sheena’s mouth opened in astonishment.
“You mean you want me to prove I am who I am, and here I am in my own house?”
“You mean your father’s house, don’t you?”
A transitory smile tugged at the corners of her mouth.
“All right, my father’s house,” she conceded.
“And yes, we would appreciate it if you’d show us some kind of official I.D. Driver’s license, something like that.”
“Will a passport do? I don’t have a license. He won’t let me drive until I’m twenty-one,” she snorted. “Unbe-fucking-lievable!” The rapid twisting movements of her head set the beautiful hair swinging again. “Oops, excuse my Chinese.”
“A valid passport is fine.”
“It’s valid. I spent four days after Christmas skiing in Gstaad.”
“Where?” Phoebe said.
“Gstaad. Gee-ess-tee-double-a-dee. Gstaad.”
“It’s a fancy ski resort in the Swiss Alps,” Ulla volunteered.
“Hey, you got it,” Sheena said happily. “Ever been there?”
“A few times,” Ulla admitted.
“Greatest skiing in the world, right?”
“Pretty much.” Ulla felt uncomfortable in front of Phoebe.
“Well, now that we’ve bonded on that, maybe we can move on to the passport? O.K., Sheena?” Phoebe urged.
“Sure. No prob.” She got up. “It’s upstairs. I’ll get it and be right back.”
Phoebe decided to trust her on this one. “Fine. We’ll just wait here.”
They heard the muffled sound of her steps as she scurried up the carpeted stairway to the floor above.
The detective arched their eyebrows at each other and did a quick scan of the room.
TO BE CONTINUED