[If you have not already done so, you must
read the Introduction
Revenge Should Have No Bounds 095
Chapter 17 (11 of 11): Interviews
“And you? Do you share your ex’s notion that we should have a real good look at her?”
For a minute Yukiko said nothing. Then she pulled a kleenex from a blouse pocket and held it to her eyes. “This is … is very difficult for me.”
“Can I get you a glass of water?” Phoebe canted her head.
“No. No, that won’t be necessary. I’m O.K.” Yukiko blew her nose.
“Well, Mazarine and I have been drifting apart lately. The last half year or so. She began to frighten me.”
“Frighten you? How?”
“She is a very angry woman. Very angry.”
“Everything. Everybody. Especially Trinh.”
Now Phoebe’s interest in what Yukiko is saying perks up.
“I wonder if I could ask you to be more specific here. This is quite important, as I’m sure you realize.”
Yukiko gathers herself together.
“Mazarine and I have been together since last August. At first it was the great passion of our lives for both of us, but after a couple of months she started to become very critical of everything I did. Nothing was good enough for her. There was always something wrong with my behavior. We would meet at the Momiji, and if I was a minute late she would spend half an hour talking to me about personal responsibility. And once she got on that subject, it was an easy step to Fabian and his visits with her. It was always about Fabian and ‘that Trinh’ he’d fallen for.
“She accused the poor woman of ‘stealing her livelihood’ if you can believe it. You did know, didn’t you, that Mazarine was a whore?”
“Well, that’s a bit harsh, perhaps. But, yes, Fabian did make quite clear that she was an escort.”
“Escort, whore, hooker, call girl – what’s in a name? The reality is the same. Although she had some interesting comments about that, actually.”
“She had a degree in classics. An M.A. Maybe you knew that?”
“No, I didn’t.”
“Well, once when we were talking about how she earned all that money she always had around, she gave me a little lecture about the word ‘whore’. As I say, not uninteresting. She said it was historically related to a Latin word ‘cara’ that meant ‘dear’ or ‘beloved’ and that in the normal development of ‘diachronic phonology’ – her jargon – the original if you will of this word came into Germanic as ‘huora’ and Old English as ‘hore’ and eventually got its modern anglicized spelling as ‘whore’. In terms of a radical reverse shift in meaning it was, she claimed, an example of semantic pejoration. Can you believe that? Anyway, she would say to me, half joking and half serious, that she wasn’t anybody’s ‘whore’ but really their ‘beloved.’ I mean, the explanation was kind of neat, I thought, but that ‘beloved’ business got old real fast. She really got to be quite tedious and tiresome on the subject. And on just about everything else too. I tell you, she’s a very angry lady.”
“Did she know,” Phoebe interrupted, “that you had been married to Fabian?”
“Not at first, but I told her a few weeks after we’d met.”
“What was her reaction?”
“She was furious.”
“Did she say why?”
“Yes, she did. She felt that … and these were her exact words – they were hard to forget — … she felt that Fabian ‘had substituted’ me for himself to make up for the fact he’d taken up with Trinh.”
“That doesn’t make any sense. I mean, were you … paying her for these visits?”
“Of course not. Welcome to the world according to Mazarine!”
“Did she ever make any threats about Fabian or Trinh? Or you?”
“Oh, yes. When she got cranked up she’d rant and rave about how she ought to do both of them a favor and put them out of their misery. She got really evil about this, and it was kind of scary. But the truth is I never took her that seriously. I just thought she was venting. But now maybe …”
Yukiko bowed her head and brought the kleenex up to her eyes.
Phoebe respected her privacy and waited. When the woman seemed to have got herself under control again, the detective asked her, “Can you think of anything else that might be helpful here?”
Yukiko shook her head. “No,” she said softly. “I can’t. And I’m hoping Mazarine isn’t mixed up in this. That would be too horrible,” she said, her voice catching.
“Are you two still seeing each other?”
“No, not since before Christmas. It just got too intense for me.”
“And she didn’t keep after you. Like stalk you or anything like that.”
“No. Thank goodness. I haven’t heard from her now in three or four weeks.”
Phoebe got up from her chair. “It was very helpful of you to come in and speak so frankly. It will help us greatly in our ongoing investigation.”
Yukiko nodded demurely and rose. She shook hands with Phoebe. “I suppose I’ll read about any developments in the paper,” she said.
“Probably pretty soon now, I would think.”
Phoebe walked her out into the lobby and the door to the street and watched her disappear among the late afternoon crowd on the sidewalk.
She checked with Tanya about any calls, and as she walked thoughtfully back to her office she kept asking herself why she had such a strong feeling that Yukiko had been less than forthright with her.
Phoebe holds a meeting with her people on Saturday morning. She hates to call them in on the weekend since they are not all on duty, but the confluence of circumstances appears to demand it. She offers an accurate account of her talk with Yukiko as well as her own reservations. Others do not seem to share her qualms, and the mood around the table bespeaks a certain elation that they may be closing in on the murderer of Trinh.
“That woman Mazarine sure sounds good to me,” Rickie puts out on the table. There are murmurs of assent.
“We’ve got Fabian Darling’s suspicions and this Yukiko’s comments. Motive. We have Officer Jameson’s confirmation that he saw Mazarine and Trinh together a week ago yesterday. Opportunity. And, best of all, we have the lab’s identification of Mazarine’s hair. She was there, and that suggests the means.” Ulla has ticked each item off on her fingers.
“And let’s not forget the little piece of paper with ‘Mazarine’ written on it,” Barb adds.
“Put it all together, and it seems pretty conclusive to me.” Willard appears to speak for the rest of the people in the War Room.
Phoebe does not fully share their enthusiasm, but she recognizes that there is enough on the plate now that they can’t simply ignore Mazarine. Her obligation is to give the information to the D.A.’s office and let them make such decisions as they think are consistent with the facts and evidence the police report.
“That’s it, then,” she sums up, stacking the papers in her hands by tapping them on the table. “I’ll get in touch with Jeff Kerzy, and he’ll probably run with it. But, people, I don’t want anybody to think this case is closed as far as we are concerned. We move on to other cases, yes, but this one is still active.”
“And thanks for making it in on a Saturday. Enjoy the rest of your weekend.”
TO BE CONTINUED
The next posting
(start of Chapter 18 of ‘Revenge Should Have No Bounds’ 096)
will be on Monday 21 May 2012.