Kkotboda Namja: A Detective Story, Chapter 3 Part 2

Kkotboda Namja: A Detective Story

Chapter 3. The Usual Suspects

Part 2: Bom Chun Sik  

Detective Song Woo Bin  

5 Jan.

1340 hours. Chef Bom Chun Sik is an odd-looking guy. He arrives apronned and bespectacled, a crumbly cream-coloured substance that I pray is food dots his clothing and face. He waves at us, even though we stand not a full metre away. I need to step back as he bows and greets us: ‘Annyeong haseyo’.

His eyes skitter about the room. They keep returning to the cameras, the recording equipment and our faces. He’s nervous. Amusingly nervous. He reminds me of Kang Hun, one of my father’s boys. Kang was a good guy. A foolish guy. Too good and foolish for the life he’d chosen. One day he was taken by our enemies and pressured to reveal certain things about my father’s business. Pabo blabbed and lost Father a lot of money. Afterwards, he kowtowed to Father for two days and three nights; he didn’t eat or sleep during this time. I know because Father had prohibited everybody from even acknowledging him. However, I snuck in now and then to tempt Kang with cakes and sweets, but Kang never budged from his supplicatory position. On the third day, when I saw that Kang had gone, I asked my father what had happened to him and Father told me, ‘the man who lays down his sword in penitence, must be forgiven’.

Aish, I hate flowery speak.

But if all men were plain-talking, my job wouldn’t be much fun.

‘Take a seat Chef Bom.’ I take point, sitting on the table by the suspect’s chair. I make a show of turning on the recorder. Yi Jung places a glass of water in front of Bom and sits in a chair to the side. Bom takes the water and gulps it down – too fast. He splutters up the excess, wipes his chin and grins sheepishly. ‘Mianhamida.’

I hold back a smile and hold a stern expression, dismissing his apology with a slight wave. ‘Chef Bom, last night your employer, Yun Ji Hoo was murdered.’ I pause, ‘why did you kill him?’

Bom blinks in rapid succession. His head shakes so much I expect it to fall off. ‘I…no…I didn’t kill him. I didn’t kill him. No, no, no!’

I laugh. Inappropriate? Maybe. This guy is so much like Kang Hun. ‘Relax buddy.’ I wonder if placing my hand on his shoulder would be reassuring. I do it anyway and he shrinks away from my touch. I guess not.

Bom stands abruptly. I react quickly, preparing myself in case he tries something stupid.

And he does, albeit in an unexpected manner.

‘It was Gun Jun Pyo!’ Bom blurts out. He gasps and clasps his hands over his mouth. He slinks back down into the chair, but the damage is done. The fool has implicated the head of Shinhwa group in a homicide investigation. I turn to Yi Jeong; he is not happy.

‘Chef Bom.’ Yi Jeong approaches the table. ‘What do you mean ‘it was Gu Jun Pyo”.

Bom shakes his head again. I realise why he’s such a fool; his brain must be scrambled inside from all that shaking.

‘Not Gu Jun Pyo Gu Jun Pyo.’ His voice drops to a whisper. He cups his mouth with his hand. ‘I believe that aliens from Andromeda possessed his body and killed Yun Ji Hoo.’

Pardonnez moi?

‘I saw the sign. On his hand.’ Bom pokes the back of hand between the thumb and forefinger. ‘The sign of Andromeda. Here, I drew a picture.’ He pulls paper from his pocket and unfolds it flat on the table.

‘What is that? A decapitated horse?’

Bom frowns. ‘No.’ He points at the central squiggle I thought was spilt blood. ‘This is the Andromeda bloom and these,’ he points to the head and tail, ‘are the cosmic wings.’

I don’t bother lowering my voice when I say, ‘ Yo Yi Jeong. I think we should call in Kim to test his blood.’ I turn to Bom. ‘Or are you just playin’?’

Bom stares at me with wide eyes. ‘They’re here. They’ve been coming here for decades. The Andromedans. Most of them are benevolent, but there is a bad faction.’

‘Did you see this Andromedan kill Yun Ji Hoo?’ Yi Jeong asks. His face appears to display sincere interest. I choose to stand back and keep my mouth shut.

‘No,’ Bom admits. ‘But the radio said he was murdered on the boat last night, so it must have been the Andromedan. Was he found with burns down his chest? Because Andromedans like to kill with…’

‘The body showed no indication of burning.’

‘Oh,’ Bom says. ‘How did he die?’

‘Food poisoning,’ I interject.

Chef Bom’s cheeks puff out comically and he sits straight up, but my man Yi Jeong wants to play good cop. He retracts my statement. ‘Chef Bom, you said that the Andromedan possessed Gu Jun Pyo’s body. Did you see Gu Jun Pyo on the boat last night?’

Yo, yo, yo, what’s this now? That woman didn’t mention anything about Gu Jun Pyo visiting the Yun yacht. I glance at Bom as he nods and says ‘Ye. I saw Gu Jun Pyo on the boat.’

I doubt any sane jury would consider him a reliable witness. Still, I remember how the Shinhwa boss embraced the Yun widow earlier. Love, jealousy. Both powerful motives for murder.

‘Why was he there?’

‘He came to visit Master Ji Hoo. I wish he had told me beforehand. I had already begun cleaning and packing by the time Mr Gu arrived.’

‘Gu Jun Pyo wasn’t an expected guest?’

‘Not for dinner at least.’

‘What time did he arrive?’

‘Aigoo, I don’t know. Shortly after Mistress Jan Di went to bed I think. She and Master Ji Hoo had had a fight. I think it was about Mr Gu. They kept their voices down, but I heard his name. I think the Mistress was probably upset that the Master had invited Mr Gu over when it was supposed to be their special night. And later when Gu Jun Pyo arrived, the Master didn’t seem very happy to see him. He didn’t even greet him, just took him into the pool room right away, but not before I saw and recognised the Andromeda sign. That was the last time I saw either man that night.’

I went to school for a time with the self-described almighty Gu Jun Pyo. We weren’t friends, I doubt he remembers me, but Gu was impossible to ignore. As a boy he had a short fuse. I don’t doubt he’s capable of murder, but Yun Ji Hoo was his best friend. I’ve felt the cold grip of rage myself, but turning that on Yi Jeong…never. 

‘You didn’t see or hear Gu Jun Pyo or Yun Ji Hoo leave the boat during the night?’

‘No. I went to sleep early. Ga Eul and Jae Kyung said they would finish up for me, since I’d been cooking all day. They’re good friends. When I woke in the morning the ship was already at port. Geum Jan Di thanked us for the food and bid us farewell. I assumed Master Yun and Mr Gu left before I woke. I didn’t even know something had happened to Master Yun until you called earlier.’

‘What are your impressions of The Yun couple, and Gu Jun Pyo?’ Yi Jeong asks.

Bom clasps his hands together and his eyelids flutter as he muses, ‘Mistress Jan Di is very pretty, very pretty. I had only seen Yun Ji Hoo in pictures and in If I only met you drama, but he is much more beautiful in person, and though I only glimpsed Mr Gu for a moment, I could see that he was very handsome as well.’

Yi Jeong leans forward in his seat. ‘You hadn’t met Gu Jun Pyo before?’

‘No.’

‘Or seen his picture?’

‘That’s right.’

Catching on, I finish Yi Jeong’s line of questioning, ‘So, if Ji Hoo didn’t greet his friend when he boarded the boat, how did you know that the man you saw was Gu Jun Pyo?’

Bom blinks. ‘I didn’t. It was Ha Jae Kyung who recognised him. She told me that man was Gu Jun Pyo.’

Find out what Monkey knows in…

Chapter 3. The Usual Suspects
Part 3: Ha Jae Kyung

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