Kkotboda Namja: A Detective Story, Chapter 3 Part 4

Kkotboda Namja: A Detective Story

Chapter 3.  The Usual Suspects

Part 4: Chu Ga Eul    

Detective Song Woo Bin  

5 Jan.

1450 hours. Chu Ga Eul enters and bows respectfully. Too respectfully. I remind her that we’re cops not royals and she blushes. She looks up, sees Yi Jeong, and does a double-take. I feel personally insulted. Yi Jeong turns and I see his bruised eye. I feel better.

The girl’s cute, in that rustic sort of way. Stark difference to the dolled-up Miss Jae Kyung. Yi Jeong pulls out a chair and the girl seems grateful to sit down. I sit by her side on the table and Yi Jeong takes the seat opposite. Our presence makes the girl uncomfortable. A feeling exacerbated by our close proximity, and while Miss Ga Eul doesn’t yet warrant the use of intimidation tactics, I don’t move from my position.

‘Miss Ga Eul,’ Yi Jeong starts, ‘thank you for coming in. I understand that you were personally acquainted with Yun Ji Hoo as well as being his employee?’

‘No,’ she says. ‘Technically, I was working under my friend Bom Chun Sik, as a favour. He in turn was hired to cater for the Yuns for one night only. Therefore, Mr Yun cannot strictly be called Chef Bom’s, or my, employer.’

‘Are you a lawyer?’ I ask. I smile down at her, but she doesn’t even glance my way.

‘No, I teach kindergarten.’

Yi Jeong smiles, not his ladykiller beam, but a genuine one. I can see the rustic girl amuses him. ‘Are you so pedantic with your students?’

The girl’s brow crinkles. I think my boy has misjudged his audience. ‘I would hope that the lead investigator on a murder case would not consider a witness being as honest and truthful as she can be as being pedantic.’

Yi Jeong’s smile drops. ‘I apologise Miss Ga Eul.’ Sensing that the girl will no longer yield to the soft approach, he changes tactics. ‘May I take it from your words that you witnessed the murder of Yun Ji Hoo?’

Having had her pedantry turned back on her, the girl is chastened. ‘I am sorry, Detective So. I should have used different words. I did not witness the murder of Yun Ji Hoo.’ She fidgets with her hands in her lap and pulls her skirt further down her thighs, which are disappointingly covered with opaque tights anyway. She still doesn’t look at me, but neither does she face Yi Jeong.

Chu Ga Eul goes on to tell us how her friend, Bom Chun Sik, asked her to fill in for an employee who was off sick. Yi Jeong asks if it was difficult to act in a service capacity for a childhood friend – meaning Geum Jan Di, who had attended school with Chu Ga Eul.

‘No. Even though Jan Di-yah had married well. She remained my same friend.’ Chu Ga Eul smiles affectionately when speaking of her friend.

‘So, you and Geum Jan Di remained close after the wedding?’

‘Of course.’

‘Did Geum Jan Di and Yun Ji Hoo have a happy marriage?’

The question confuses Ga Eul. ‘Of course. They were soulmates. Jan Di is heartbroken.’

I see Yi Jeong grimace at the mention of soulmates.

‘So, you’ve seen Geum Jan Di since we informed her of her husband’s death this morning?’

‘Yes. I was with her when I received the call asking me to come to the police station to give a statement.’

It has been over four hours since we spoke to Geum Jan Di. More than enough time for her to conspire with her friend to conceal the truth – if she hadn’t already, and if she was guilty of course.

‘So you don’t believe that Jan Di…’

‘Jan Di did not kill Yun Ji Hoo.’ Shy Chu Ga Eul seems to have disappeared. ‘I don’t know what happened to Ji Hoo sunbae, but Jan Di loved him. She would never, never, hurt him.’

‘And what did she feel for Gu Jun Pyo?’

‘Gu Jun Pyo is best friends with her husband and Jan Di is…friends…with him as well. That is all.’ She finishes firmly.

‘All right Miss.’

Chu Ga Eul settles the moment her friend’s honour is no longer being questioned, but any hope of her previous geniality is gone.

‘If you do not believe Geum Jan Di capable of murder, how about Gu Jun Pyo?’

‘I don’t know,’ she says. ‘I don’t know him very well. I’ve only met him twice. I know he cares for Yun Ji Hoo very deeply. He was very against Jan Di marrying his friend at first. He’s a bit of an elitist snob and considered Jan Di to be a gold-digger, but he came around. It’s hard to think badly of Jan Di. She’s so pure and loyal.’

‘You don’t like Gu Jun Pyo.’

‘I never said that Detective So. It’s true that in our interactions he didn’t make the greatest impression, but I know he’s been a good friend to both Jan Di and Ji Hoo-sunbae.’

Yi Jeong opens his mouth to speak. I can tell he’s going to continue to push Chu Ga Eul so I step in. ‘How well do you know Ha Jae Kyung?’ I ask.

The girl blinks. Did she forget I was in the room? Aish.

‘I…see her often at Chun Sik’s porridge shop. She’s…very lovely.’

‘Miss Jae Kyung said that you overheard an argument between Gu Jun Pyo and Yun Ji Hoo?’

‘I did,’ she says, ‘Not very much. I just heard them shouting Jan Di-yah’s name, and I heard someone shout ‘saranghae’.’

‘Did you see or hear anything else that might help us solve Yun Ji Hoo’s murder?’

Ga Eul shakes her head. ‘I’m sorry. When I woke in the morning, Jan Di told me that Yun Ji Hoo had left in the night. I know she believed that to be the truth. Jan Di and Ji Hoo had fought the night before. She said it wasn’t serious, they were both simply overworked.’ She pauses. ‘I have been thinking about it, but I just can’t imagine how his death, his murder, might have occurred.’

Her voices trembles as she finishes speaking. She appears sincerely troubled by Yun’s death. Her eyes water and begin to drip with tears. Yi Jeong passes her his handkerchief. She accepts it. I wonder how Yi Jeong always seems to have a handkerchief on hand. Didn’t he give one to Geum Jan Di earlier?

‘Thank you for your honesty,’ Yi Jeong says gently. ‘I’m sure you wish to go comfort your friend, so we’ll end now, but please call us if you remember anything else.’

‘Thank you Detective So, Detective Song.’

Yi Jeong walks her out. When he returns I say, ‘That girl wears her emotions on her sleeve. If she was lying, she should be an actress.’

‘Please, she’s not nearly good-looking enough to be an actress.’

‘Yah,’ I say, ‘admit it. You thought she was cute. A prospect do you think?’

Yi Jeong acts nonchalant and gathers up the files from the table. ‘She’s a country bumpkin. Aish. I hate unsophisticated girls.’   

‘Thou doth protest too much brother,’ I say. I slap his back in a friendly gesture. ‘Just remember, no tampering with the witness while the case is open. Afterwards though, tamper away little buddy.’

Yi Jeong says nothing, but shoves me away.   

And you thought Chapter 3 would never end.

See F3 Reunite in…  

Chapter 4: The Best Friend

    • jimena
    • December 5th, 2011

    es perfecto se que no entienden mi idioma pero es perfect

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