|时间：2017-04-09 20:56:29｜人气：107 |
|When Lois and Tricia went to stay in the secret house, they made some adjustments in the arrangement of where each of the occupants would sleep. Frank moved out from the small room and slept in the den on the couch. Lois and Tricia used the small room for themselves, putting up a cot. Laura slept in one of the big bedrooms, which the other two girls occupied. They knew each other already and soon became good friends. Then Sally came to stay in the house. So Sally slept in the den while Frank had to transfer to the living room to sleep on the sofa. |
It was also illegal to have so many people sleeping in that house, but it was more important to keep it that way while they were taking care of things more seriously illegal to law and order, and more destructive to the communities.
One day, Lois was still asleep after the all night sleuthing work when her cell phone rang. Lois was alert even in sleep. She woke up to answer the call. It was from Mr. Chen.
“I called your home. It seemed that the phone was disconnected. I could never get through. I had to call your father at the video store to get your cell phone number,” he said.
“That''s all right,” said Lois. Then she told him about the occurrence at her house and at last asked if anything happened that he desired her knowledge.
“Yes,” he said. “My wife had a twin sister who married John Zi, which you were already aware of, I think. Before her sister died, she gave my wife her diary for safekeeping. She wished that my wife would read it after her death, but my wife didn''t want to pry into other people''s secrets, though they concerned her own twin sister. She has kept it for so many years without even touching it. Recently she told me that her sister often appeared in her dreams, as if she had something to tell her, but couldn''t do it in the dreams. So my wife took out the diary from the safekeeping place and started to read it. All her sister wrote about was John Zi. We think you''ll be interested in reading it.”
“Can you tell me on the phone what it’s all about?”
“It''s really a long story. You''d better read it for yourself.”
“Okay. I''ll come tomorrow.” She lay down again for some more sleep. Tricia was in a profound sleep and never disturbed by any noise, though she turned more than once.
In the evening after dinner, Lois nudged Sally to follow her to her room and told the other two girls about the phone call from Mr. Chen and about the diary.
“The diary can''t contain anything about the serial killing and the drug trade,” said Sally.
“But it may provide us with some kind of useful background about Mr. Zi and may lead us to find out something concrete against him, or Mr. Chen wouldn''t demand our attention,” said Lois.
The three girls arrived at Mr. Chen''s house in the morning. They directly indulged themselves in the perusal of the diary without standing much on social ceremony. It was virtually the excerpts from the diary. The deceased sister, before her death, had torn all the important pages from her diary and put them into a folder. That was what Mrs. Chen got and kept all these years. The first page dated back about twenty years ago.
Fortune often goes together with misfortune. The misfortune is that my parents died so unexpectedly in a car accident. I would mentally be prepared if they died of old age, though I would still bewail their death, but now it has torn my heart into pieces. Then I got half of their bequeathal, if that can be deemed as fortune, though it''s really a fortune given to me. I gave half of the half of my legacy to my husband, John Zi, who opened a Chinese restaurant. He works so hard and the business flourishes.
It is late, so late. John never comes back so late. It''s not like him. I''m worried.
He''s back at last at three in the morning, said he met a friend on the way back and they went to a bar to have a drink. Weird. John never goes to bars, never drinks or smokes, never even has close friends in Brasilia. We arrived here only a year ago.
When he wants to lie down on the bed, he doesn''t even change into his sleeping gown as usual until I remind him. What''s wrong with him? Is he my dear John?
He even has a little more muscle than before. Does drink cause muscles to bulge a bit? I don''t know. Drink is men''s stuff.
How can he change his manners, his habits overnight? The only things that haven''t transformed about him are his face and his voice, or I will definitely think he''s not my John. John was never rude to me, but after I remind him, he seems to improve.
Today I brought him to my sister''s house. He seemed surprised to see my twin sister, didn’t even recognize her husband. They are such good friends in addition to the relationship of brothers-in-law.
He changed our family room into his study and put a new lock on the door. He bought a safe to furnish his study. Now he does whatever he likes and never consults me like he usually did. He seems to have more strength and can lift a heavy square rosewood table alone. I always helped him before to move this table.
He often comes home late. When I ask him for the reason, he just tells me to go on sleeping. He seems to have a lot of money recently and bought me a diamond ring for our anniversary, of which I also reminded him a month ago lest he forget it like so many things. He forgets my birthday. He forgets so many things we shared before. He even forgets where we keep things.
We moved to America. We bought a house in Brooklyn, New York. We opened a restaurant here; the one in Brazil was sold. My sister and her husband moved with us to Brooklyn, too. They bought a house a few blocks away. My beloved sister just wants to keep close to me.
I begin to develop heart troubles, though not serious. I have to take medication regularly. John has opened another restaurant in the three months since we moved here. He never tells me where or how he gets the capital.
My heart disease develops quicker than I can imagine. Even the doctors are puzzled. John often gives me the medication himself and watches me swallow it, though he often says that he is busy and can''t keep me constant company. Sometimes I wonder if he gives me wrong medication, which makes my heart disease worse, but he''s my husband. Shouldn''t I trust in him?
Recently I had heart attacks and was sent to hospital twice. John seems very busy with his business. He hires a nurse to look after me, but whenever he''s around, he gives me medication himself as if he''s really concerned for my health.
There were more of the excerpts from the diary, but the sisters didn''t have time to read to the end. What they had already read was enough for them to have a general idea of what had happened twenty years before.
“Once your dad asked me why I wouldn''t accept a favor from this man,” Mr. Chen stated after the three girls finished the perusal. “It''s because after his wife died, whenever he came to my house, he flirted with my wife. My wife was furious and drove him away. Since I knew John never exercised kungfu, I wanted to give him a lesson one day, and we began to fight. I didn''t use my chi, but to my total surprise, I found that his kungfu was better than mine. Though he left soon, I was still in great wrath and ire so that when I was practicing, the chi jammed at my waist and as a result I was paralyzed.” He heaved a deep sigh.
“What happened to him later?” Lois asked.
“He suddenly moved away from Brooklyn and later I was told that he bought a mansion in Long Island. I haven''t had anything to do with him ever since.”
Lois thanked both Mr. and Mrs. Chen for confiding their family secrets with her, and the three girls bade them adieu.
From Michael, Lois learned the address of their new secret club, which was in the Bronx now. It had originally been a club. They just bought it and used it as a private club. The three sisters arrived there around midnight in a rental van. They were wearing catsuits. They parked their van right in front of the double doors. They crept out of it and Sally went ahead to push the door open, but it would not budge. So Sally had to knock at it. When the door was opened, Sally recognized the doorkeeper, his bulky build towering over her. The doorkeeper recognized the two girls, too, who had come to their old clubhouse in New Brunswick, New Jersey, and had been the sole reason for their club moving to the present location, though it was much better than the old one. Generally, big guys had more strength and less agility. So before he could react, he was jabbed by Sally at his Sleep Xue and fell on the floor with a heavy thud. The girls walked to the spacious hallway where a staircase curved up to the second floor. A guy on the second floor landing saw them and made a shrill whistle, a warning to his comrades. Then two guys rushed out from the right wing, wearing oxygen masks and holding two big cylinders. Seeing the cylinders, the girls quickly took out their oxygen masks from a large pocket in front of their chest and put them on their faces just as the misty sprays descended on them. When the two guys saw that their cylinders did not work this time, they threw the cylinders aside, tore off the masks and drew out their swords, which were carried on their backs. The girls put away their masks, too. Sally stepped up to them, loosening her long whip that was entwined round her waist. Lois jumped onto the second floor landing to fight the guy above. Seeing a girl jumping up at him, the guy flung daggers at her, two at a time. He had many daggers on a belt in front of his stomach. Although soaring in midair, Lois caught the hilts of the daggers and using them, she warded off the other daggers flying towards her in quick succession. Then she threw them back at the next pair of daggers coming her way. The two daggers clanked against the another two daggers the guy had slung. The four daggers met in midair and fell down on the floor. The guy wanted to get more daggers, but Lois already landed on the second floor. Another guy came out from a nearby room, holding an ax in his right hand. The guy who whistled whipped out another two daggers from behind his hips. Now Lois and Sally each fought against two guys.
Tricia went to the left wing of the club. She did not see anyone till she came to the cafeteria where three guys sat around a table, eating and drinking, talking and laughing. They did not hear the whistled warning. But when they saw Tricia coming in, they knew it was an intruder. They slung cans, bottles, whatever was on the table, at Tricia, who leaped onto a table two meters away, dodging all the ejections. One of the three guys took a folding knife from his pocket. He unfolded it and flung it at Tricia. Tricia kicked the knife, sending it back to pierce the guy in the shoulder before he had time to shirk. He pulled out the knife and blood followed. Another guy hit two xues on his shoulder to stop the bleeding and tore off one of his shirtsleeves and wrapped it on the wound. Since the wound was not serious, the guy could still fight. The three guys were closing in on Tricia. They used their chi to attack. Tricia sprang onto another table three meters away. Their chi hit the table and the chairs around it and shattered them to pieces. Standing on another table, Tricia clapped her hands as if in appreciation of the feat they had just performed. The guys flared up in censure and indignation and ejected their collective chi towards Tricia again. And again Tricia leaped onto still another table and the table she had stood on a while ago became the victim, together with the chairs surrounding it. The guys used their chi continually and Tricia played the same game with them, like a cat playing with some mice, till almost all the tables and chairs in the cafeteria were broken. The guys wasted much of their chi. Then Tricia counterattacked. She used both her hands to issue her chi. When her chi conflicted with their collective chi, the three guys were sent flying backward and falling supinely on the floor. Before they could get on their feet again, Tricia sprang up and glided in the air, emitting her chi through her fingers and thumbs. Ten whiffs of her chi hit the three guys on their Nonfunction Xues and Mute Xues. She landed on her feet and leaving them lying on the floor, she went to explore the rest of the club, smoothing her hair backwards with her right palm.
With a long whip in her hand, Sally got the upper hand. She fought with the two guys deliberately, chewing her habitual gum. She cracked her whip and entangled it round the left ankle of a guy, then jerked up and threw the guy to a distance of four meters away. The other guy wanted to cut her whip in two, but could not succeed because the whip was so tenacious and pliable that it would not take the cutting force. Sally circled his waist with the thin end of her whip and also jerked him up, hurling him to the side of his comrade. Sally waited there for the two guys to get up. When they approached and attacked again, Sally locked her whip with their swords and pulled with such force, aided by her chi filling the whip, that the two guys could no longer hold the swords and had to let go. She jerked her whip loose and sent the two swords flying upstairs towards the two guys fighting with Lois. These two guys, though disarmed, stood facing Sally and stretched out their hands to use their chi against her. Their chi was so weak, just like beginners. Sally churned her whip into circles against their chi, which was scattered into thin air when it met the whirls of the whip. Sally lashed out her whip and struck the Nonfunction Xues of the two guys with the tip of her whip. They became motionless where they stood, like two modern statues by an unknown artist. Sally had almost a whimsical urge to inscribe her name on their foreheads, claiming the art work as hers, but thinking better of it, she severed the pad of gum in half and stuck one half on each guy''s forehead.
The two guys fighting against Lois upstairs were brandishing the ax and daggers wildly at her. It was not easy to deal with, because they were not playing by the rules. Lois had to use her chi to keep them at a distance. When they advanced to attack, she shot out her chi with both her hands at them. Her chi was so strong that it sent them a few yards backwards. Then the guys advanced again and Lois did the same thing. The process repeated several times before the two swords came flying at these two guys. They used their weapons to fend off the flying swords and made the swords turn in Lois''s direction. Lois ducked her head to let the blades of the swords pass and snatched upward at the handles, catching them each in one hand. The two guys changed their strategy. They lay down on the floor and rolled up to Lois, wielding the ax and daggers to cut at her shins and ankles. If Lois jumped up, they would also jump up and cut at her shins and ankles. Since Lois was off the floor, it was difficult for her to change her position in midair and the guys were at an advantage and very possibly they could cut her shins or ankles. But Lois didn''t react as they had expected. She just thrust the two swords, tips down, straight into the floor, then gripping the handles, threw her feet upward, literally heels over head. She was standing upside down, holding onto the swords for support. Clang. Clang. Clang. The weapons of the guys hit the swords. The guys jumped to their feet, striking their ax and daggers at Lois''s head. But Lois had already put her feet down on the floor at the same time the guys had jumped up. She lifted the swords and parried off their ax and daggers. Now Lois was at an advantage over the guys, because the swords were longer. The guys knew that they could not win and turned to flee. Lois cast the swords at them. The sharp ends of the swords went into their shoulders with such force that they fell face down. Lois went to them to prick at their Nonfunction Xues.
The girls searched the whole club and found no more people inside. They didn''t know when they were fighting that one guy did not appear, escaping instead through the back exit; and that other normal employees, like the cook and his assistants, had fled, too. In a wine cellar, they found some boxes in which they discovered bags of cocaine. So they called the local police precinct.
Before the police came, they undid the Nonfunction Xues, the Mute Xues and the Sleep Xues on the eight guys, but Lois jabbed at the Null-Kungfu Xue of each of them, so they were no longer kungfu people and could not easily escape from the local jail. Tricia and Sally stood aside to watch Lois delete kungfu from the thugs. They could not help with this. To achieve this, one must have enough force and skill on the fingertip. Only a master or one on a half-master level like Lois could do this.
When the police came, the girls showed them their ID''s and explained everything. Then the police took over and the girls left.
“We don''t really need to rent a van,” Sally said when they were on their way back. Now Sally had time to put a gum into her mouth again. In the excitement of fighting she didn''t even think of it.
“Since we couldn''t find anything illegal for the police, we must take all the guys we got on our hands and store them in our secret house. That''s why we need a van,” explained Lois. “Okay. I got an idea. It''s only two o''clock now. We can go to another place to make the best use of the van and its rental cost. What about that?”
“Good idea!” exclaimed Sally, putting up her thumb at Lois.
“Where will we go next?” asked Tricia, combing back her hair with her fingers.
“All places that belong to the Black Panther are of no more use to us. We are going to the Jack''s lair to retrieve Frank''s car,” said Lois.
Tricia okayed it and Sally was simply excited at the prospect that she had another fight to undergo.
They parked the van a few houses away. They found the unmarked police car that Sam sent there to watch over the house. They went past the car without disturbing the plainclothes cop inside who was drinking coffee and listening to the pop music on the car radio.
The girls approached the house, Lois and Sally from the front and Tricia from around the back. They noticed that Frank''s car was still in the driveway. Sally stood before the front door and listened for a while. There was absolute silence within. She picked the lock and opened the door. She slipped inside and crouched beside the wall. Lois still stayed outside. Sally took out a flashlight and flicked it on. No one in the living room. When nothing happened, Lois came in. Tricia entered by the back door. The girls searched the first floor and the basement and no one was seen. They went upstairs. It seemed that there were three bedrooms upstairs. Each of the girls tiptoed to one of the three rooms. Everyone listened before the door, then pushed it open and rolled into it to shun possible attack. One room was empty. The other two rooms each had a guy sleeping there, both dead drunk. Tricia recognized Jack as one of the guys. The other guy was the big one fighting with them in New York, using the long whip, which now became Sally''s trophy. Though they were drunk, Lois still poked on their Null-Kungfu Xues. Sometimes kungfu will make over-ambitious persons go astray on the life path. Tricia and Sally each grabbed a guy and dragged him downstairs to the living room. Lois went to get the van. Tricia looked for the key to Frank''s car. Sally said loudly, “Hello, Sam. We need no more cops to watch over this house. The guys are our captives now. See you later, alligator.”
“Are you crazy, Sally?” Tricia whispered. She found the key tossed on the coffee table and then retrieved the bug she had planted from somewhere above the window frame. Lois stopped the van in front of the house. Tricia and Sally each picked up a guy and carried him to the van. They opened the van''s back door and threw the guys in, then closed it. Sally went to sit in the front seat. Tricia drove Frank''s car. They headed for their secret house in New Jersey.