Twisting Dagger Chapter Eight
      Paul watched Eddie pace back and forth in rage.  Eddie knew it was hard for Paul to see him like this, that he was probably worried Eddie might be getting ready to do something dangerous.  It had crossed Eddie’s mind, more than once.

     “Eddie,” Paul said, “I’m telling you.  Don’t even think what I know you’re thinking.  Let the police handle this.”

     Eddie almost laughed to know that he’d been right.  Paul was worried and he would keep saying it until Eddie listened.  That’s what he hoped anyway.  But Eddie wasn’t in any frame of mind to listen.

     “You have to be reasonable,” Paul said.  “That’s what the police are here for.  They know what they’re doing.”

     “Stop,” Eddie said, turning on him.  “I don’t want to hear no more.”

     There was a knock at the door of the trailer.  Paul quickly answered, clearly annoyed at the interruption until he saw Philip.

     “Philip,” he said, “maybe you can talk some sense into him.  He won’t listen to me.  He’s not talking.  Tell him to let the police handle this.”

     Philip stared him down, convinced that Paul had called the FBI.  He didn’t like it because it was going to complicate things. 

     “Take a hike,” he said.  “I’ll talk to him.”

     His tone was sharp and Paul stepped back, his mouth open in surprise at being spoken to in that manner.  But Philip wasn’t in the mood to be nice. 

     “Out,” he said.

     Paul left the trailer, slamming the door after him.

     “I don’t want to hear it,” Eddie said, his back rigid, his hands balled into fists.

     “I didn’t say anything,” Philip said.

     Eddie turned to face him, his face flushed from anger.

     “But I know what you thinking.  I don’ care.  Enough’s enough.  Somebody trying to ruin me.  I don’ know who.  I don’ know why, but…I inten’ to find out.”

     His accent had deepened and his English was more broken than it had ever been, a clear sign of his distress.

     “I know that,” Philip said.

     “Then don’ stan’ in my way.”

     “Who said I was going to?”  Philip sat down on the arm of the couch and crossed his arms.  It was a defensive gesture and he was feeling defensive.  “I know what you want to do.  I think I’ve a pretty good grasp of the kind of man you are.  But I won’t let you go alone.  That’s why I’m here.  You hired me to do a job.  I told you in the beginning.  I’ll do it no matter what.”

     Eddie didn’t say anything and after a moment, his posture relaxed.  Philip saw the rage drain out of his face as he sank onto a chair by the table.

     “Did you know the FBI is on their way?” Philip asked.

     Eddie shook his head, genuinely surprise.  There was a trace of fear and Philip understood why.  If they were being watched, the FBI’s presence could escalate matters.  His reaction satisfied Philip that he hadn’t known or been consulted before the FBI had been summoned.

     “I just had a long talk with Tony,” he said.  “He said the Feds are sending someone out here to take over and that they’ve already contacted your family.”

     That brought Eddie back to his feet and the anger back to his face.

     “They did what?”  He nearly shouted.  “Gei si a?  Why didn’t they inform me?”

     “Good question,” Philip said.  “And who contacted them?  Tony wouldn’t say.  I have a pretty good idea.”

     “Paul,” Eddie said.

     “Yeah,” Philip said.  “I think so, too.  He’s concerned and I understand that, but calling in the FBI could get someone killed.”

     “We’re being watched,” Eddie said. 

     “Probably,” Philip said.  “Maybe.  We don’t know and I don’t like taking chances.  The first sign of a suit and things could go bad in a hurry.  The good thing is, if they’ve contacted your family, then they’re covered.”

     “I don’ like this,” Eddie said.  “I should have been consulted.”

     Philip had no argument there.  Eddie should have been consulted before any move was made by anyone.  It was his life and the lives of his wife and son.  It was for him to make the decision whether to call for more firepower.  Now he’d been left fully exposed on his own.  If something happened to anyone, Eddie would feel the weight of it.

     “What about the police?”  Eddie asked.

     “They aren’t my concern,” Philip said.  “You are.  I don’t care what they do.  I don’t care what the Feds do.  My only concern is what you do from this moment, and whatever that is, I intend to watch your back.”

     “You understand?” Eddie asked.  “This is something I have to do.  This movie is over.  It cost millions to recover what is already lost.  Everything is gone.  For what?  Whoever is behind this isn’t satisfied to destroy my movie.  They want to destroy me.  They want to make me suffer.  My son is all I have.  They’ve gone too far.  They threaten me, I don’t care.  They threaten my family, my friends; I care a lot.”

     Philip was glad to see Eddie had calmed down.  His English was back to normal.  It was important that Eddie keep a clear head. 

     “They’ll be alright,” Philip said.  “We’ll make sure of that.  I promise.”

     “What about Tony?”  Eddie asked.

     “Don’t worry about Tony,” Philip said, still stinging from his earlier conversation at the police station.  “I’ll deal with him when the time comes.”

     “You sure about this?” Eddie asked.

     “I told you,” Philip said, “It’s my job to keep you safe, not tell you what to do.  I may offer advice and hope you take it, but whether you do or not, that’s up to you.”

     That seemed to satisfy Eddie who grinned and started pacing, his hands stuck in his pockets.  Philip could hear the change and keys jingling.

     “Where do we start?”  Eddie asked.

     “The first thing we’ve got to do is figure out the who and why,” Philip said.  “Can you think of anyone…anything that might be behind the sabotage?”

     Eddie continued to pace.  The jingling in his pockets grew louder as he became more agitated. 

     “Somebody wants to stop this movie,” he said.  “Why?”

     Suddenly he turned to Philip.

     “Tha’s it,” he said.  “Tha’s the key.  The movie.  They don’ wan’ the movie to succeed.”

     “Calm down,” Philip said.  “Why do you say that?  Think it through.”

      “They wan…want it to bust,” Eddie said.  “To take a loss.  If it doesn’t get made, I lose money.  Somebody is paying them…”

      “Them?”  Philip asked.  “Them who?  Who are they?  We have to find out who’s behind this.”

     “Yes,” Eddie said.  “Dim gaai a…but why?  Why does somebody pay not to have a movie…”

     “This is an American movie,” Philip said.  “Another hit, more than likely.  You’re getting established here.”

     “Jealousy?”  Eddie asked.  “That doesn’t make sense.”

      Philip shook his head.  “No, not jealously.  It isn’t the American industry that’s behind this.  They want you to get established here.  You’re a big name and would make them a lot of money.  Think.”

     Eddie just stared at him.  He was thinking.  Philip saw it in his eyes, and Eddie didn’t like what he was thinking.  He didn’t want to say it, but it’s the only thing that made sense.

     “You’re a leading force in the Hong Kong market,” Philip said.  “And that market is struggling.  Why?”

     “Piracy,” Eddie said. 


     “Few movies are being made,” Eddie said.

     “Because of the cost,” Philip said.

     “Because of the piracy,” Eddie said. 

     “Right,” Philip said.  “You’re a big draw.  Your movies are important.  But, if you continue making movies over here…”

     “The money stays here,” Eddie said.

     “Whoever is behind this,” Philip said, “is trying to drive you back to Hong Kong, to keep you there.  So, whoever paid the American backers and producers to take the loss.”

     Eddie closed his eyes tight and Philip saw the pain of the betrayal on his face.  This was a dagger in his back and it went deep.  He was being used, manipulated, and controlled by the industry he helped build. 

     “Langley,” Eddie said in a low voice.  “It’s Langley I want.”

     Philip had to agree.  Arthur Langley, the Producer. He’d specifically asked that Eddie make this movie.  He’d practically begged him to.  Eddie agreed because he liked the script, but he and Langley hadn’t hit it off.  According to Eddie, they had argued about everything from day one, and their quarrels turned violent a couple of times, yet Langley refused to let go of the project.  He had, however, made certain that he was unavailable anytime anything happened and Eddie called him.

     “What do we do?” Eddie asked.

     He’d grown very quiet, almost too quiet.  The calm before the storm, Philip thought. 

     “We find Langley,” he said.

     “He’s here,” Eddie said.  “He arrived this morning to talk to Paul and the crew.  I think he’s here to call the movie off.”

     “Good,” Philip said.  “It fits that he’s put in an appearance.  There’s nothing more they can do to hurt the movie because the Feds are involved.  They’ve already taken all the equipment and film.  If they stick around, they’ll get caught and they know it.

     “So what do we do?” Eddie asked.

     “We follow him,” Philip said.  “He’ll take us to whoever is behind this and maybe even to where they’ve hidden everything.  We get these guys, you finish this movie.  You’ve too much invested in it.”

     “Maybe,” Eddie said.  “I’ll worry about that later.  Right now, all I care about is getting to the bottom of this.  Let’s go get Langley.”


kt6550   kt6550 wrote
on 5/29/2009 8:10:17 PM
Moving along!

Novel / Novella
writing shwangltd
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