GORO OSHIRO HAD NO TROUBLE putting the caper out of his mind once he gave Nara his instructions. He was sure Nara was the type of man who would do as he was told for a chance to earn two million yen and disappear. It was the perfect plan, and it would work. Of that he was certain.
Oshiro had no trouble falling asleep the night of the robbery. He was deep in slumber when his wife shook him.
“Goro, someone’s at the front door!”
He dreamt he heard her.
She pinched his arm.
Now he was up, on his feet, and sleepily answering the door.
A fresh-faced police officer asked if he was Goro Oshiro.
“Yes,” he said, instantly thinking one of his taxis was in a collision.
The other man asked if he owned a copier repair shop. He wore a baggy brown suit, blue shirt frayed at the collar, and a tie loose around the neck. In the dim light the man looked like a ghost.
Oshiro’s apprehensive “yes” led to a request for a trip to the repair shop. Something had happened.
Oshiro covered his face and yawned, as if still asleep. But it was shock. “Copier repair shop” rang through his head. His bowels nearly emptied where he stood.
He excused himself to dress.
Shushing his wife’s sleepy questions, telling her it was nothing, just a problem with a taxi he had to look into personally, promising to be home by breakfast, Oshiro dressed quietly and quickly. He reached for the clothes his wife had laid out for him before retiring: a simple gray suit, loafers buffed to high gloss, his crimson and gray tie perfectly knotted, and a matching stiff mesh fedora.
As he dressed he knew he had to appear calm and pretend he knew nothing of what was happening, for his wife’s sake as well as the police.
He was out the door and walking with the police officers to their patrol car and making every attempt to remain calm and think clearly. As he rode in the predawn darkness, he corralled his thoughts while blinking at the black moonless night outside the car window.
“Nara was supposed to take the package,” he memory told him. “The job should have been as simple as one, two, three. If there was a problem at the copier repair shop, maybe Nara had done something foolish and got caught.”
If that was true, then the scheme was ruined before it ever started.
He had to find out what happened, but not seem too eager. He could not tip his hand that he knew anything about a robbery. Oshiro decided to listen to what the police had to say and pretend to be shocked, or thoughtful, or whatever was appropriate, then decide what to do.
He had to.
It was the only way.
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