The name of the Chinese restaurant was Wuk Wok Poo. It was located two-blocks south of Tufts Medical Center on the east side of Chinatown. There were three medical schools in Boston–Harvard, Tufts and Boston University. Harvard was located in the Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham Hospital complex off Huntington Avenue. It was a nice area of Boston. Huntington Avenue was known for its proximity to several colleges including the sprawling Northeastern University, Symphony Hall and the Boston Conservatory of Music. It was relatively safe to walk the sidewalks both day and night. Boston University School of Medicine was located around Albany Street in South Boston. The inhabitants were mostly low income Irish, Negroes and Hispanics. You risked life and limb walking the streets of this end of Massachusetts Avenue and East Concord Street. Tufts University Medical School was adjacent to the “Combat Zone” of Washington Avenue and included Boston’s Chinatown. Strolling through this area was also done at your own risk after midnight.
There were over 50 Chinese eating establishments ranging from the small take out places like Fung’s Brass Dragon’s Tongue to elegant restaurants with valet parking and strict dress codes such as The Fourth China Sea. The Wuk Wok Poo restaurant was a step down from The Fourth China Sea. There was valet parking and the dress code was defined as no admittance without a shirt and shoes. The sign did not say anything about pants but all patrons wore them anyway. The Wuk Wok Poo had two floors. When the first floor was filled, then the second level was opened for business. The second floor of the Wuk, as it was known to the regulars, also contained two small function rooms and a conference room with a single rectangular dining table covered with a bright red felt tablecloth. The fourteen red velvet upholstered chairs with black lacquered wood frames were arranged with one chair at each end of the rectangle and six chairs facing each other along its long axis. Businessmen and secret groups used this room for a private meal plus an undisturbed and secure meeting place. Dr. Sin Woo Boto dined here whenever he was in Boston on business for Hono Pharmaceuticals. He also reserved the small business room with its computer, conference call phone and projection facilities for internal Hono conferences. Occasionally, like now, a conference call was set up with Boto in Hong Kong and several Boston-based Chinese specialists. These specialists were not in the field of medicine and Boto was not referred to as Doctor Boto. He was addressed as General Boto.
“Good evening General Boto.” Ris Pong bowed his head as he spoke to the three-legged speakerphone in the center of the red tablecloth. The sound did not echo off the gold bamboo textured wallpaper or off of the tray ceiling with its indirect yellow lighting and ebony trimmed square edges. The air conditioning temperature was set at 70 degrees and right now none of the four security specialists was sweating. All four were in their early-thirties and wore casual clothing. The only common uniform was stonewashed black Levi jeans. Three of the men had T-shirts with different business logos on bright colored fields. Wing’s Green Lichees sponsored one owner’s red shirt and Pan’s Fortune Cookie Lucky Lottery Numbers was embossed in gold on a second attendee’s navy blue Tee. Their last names were Sin and Win respectively. The third man wore a black T-shirt with Chinese orange characters that translated into Hini’s Roach Kill Paste. His last name was Pin. Sin, Win and Pin were never referred to by their first names and both the General and Pong rarely addressed them by name. Ris Pong wore a short-sleeved tan shirt with two button-down pockets. One pocket contained his cell phone and the other a pen and a small switchblade knife with a hook shaped blade which was folded and locked. Ris Pong was the leader of the team.
“Good evening to you Major Pong.” Boto’s military voice projected from the center of the phone. “Are the other members present?”
“Yes General.” Pong nodded to the three black haired lean-muscled men who bowed their heads even though they could not be seen.
“Major, I would like to commend you and your men for the transcription of the surveillance tapes and for the tapes themselves.” Boto paused. “I must admit it came as a surprise that the Germans are interested in the effect of Dr. Patrini’s wonder drug on the heart. It gives me more of an incentive to follow Patrini and his laboratory workers very closely. It is possible that this muscle protein provides super strength from a combined heart strengthening and generalized muscle power increase.” Boto paused again. “I will be sending Dr. Lini Chin Fat to Boston to work with Dr. Patrini. Your orders are very simple. You must keep watch on Patrini and protect him from others who might steal his secrets. I am concerned about the German Dr Hardt. He has not yet made his move, but he is setting up a conference and bringing several Mannheit Pharma comrades over to the Brigham Hospital in one month’s time. Continue to monitor all telephone conversations at Patrini’s offices and at his home.”
“Yes, General.” Pong wiped the small beads of developing sweat from his thin black moustache. Pong was the only member of the four with a moustache. The others were clean-shaven. Like Ris Pong they had neatly trimmed tar black hair parted on the right side. “We have sent you all tape transcriptions but we have a new person we cannot identify. He has threatened the Patrini family with bodily harm. We do not know the reason.”
“Find out who he is and what his reasons are for violence directed to this man and his home.” It was a direct order. “In the meantime, I do not want the Doctor distracted. Reassure him indirectly that no harm will come to him or his family. I want a report daily, whether anything happens or not.”
Special soldier and Major in the People’s Republic of China, Ris Pong, had done just that. He had called Mrs. Yolanda Patrini at her work place. He hoped that it would lessen the external stress from the threatening message at her home. He was wrong.
Click Follow to receive emails when this author adds content on Bublish