48 Hours a Day
Chapter 241 - The Threat Against Eugene
Neither persuasion nor bribe were effective, and there was no way to employ direct force. Carina looked at Zhang Heng who was next to her, wondering if he had any idea about what else they could do.
Zhang Heng sat very still, not saying a word, sitting as silently as a rock on the couch.
After a while, another carriage arrived at the door.
Drew looked puzzled. “Mister Buffon has arrived earlier than usual this time.”
However, when the vehicle stopped, it was a pale-faced young man who alighted. Blinded by the sunlight, he reached out a hand to shield his face.
Drew’s expression changed abruptly upon seeing the man and he rushed to close the door to the house. But the young man quickly recovered and when he saw Drew and Carmen, he quickly moved towards the door. But his body moved as if it was hollow, his footsteps faint-he had only taken two steps forwards and already he was gasping for air.
Carmen said to Drew, looking rather annoyed, “Drew, go help him.”
Drew was reluctant but it was his master’s instruction so had no other choice but to walk up to the man and put on a smile. “Mister Gary…”
But before he could say any more, the latter pushed him away and spat impatiently. “Don’t block my way.”
As the young man walked into the house, he said to Carmen, “I’ve been tight on money lately. Give me another sum of money.”
Even though Carina was unhappy with Carmen’s reluctance to cooperate, this young man’s haughtiness was just too much. She had never seen anyone ask for money so righteously. And from his appearance, Carina could tell that he had been smoking way too much opium.
Carmen’s smile was visibly forced. “Wait a minute, Gary. Let me deal with the matter here, and send these guests away first, then we’ll talk.”
“Why? Am I keeping you from making money?”
As soon as the young man had finished talking, he received a hard slap across the face. Carmen could not hold back the anger bubbling inside her anymore. Her chest rose and fell violently in tempo with her fury.
Carina’s eyes widened in surprise. She turned to Zhang Heng and whispered, “This is the friend you found. Who is he?”
“Carmen’s late husband’s younger brother. He has no purpose other than to cause trouble. Carmen’s late husband had asked her to take care of his little brother. Contrary to what most people believe, Carmen had a very good relationship with her husband. If her husband had not passed away too soon, she would not have chosen to make money this way. By the way, he is not my friend. My friend is behind him.”
An elderly gentleman with a pipe wedged between his fingers walked into the house. He took off his hat and greeted Carmen, then turned to nod at Zhang Heng.
“Klay King. Owner of a brothel,” said the old man, smiling.
Carmen could sense that something was amiss. “What is the reason for your visit, Mister Klay?”
“Oh, Miss Carmen, please take care of Mister Gary’s recent expenditures for him.”
“That’s a total of 720 gold coins.”
“How is this possible?” Carmen laughed in frustration. “How long did he stay in your brothel? Even if he was there for three months, it wouldn’t have cost that many gold coins.”
“Of course, I’m just a representative. The 720 gold coins not only includes Mister Gary’s spending at my place, but also at the gambling house and tobacco house… Oh, and this is bill signed by Mister Gary. Mister Gary here can verify them,” Klay said, offering the bill.
Carmen took the paper and quickly glanced through it. Then she turned to Zhang Heng and asked, “Is this your doing?”
Zhang Heng made no attempt to deny it. “The day of repayment is today. If it is overdue, Mister Gary will be sold to the mines where he will work to pay off the debt. The decision is yours, Mrs. Smith.”
The Zhang Heng today was very different from the one who had just arrived on the island. Jackdaw was now the most powerful pirate gang in Nassau. Zhang Heng no longer had to fight on his own as he did, and his network had also expanded; although only he and Billy, and a few others could be trusted to handle crucial matters such as dealing with Malcolm, in small matters such as dealing with Carmen, Clay and some others were more than happy to assist.
Carmen shook with rage. There was no way she could pay up such a large sum of money immediately; not to mention that she never liked Gary much. She was tempted to use this opportunity to solve the trouble that was her brother-in-law, but when she thought about her late husband’s request, her heart softened again. She and Smith never had children, and this was Smith’s only dying request.
No matter how much she despised Gary, she could not bear the thought of seeing him being sold to the mines.
Zhang Heng repeated, “There is no rivalry between Mister Eugene and I. On the contrary, we also want to help him solve his long-standing troubles. You probably have heard about the situation between the black-market alliance and me, and know my position.”
Carmen fell silent. After a while, she heaved a deep sigh. “I know what you want to know. But if I tell you, will you release Gary?”
Zhang Heng nodded. “You have my word.”
Not wanting to be involved in the rivalry between Jackdaw and the black-market alliance, Klay did not stay to listen to the conversation. He patted Gary on the shoulder and smiled. “Let’s go. There’s an interesting new program back at the shop. Don’t you want to give it a try?”
“Really?” Gary looked surprised. “Is it specially prepared for me?”
“Yeah. The girls miss you a lot.”
Gary rubbed his palm together. “Then what are we waiting for? Let’s go!”
Since Carmen had agreed to deal with his debts, he completely lost interest in her. He did not even thank her on his way out.
But that was not surprising to Carmen at all. After she had Drew brew a fresh pot of tea for her two guests, she said, “Eugene has an illegitimate child. Did you know that?”
Carina replied, “We heard that his relationship with Eugene is not great, and that he left Nassau when he was very young.”
“Eugene still cares a lot about the child. He spent a lot of money hiring people to search for that child.”
“Did they find him?”
Carina nodded. “They did. The child entered the navy academy and graduated four years ago. He was a very young officer. When he saw that his son was doing well, Eugene kept his distance, not wanting to bother him. Until one day, Malcolm found Eugene and used that child to threaten him.”
“How did Malcolm do it?”
“Before the child left Nassau, he found work on a pirate ship very briefly-only about two weeks. But during that period of time, they robbed a cargo ship carrying cotton. The group of pirates killed the captain, the first officer and some sailors who resisted. Only five or six people were spared. Among them, two were rescued by a passing merchant ship and survived. Now, they are working under Malcolm.”