Volume 48: Lin Qiupu, The Newcomer
A scream broke the tranquillity of the alley at night. Two patrolling policemen followed the sound and rushed over. They saw a man lying on the ground with a shiny steel knife stuck in his back, and a pale girl standing next to him, biting her fingernails nervously.
"Dead... dead!" the girl stammered.
"Sir, sir!" The policeman, Little Lin, shook the man on the ground, and his patrolling partner, Dachang reminded him, "Don't shake him. Check whether he’s breathing first."
The young policeman put his hand under the nose of the corpse, then retracted it as though he had suffered an electric shock and said in surprise, "No breathing at all. Just like a dead person."
"Isn't that a dead person?!" Dachang almost laughed out loud. Making a fool of himself in front of outsiders, this newcomer was really terrible.
Little Lin remembered something, and tried his best to wipe the back of the deceased with his sleeve. Dachang hurriedly stopped him. "What are you doing?! Stop that."
"No, I just touched the body with my hand. If I leave my fingerprints on it, won't it affect the identification work?"
"You can’t wipe it. What if the fingerprints of the real murderer are on it? Is this the first time you’ve seen a dead person?!"
Little Lin said shyly, "This is my first time."
"Haii, I give up." Dachang said to the girl next to him. "He’s new. It’s his first day on the job. How embarrassing. Were you the one who found the corpse?"
"Yes, I walked by here after I got off the night shift and saw someone on the ground. At first, I thought it was a drunk person, but when I saw a knife in his back, I couldn't help but scream."
"Leave us your contact information. We may look for you again."
"There’s no need for this, right? I just walked into this alley less than a minute ago and didn't see anything suspicious."
In the end, Dachang took down her number anyway and called headquarters to report it.
The two were guarding the scene. Little Lin looked at the corpse intently without blinking. Dachang poked him with his arm. "Don't look, it's just a dead person. I’ve seen a scene more bloody than this. It was the bombing case last time. Blood and minced flesh covered the scene and a piece of intestines even hung on the ceiling fan and swirled around. Everything inside had been flung out."
Little Lin gulped down a mouthful of saliva. "As criminal policemen, do we have to see these things every day?"
"Haha, what do you think? Normally, it’s all minor cases. Some people say that criminal police work is dangerous. In fact, if you continue doing it, you will find that it’s more boring than dangerous."
"I don’t think it’s boring!"
"It’s because it’s your first day. You’ll know how boring it is after some time… What do you think this person does?"
Little Lin carefully observed the clothes on the corpse. The deceased was about sixty years old. He was well-proportioned and seemed to have good living habits. He was wearing a black woollen coat, a hat, and his wrists had ligature marks.
"He's a rich man. Perhaps he was a veteran cadre or something. He may have worn a watch and was robbed of it. This is most likely a robbery-cum-murder."
"Why did the murderer leave the knife here?"
"Nervousness, it may have been their first time, or someone was coming."
"Young fellow, you’re very good at thinking." Dachang praised.
"Brother Chang, am I right?"
"How do I know if you’re right? I came together with you."
There was the sound of a police siren at the entrance of the alley. Little Lin quickly straightened up, and saw a man in a brown trench coat walking up with a cigarette in his mouth. There were police officers and forensic technicians behind him. He was very awe-inspiring. Little Lin was envious. This is what the police should be like.
"How many times have I told you not to smoke at the crime scene!" Peng Sijue reminded him.
"You don’t let me smoke in the car and there’s no smoking at the scene. Do you want me to die?!" the man responded.
"The newcomer is watching. Have you forgotten that you’re the captain again?!"
The man shrugged helplessly and put out the cigarette in the tin box that Peng Sijue handed him. Peng Sijue carefully fastened it to prevent soot from falling on the scene.
The captain turned his head to look at Little Lin and asked, "You’re new?"
Little Lin hurriedly saluted. "My name is Lin Qiupu. Police number is XXXX. This is my first day on the job. I wanted to greet the captain in the morning, but you weren’t in the bureau."
"Haha, I was sleeping in this morning."
"You must... you must have worked late last night."
"No, I just wanted to sleep in. Don't copy me, otherwise you will have your salary deducted!"
The captain went to look at the corpse, and Peng Sijue, who was following him, said helplessly to Lin Qiupu, "Captain Song is very unrestrained. You’ll get used to it."
"It’s fine. I’ve attended his criminal investigation techniques class at the police academy. He is my idol!" Lin Qiupu said bashfully.
"He’s very different from what you imagined, right?!" Peng Sijue smiled.
Song Lang didn't wear gloves, and gestured towards the corpse. He pondered for a moment, then looked up at the sky again. Then he walked directly past the corpse towards the other side of the alley. Only then, did Peng Sijue and the others begin to survey the scene.
Song Lang waved from the other end of the alley, "Come here, newcomer!"
"You’re calling me?" Lin Qiupu was as excited as if he was a concubine the emperor had chosen to bestow his favor upon.
His partner, Dachang said, "Apart from you, who else is a newcomer?"
Lin Qiupu ran over and Song Lang asked, "Do you smoke?"
"Uh... I don't smoke."
"Okay, the lighter was left in the car, and I have to go back and get it."
Lin Qiupu quickly took out a lighter from his pocket, lit it, and offered it to him with both hands. Song Lang smiled and took out a cigarette. "You’re not honest. You clearly smoke!"
Lin Qiupu, who had been exposed, looked ashamed.
Song Lang exhaled a puff of smoke and asked, "How old are you?"
"Police officers are getting younger and younger nowadays, but it's no wonder since you have a sister who is still in school and you want to earn money to support her."
Lin Qiupu's eyes widened. "You... How did you know!?"
"Your underwear is very old and there are patches on your socks. It seems that your family’s financial situation isn’t good. The lighter you handed over just now had the words "Haidilao" on it. That place is expensive and doesn’t seem to be a place you would patronize, so I guessed that you’ve most likely worked there before. It may have been from this summer. This was inferred from the residual amount of lighter gas. In addition, you have a girl’s scent on your body. Your clothes may have been placed together with a girl’s clothes for a long period of time. Excluding a cohabiting girlfriend, I think a younger sister is more likely."
"You’re too amazing. No wonder everyone says you’re a legend in the police world!" Lin Qiupu was full of admiration.
"It's an undeserved reputation. So-called reasoning is just big data statistics. I'm talking about high-probability events. It's just good luck that I was right. It's not as miraculous as you think."
"Were you considering the case just now?"
"No, I was just feeling the atmosphere at the scene and tried to recreate the crime. What I can see with my eyes is far inferior to the expert’s appraisal results. The investigation of cases isn’t based on flashes of epiphany, but on detailed and thorough investigation. There are no geniuses in this line of work."
Lin Qiupu took out a small notebook to record down Song Lang's words. Song Lang asked in surprise, "What are you doing?"
"Writing down what you said!"
"Can you stop saying 'you'? I'm just a few years older than you."
"You’re my idol!"
"Haha, I can’t bear the responsibility of being an idol. I’m your captain. In the future, I will often lecture you, order you about, and tease you!"
Lin Qiupu respectfully saluted. "Roger, Captain Song!"
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