Song Lang was pacing back and forth in Peng Sijue's office. Time was passing by, and he was waiting for news from Lin Qiupu.
At this time, Lin Qiupu called and informed him excitedly, "Captain, we found a banknote with the corresponding serial number in a supermarket in front of Li Qiang’s residence."
"Okay, great, hurry up and bring it back immediately!"
Peng Sijue made a gesture and seemed to have something to say. Song Lang covered the phone’s receiver. Peng Sijue said, "A banknote cannot be decisive evidence. The circulation of banknotes are very high. Even if Li Qiang's fingerprints are found on it, his future lawyer will be able to find plausible explanations for it."
Song Lang reflected on Peng Sijue's opinion, and said over the phone, "Little Lin, no need to hurry back. You need to find more. The more the better."
After hanging up the phone, Song Lang said, "Little Lin is a serious kid. If even he can’t find the banknotes at Li Qiang's house, the banknotes are definitely not there, but Li Qiang couldn’t have spent it all in a matter of days."
"Didn't Li Qiang owe loan sharks money? He would have used it to repay the debts!" Peng Sijue said.
"No, no, this money concerns life and death. If I were him, I wouldn’t let the money be tracked down by the police in any way. I would definitely hide it..." Song Lang muttered. "The murder weapon was something He Jun carried with him. Li Qiang had no chance of getting this knife. Only He Jingjing could have done it. This father and daughter pair are accomplices. They must have been in contact with each other... Oh yes, hiding the money with He Jingjing is the safest. Old Peng, come make a trip down with me!"
"Can't you find someone else? I have something else to do!"
"Hurry up! Time is running out. Bring your identification tools."
Peng Sijue looked helpless and had no choice but to accompany him.
The two drove to the Taiyang pawn shop. He Jun was cleaning up the mess left by the group of people in the morning. His head was wrapped in bandages, probably because of the injuries he had sustained. He said irritably, "You invited me to drink tea at the bureau yesterday, and invited Jingjing to have tea today. Your investigation is so efficient. Why hasn't she come back yet?!"
"It's possible that she won't be able to come back today." Song Lang said.
"What do you mean?!" He Jun widened his eyes. "She broke the law?"
"We’ll naturally inform you of these things when our investigation is completed. I have something to ask you. Has Li Qiang been here after September 2nd?"
"Li Qiang?" He Jun took some time to recall. "That infamous debt dodger? What would he be doing here? Anyway, I didn't see him."
It seemed as though He Jun didn’t know about the relationship between Li Qiang and He Jingjing at all.
"Has He Jingjing hid anything?"
"I don’t know."
"Let's go to her bedroom and have a look."
Song Lang had a search warrant, and He Jun couldn’t stop him. He could only let the two of them enter He Jingjing’s room. Her bedroom was on the second floor. It was a very ordinary room. There was only a TV in the room, but no computer. They could see many branded clothes and bags when they opened the closet, but on a closer look, they were all high-end fakes.
"You gave these to her?" Song Lang asked He Jun.
"He Taiyang bought them. How could I buy these fakes... Hey, where’s the LV bag I gave Jingjing? Surely, He Taiyang couldn’t have sold it, could he?!"
"It seems that He Taiyang loved this 'daughter' very much."
"He only had one daughter after all."
Song Lang carefully checked the bed, cabinets, drawers and even the floorboards. Peng Sijue also checked some places with identification equipment, but found nothing.
He Jun became impatient and asked them to leave. Song Lang said, "You go outside for a while!"
"What if you steal Jingjing’s things?"
"If I'm really so cheap, you can go and lodge a complaint against me. Losing my job over a fake? I must really take things lightly!"
He Jun left reluctantly and went back to his room to lift some barbells.
Song Lang sat down by the bed and lit a cigarette. Peng Sijue said, "Aiya, aiya, don't smoke here!" Then he handed him an ashtray.
Song Lang smoked a cigarette drearily, thinking. "He Taiyang and Madam He's room is now vacant. Is it possible that the money is hidden there?"
Peng Sijue took a look at his watch, "You can search, but at our speed, by the time you find it, the two of them would have been released."
It would be 6:00 in the evening in another hour. Song Lang was a little anxious. If a person wanted to hide something, they would never put it in an ordinary place. This house was very big, and many crevices could hide a million.
And one million could be broken into smaller amounts and hidden in different places. For example, in movies, money is often hidden in the bathroom’s water tank.
Thinking of this, Song Lang rushed out. At the end of the corridor was a shared toilet and bathroom. Song Lang lifted the water tank’s lid expectantly, but there was nothing inside. Peng Sijue walked in soon after. Song Lang said, "Go find a screwdriver and take apart the water heater to take a look."
"Are you crazy? The person who hid the money is a woman who lives in someone else's house. She doesn’t have the ability to do it."
"One million makes such a high stack. Where could so much money be hidden?!"
"Dug a pit and buried it?"
"Impossible. From the time of the incident to the present, the police have been visiting very frequently. He Jingjing has no time to take the money out... Could it be that the money has disappeared? Yes, money is made of paper, and it could have been burned in a fire!"
"You mean the one million yuan was burned? Then what was the motive for the murder?"
"He Jingjing can get over a million. She’s already He Taiyang's daughter in the household register. She can inherit everything here." Song Lang walked out energetically, and his long windbreaker billowed behind him.
He ran to the kitchen and backyard to search. Time was running out. He searched roughly and made a mess wherever he went.
He found an old charcoal basin in a corner of the backyard and took it down. There were some paper ashes inside. Peng Sijue carefully picked them up with tweezers, looked at them with a magnifying glass for a moment and exclaimed, "They’re paper money!"
"What did I say?!" Song Lang smiled confidently.
Lin Qiupu felt a lot of admiration. First of all, for Song Lang's judgment, followed by admiration for the suspect's "boldness" in resolutely burning a huge sum of one million yuan.
"But can these be used as evidence?"
"I'll leave it to you. Call more people over. It would be better if you can find the box that contained the money."
"It's easy for you to say." Peng Sijue sighed and took on this arduous task.
Song Lang rushed back to the bureau with the ash remnants that still had recognizable serial numbers. Lin Qiupu had also returned already. He had found five banknotes from restaurants and supermarkets near Li Qiang’s home. The results were better than Song Lang had expected. Song Lang spent some time praising him.
When he got to the interrogation room again, He Jingjing had already become impatient from waiting. "Officer Song, can I go now? How long do you want to delay this?"
"Sorry, you can't leave now. Is there a charcoal basin in your yard?"
He Jingjing suddenly widened her eyes, already understanding what Song Lang was about to say.
Song Lang put the ashes on the table, "After our careful search, we discovered that you have handled the thorny problem of one million yuan for Li Qiang using a very simple and crude way. What else do you have to say?"
He Jingjing frowned, "I don't believe there would be fingerprints if it was burnt like this!"
"We’re still investigating this, but you can't leave right now."
"What do you think you burned? This is RMB!"
1. Also slang for deadbeat in certain regions.
2. The author wrote Lin Qiupu, but I’m of the belief that it’s Peng Sijue as they should be the only two at the scene. That is, unless the author is referencing the admiration Lin Qiupu felt later on when he finds out, which has happened before.
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