The small sign said: C.T. CHANG. Potions, nostrums, and pills.
Lt. Noonan, of the LAPD, opened the door, and the lights came on. He was in a small room. There was a table, some chairs, a sofa, a TV, and a big dog house.
A door in the back opened, and a little Chinese man dressed in red silk robes, came in.
“Are you Mr. C. T. Chang?”
“Yes. What you want?”
“I’m Lt. Noonan, of the LAPD Bunko Squad. I’d like to ask you some questions.”
“Don’t own Bunco. Have Sony Flat screen. Good price. Very happy.”
”No, Bunko artists, are Flim Flam artists.”
“Don’t understand Flim Flam art Like Chinese art. Old Ming vase and tea sets. Very nice.”
“No, no. A Bunko artist will sell you fake medicine, and pills.”
“Why he do that? Can get real pills at drugstore. But much cheaper at WalMart.”
“Mr. Chang, your sign says, that you have potions, nostrums, and pills.”
“Yes. You read very good. What you want?”
“I want to look around.”
“You need search warrant, you look around.”
“I only want to take a casual look around.”
“Then you need casual search warrant. You have?”
“No, but I’ll be back with one, tomorrow morning.”
“OK, Mr. Chang, here is your search warrant.”
“Look very nice. I frame it, and put it on wall.”
“There’s nothing in here. Let’s see what you’ve got in the back room. Shall we?”
“You come.” Mr. Chang went over and turned the knob. With a quiet hum, the door opened into a larger room. There was a cot, a table, some chairs, a sink, a shelf of books, and a full wall, of small drawers, with Chinese labels. “See? This is herb room. All natural. All organic.”
“You don’t, by any chance, have rhino horn, or tiger, or bear paws, do you?”
“No. Endangered species. Never touch. Vietnamese think it make dick hard. Never use.”
“Do you tell people that your herbs can cure any diseases?”
“Never say that. Herbs make body happy. Happy body, help. Never promise cure.”
“There’s more to you than meets the eye, Mr. Chang. I googled you. You graduated from Berkley, at 17, with a Masters in Math. Got a PhD, at Cal-Tech. Became a full professor, at MIT. You wrote a book: “Quantum Theory of the Space-Time-Continuum.” You can still buy it on Amazon for $ 400.00 Then you gave it all up. Why?”
“Wrote that, when young man. All bullshit. Twenty theories on Quantum-Space-Time-Continuum. All bullshit. Every one. Mine too. Write book to make money. Required reading, AT MIT. New, was $ 600.00. Sell 2,000 copy. Make fortune.”
They went to the front room, and he closed the door. There was a quiet hum from the knob.
“There’s not much here. But, I’ll have someone come down and translate all those Chinese labels. By the way, what do you have that dog house for?”
“For Saint Bernard dog.”
“The Chief of Police has one of those. Sometimes he brings it down to headquarters.”
“Got from Chang. Know family. Nice wife. Son and daughter at Stanford. You come back?”
“Not if the Chief is your friend, Mr. Chang, or is it Dr. Chang, or Professor Chang?”
“No, no. Not call me, Dr. Chang, or Professor Chang. Call me, just plain, Chang.”
After Noonan left, Chang carefully locked and bolted the front door, and walked to the back. He touched the knob. There was a different hum. This time the door slid into the wall.
A tall, young Dr. Chang stepped into a brightly lit lab. Miss. Chow, a beautiful PhD., came over and kissed him.
“It’s all bullshit, Huh?”
“That’s what I told him, honey.”