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Chapter 2

"An Ancient Chinese Secret"

It had been a typical night for the Green Hornet and his Aide Kato. They had stopped a gun running operation and saved Mike Axford for the tenth time that week. Kato wondered to himself, "Why does the boss keep that guy on staff at the Sentinel?" Britt Reid had to put in an appearance at a publishers dinner, so he changed in the back of the Black Beauty and Kato dropped him off a block from the hotel where the dinner was being held. He assured Kato he would get a cab home and bid him good night. Kato then decided to treat himself to some down time.

The Black Beauty weaved down back streets and stopped in an alleyway in an unknown part of the city. After securing the car, Kato proceeded up a back stairwell and stopped at simple wooden door with a weathered sign hanging and blowing in the night wind. The Sign read" Sidekicks". Kato smiled and pushed on the door to be greeted by music and noise from the patrons. He ignored the usual feeling of disorientation that came from the entering of this safe haven and took in the room. Walking through the pub, he saw several acquaintances. The Squire was sitting in the corner flirting with Speedy. Tonto was telling embarrassing stories about the Lone Ranger. He would have told Britt about this but one of the main rules was similar to Las Vegas, "What happens at Sidekicks stays at Sidekicks." Making his way to the bar, he sat and placed his cap on a stool. Sam the owner walked up and placed a container of yellow rice wine in front of him. Kato smiled and thanked Sam. "Tough night," Sam inquired. Kato smiled and replied," Nothing I couldn't handle." Sam laughed and poured himself a drink and cited, "Do you want to tell me about a tough night?" Kato raised his cup and smiled. With a sip he began his tale.

It had been an unusual night. The Hornet and I were hunting down a gang that was pushing drugs on the East side. We had just effectively stopped the gang of pushers for the night by putting the fear of the Hornet into them. The Boss needed to meet with D.A. Scanlon. They were going to meet at a supper club under the guise of two friends dining out. After removing his Hornet clothes, Britt set out on foot the meet Scanlon. I began taking the Black Beauty back home.

As the Beauty made its way through the back streets, I had to brake hard to avoid hitting a young Chinese girl running from a nightclub. She was being chased by a gang of thugs. Throwing the car into park, I leaped out and landed behind the girl's pursuers. Within a matter of minutes, they were reduced to various bodies scattered all over the pavement.

After making sure that the bad guys were out for the count, I looked to the girl. She told me her name was Kim Su and her father ran a restaurant down the street called" the Golden Phoenix". The bad guys were part of a street gang, which was shaking down local business owners for protection money. Her father could not afford their demanded tribute so the gang members were to take Kim as partial payment for the money owed.

The thought of this bothered me very much for a good friend of mine in China had a similar situation and his sister ended up dead because he could not pay. These gangs needed to go down! With Kim in the car, I found myself quoting the words the boss love to use" let's roll." With that the Black Beauty and headed for her father's restaurant.

When we arrived at the restaurant, the décor took me back to when I was a child in Shanghai. It was as if I stepped through a photo and ended up back home. I was stunned by the similarities only to be snapped out of the sense of Déjà vu by the girl's father screaming at me to leave him and his family alone. His attack was stopped by my side stepping and grabbing his cane that he swung. Gazing into the old man's eye, the look told him that he was no match for my skills. Kim grabbed her father's shoulders and told him I was there to help not to hurt. At that moment Kim revealed herself to be a woman of honor.

At my request, Kim and her father gathered the other business owners in the community .When all were assembled a decree was made. ." This gang is a plague! They are eating away at your very beings and trying to destroy your heritage and make you bend to their will. My employer, The Green Hornet is not happy with that. He wants them gone but he does not wish to bother with them himself. So he sent me, to end their reign of terror." The other business owners began to bicker with Kato. One demanded to know what the Hornet wanted from them in exchange for this help.

After a brief pause was the reply," He wants nothing from you. These gangsters are putting a kink in his control of other parts of the town. He wanted them shut down! The gathered people began to gasp and complain. I raised my hand and quieted the crowd and simply stated, "A wise man once said, keep your friends close, but keep your enemies closer." Take this piece of advice for what it is offered and do not make an enemy of the Green Hornet." With that logic, the crowd knew what they needed to do. So, to paraphrase the great Sherlock Holmes, "the game is afoot", and a plan was hatched.

A while later, the street gang came a calling, and pounding on doors demanding their tributes. Upon reaching the Golden Dragon, Kim's father met them at the door. The men began demanding money from Mr. Su. He whispered to them. I cannot pay you tribute you demand. The leader of the gang became angry and raised a bat to strike. At a hornet dart hit the man's bat and scared him. Looking to the rear of the restaurant, they saw me and seated in a booth behind me was the Green Hornet. I stared at them and uttered," Your protection is no longer needed for this community! There is a new boss in town and he goes by the name of the Green Hornet!" The gangsters began to laugh then rushed us, but only to be retaliated with my patented Kung Fu. Afterward, four of the five were unconscious on the floor. Kim Su and her father watched off to the side, as the leader tried to make a stand. Raising my hand and staring, the man began to tremble in fear and backed off. Another dart was made ready , the Hornet raised his hand and made a motioned to stop. I lowered the dart and told the man to take his thugs and leave this area and never return. Otherwise next time the Hornet may not be so forgiving!

The leader gathered his men as they awoke and ran from the business. A few minutes later, a young boy ran into the restaurant and said they were running like a dragon was chasing them. Everybody began laughing and cheering. The Hornet stood up and removed his hat and coat to reveal the shop owner from next door. He laughed and asked," The Hornet will not be mad at me for wearing his coat, will he?" I took the coat and hat saying "Do not worry my friend for today you have made an ally of the Green Hornet."Bowing towards Kim's father, the comment was made "Peace is restored but if there should ever by trouble call this number." With that I handed him one of the Hornet's calling cards with an untraceable phone number on the back. Climbing into the black beauty I returned home and sat upon the sofa. Just then, Britt came walking in the front door." So Kato," he asked "what did you end up doing tonight?" I just replied with a smile, just got a little Chinese takeout that's all.

With that, Kato picked up his rice wine and sipped some more. Sam to smiled and said, "it still amazes me how you two can take care of business with so few, yet the accomplish so much." With thatSam shouted out to the bar. Everyone raise your drinks high for tonight's toast. "

Here goes to Kato the aide of the Green Hornet, A man of action but also great wisdom!" A round of applause was heard from the bar. Kato picked up his cap off the seat next to him and bid all, good night and bowed then left Sidekicks. Sam picked up the rice wine and began to wipe down the bar, as he wondered what tale would next come through his doors.