“No wonder DB had his own private army!” I was putting together pieces of a puzzle that up till now had enough missing pieces so I couldn’t see the patterns.
“You think maybe?” Halftrack added sarcastically. “DB and Virgil were money changers not drug dealers and they needed protection from the Cowboys even more than drug dealers.”
“Yeah, I know they had literally suitcases of money.”
“So,” I asked, “I know drugs were shipped out of Laos for Europe. Did you get involved in that?”
“No I didn’t broker drugs. Bigger fish than me moved that stuff; like Vang Pao and the Chinese couple that owned the Pepsi factory. The Pepsi people were back and forth between Vientiane and Saigon every few weeks. And Ky’s planes flew out of there daily.”
“Yeah, I remember watching them fly over our warehouse at the same time every day on approach to Ton San Nuit.”
“You said you brokered that shipment of DB’s rifles through Rangoon. As I remember you said you’d sold the to someone in South Africa. I’m thinking there’s a connection here.”
“So what’s all this got to do with Angola?” pressed Roland once again.
“That’s the connection, Roland!” I exclaimed. “Rangoon, South Africa, Angola,”
“OK, OK! You’re right. I’m coming to that,” Said Halftrack. “The Frenchman’s ships went to Johannesburg and Luanda on their way to Europe. It was a natural fit.”
“Where is Luanda,” I asked.
“Capital of Angola. Principal port.”
“What did you have to do with the Frenchman?
“Nothing, really. He owned the ships but he looked over the manifests. If his ships had the wrong cargo they could have been seized. And he would have needed escorts to get to the Indian ocean. I helped him avoid hot loads that came out of Saigon but I dealt with his broker.”
“So this goes back years to when we were in Saigon, these shipments. You said this crisis erupted last week. Why were you shipping stuff five, six years ago?” I asked.
Halftrack poured a little branch water in to his whiskey and took a sip. Then after a puff on his cigar blew smoke toward the open window.