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(Useless rubbish)

They had been stuck in the alley for what seemed like hours. The alley was definitely a dead-end and their eyes could detect no possible way in which Jack could have escaped!

But they'd checked the cul-de-sac inside and out, and found nothing, not even his shadow.

"Captain Liu, there's nothing more that we can do to find Jack. Shall we pull back now?" A young policeman suggested from the far corner.

Captain Liu was suddenly pissed off, and he shouted out, "Are you the captain now? Don't you know that he has an innocent child with him? For the sake of the child, we can't pull back the team! Even if we don't catch him, we must at least save the child from him!"

The young man lowered his head to hide his annoyance. He explained carefully, "I don't think he would hurt the child. Maybe this child is very important to him, since he has been carrying her around."

Even in the dark, he had sensed Jack's caring attitude towards the child, when he had opened the trash bin and seen them. It was something in Jack's eyes.

He showed such care and consideration for the child.

It was as if she were his own daughter.

"What do you know? It is always difficult to guess what motivates criminals. That's why we need to plan for the worst situation!" Captain Liu scolded him.

The young man spoke again, carefully trying to get the team to move on, "Captain Liu, we have turned this place upside down, and found no sign of the criminal. What if he has escaped long ago? That means we have lost the best moment..."

"Find him! Search again!" Captain Liu didn't want to believe that he had been eluded, and he was not willing to give up like this!

He was so close to catch the criminal! The former master of the Gu clan, also the ex-CEO of the Gu Consortium!

It would mean a promotion for him!

How could he yield to the reality and watch Jack slide away? No, he couldn't, and he would not give up on it!

"Yes, Captain Liu," his order was obeyed.

The young officer again went to the trash can, while others searched for the fugitive. No trace of him was found.

Making a show of searching the bin, he thoughtfully added some extra trash from the ground to cover Jack who looked up at him with trusting eyes. 'It must be agony to be folded up into that small space, ' the young man wondered.
Suspicious now, Captain Liu furrowed his eyebrows tightly, and stared at the green trash bin that had just been checked, "Are you sure you have examined the trash bin?"

The young man shrugged, "I have checked there several times. There's nothing in there except for trash."

"Really?" Not believing the young man's word, the Captain moved purposefully towards him and the trashcan in question.

The young man was astounded at his move. All he could think was that he could not let Captain Liu find Jack!

Just then a mouse crawled over his shoe and a plan presented itself. He furtively picked up the rodent and slipping his hand behind his back, deposited it inside the bin. Carefully, he kept a neutral expression and waited as his superior approached him.

Captain Liu reached the trashcan and shouldering the young man aside, opened the lid. The mouse reacted by jumping straight at the Captain!

"A mouse! There... there is a mouse in there!"

Although Captain Liu seemed to be a tough guy, the young subordinate knew from experience that he also had a deadly flaw; he was petrified of mice!

With the rodent crawling all over his uniform, the Captain almost shrieked and in fear jumped on the young policeman, holding onto him tightly, "Help! Help me! Get the mouse off me! Damn it! This is so horrible!"

After grabbing the offensive little beast, the young man feigned concern and said calmly, "Do you see, sir? The trashcan is simply crawling with mice! Be carefully that they don't bite you. They carry Rabies. It attacked you because you disturbed their home."

"Damn it!" Captain Liu cursed the mouse fiercely, but his trembling voice betrayed his fear.

The other policemen were holding back their laughter with great difficulty.

"Captain Liu, there's nothing but mice in the trashcan. I guess Jack used some clever ruse to escape from here a long time ago!"

"Given he is so crafty, it is very possible!" This time, Captain Liu quickly agreed to the young man's advice. After calming down and salvaging some dignity, he took a team of officers to pursue another lead.

Ten minutes later, everybody had left the scene and the alley was once more deserted.

Jack had bent his body into an extremely painful position to fit in the trashcan, and his circulation had become cut off from the close confines. He longed for fresh air and felt about ready to pass out!

Reaching up, he pushed the lid off the trashcan from inside and jumped out, staggering on numb legs. Rolling his neck to relieve some of the fatigue, he looked about to make sure that they were really alone. Then he reached in and pulled Beryl out. He gently touched her head and checked that she was not harmed. Comforting her he said, "Everything will be all right. I shall take you to your father. You can go home now. Don't worry!"

"Uncle Jack, I don't want to burden you..."

Beryl knew how dangerous it was for him with the police searching for him. If anything went wrong, Jack would have been taken away.

She was the reason for all of it!

If she hadn't asked Jack to take her to her father, maybe nothing would have happened to him in the first place.

"I can go back to him myself. I am old enough to remember the routes! Thank you, Uncle Jack!" Beryl was sincerely grateful for what Jack had done for her.

"Beryl..." Before he could react, Beryl rabbited from the alley.

Unthinkingly, he chased after her, not caring whether the police had left the street outside the alley, "Beryl! Wait! Don't run away!"

But she seemed to not hear him, and ran with all her speed. She didn't want to drag him down with her and believed that she could find her father on her own.

Distracted by thoughts of her father, she had run into the middle of the road. Suddenly, a beam of white light illuminated her and blinded her for a few seconds. She could barely open her eyes.

Her vision was filled with a black car speeding towards her!

At that moment, it was as if she had been pinned to the spot by some invisible forces, and she couldn't make even a sound! Her feet felt like lead weights kept them fixed to the road, and immobile and helpless she waited for doom!

Transfixed she stood in the middle of the road, like a statue facing impending destruction.

'Will it hurt?' Beryl thought to herself, then she closed her eyes tightly.

"Beryl!" Jack shouted in a hoarse voice. The color left his face as he saw what was about to happen. Before he could give it a second thought, he rushed in front of Beryl, moving at a speed he didn't even know he was capable of. He was an arrow leaving the bow!

Horns roared and brake screamed, almost deafening the bystanders. Reaching her, Jack pushed Beryl out of harms way with all his might. All that mattered was that she not be harmed.

How would he explain that to Emily? He loved them, even though Beryl was not his daughter and Emily never loved him. The car hit him with bone crunching force.

Flung from the road by the great force of the accident, she rolled several times before coming to rest on the curb.

Ignoring her own pain, she looked at Jack helplessly as he was struck with a loud bang and somersaulted through the air to land like a rag-doll on the ground! "Uncle Jack!" She shrieked, but no sound left her lips. Beryl began trembling, and felt weak to the stomach.

'No! This is not real! It can't happen! What I saw is not real!

How could Uncle Jack...'

She looked at the broken man lying on the road, not far from her. His chest was still heaving in great shudders, struggling for breath, but blood was leaking from his nose and mouth. He choked then, spewing forth bright red bubbles as his lungs convulsed.

Jack was like a dying fish stranded on a beach.

Sensing her eyes on him, he tried to tell her to look away, but no words would pass his lips. Silently, he mouthed, "Don't...look..."

He feared that the trauma of seeing him like this would prove too much for her young mind. She had already been through so much!

'I must be a frightful sight for her to behold.

Sorry, Emily.

I couldn't save you. I can't even protect your daughter either.

I am such a useless rubbish, Jack thought, his heart aching in remorse.


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