Jim Thompson Mystery Solved!

SOLVED! The Mysterious Disappearance of Jim Thompson, the Thai Silk King

Chapter 6

Jim's close shave

The Lings were the owners of Moonlight bungalow, a Tudor-style dwelling which is located at No. A47, Jalan Kamunting, 39000, Tanah Rata. Situated about two kilometres from Jalan Besar, the villa is actually somewhere between the townships of Tanah Rata and Brinchang.

As far as Jim and Constance were concerned, this was their third invitation to the Ling's estate. It could be said that the foursome not only got along well; by the same token, all four shared the same love and fondness for the jungle.

When they met up on Friday, their get-together did not take up very much of their time. This was due to the fact that they reached the bungalow at different times: the first to do so was Dr Ling; Jim and Constance were next; Helen, who was tied up with a business deal, arrived at eight. The trip up was no joke - they all found it to be long and taxing. After a short dinner, they agreed to call it a day.

The next morning, while the two ladies were engrossed with their conversation, Jim and Dr Ling took the occasion to explore the tropical rainforest for themselves. They were just as anxious to try out a new trail which Dr Ling had previously discovered. After the hike, they were supposed to meet up with the two ladies at a nearby club. But their afternoon plan almost turned out to be a nightmare: along the way, it became evident to the two of them that they were lost. When they failed to show up, the women became upset. For a moment, Helen did entertain the thought of wanting to contact the police. It was only after eleven that Jim managed to spot a narrow stream. He carefully traced it and in a matter of an hour or so, they were back to familiar surroundings. Both of them were just as worn out when they strolled into the club. During the hike, Dr Ling had pulled a ligament and it was obvious that he was a bit shaken by his morning adventure. But not so for Jim. He was especially elated that the two of them got lost along the way. While he was at the clubhouse, he gave Constance, Helen and a few of his other friends a rough run down of what transpired while he and Dr Ling were in thick jungle.

When his narration came to an end, the party left the premises and made their way for Moonlight. After lunch, they agreed to have an afternoon siesta.

At about 4.30pm they got up for some tea and gave the garden a brief inspection. After a short dinner, they retired to their respective rooms for a deserving rest.

Jim's change of mind

The following Sunday morning, they got up early to attend a religious service at a nearby Protestant chapel. Their programme for the day was to spend some time in church following which they were to adjourn for a picnic at Gunong (Mount) Brinchang. While the rest were getting themselves ready, Jim informed them that he would be taking a slow walk to the foot of the hill. He later met up with them at the Jalan Kamunting/Jalan Besar road junction and they all drove on to Tanah Rata to attend the Easter service at All Souls' Church.

When the services came to an end, they returned to their living quarters to collect a hamper which they had earlier put aside for their planned picnic. While they were at the lodge, Jim gave them a surprise by suggesting that the picnic be held in the garden instead. For a moment, the others were taken aback by his sudden change of mind. After some persuasion, they managed to win him over to their original plan.

The drive to their selected site did not take up more than thirty minutes of their time. At the picnic, it became obvious that Jim was not his usual self; he seemed to be troubled by something that had either been said or done. For a short interval, none of them was able to make out what was actually on his mind. Sensing a funny change in his character, the Lings suggested that he take a rest in the open. He declined their offer and preferred instead that their gathering be called off. Not wanting to be a further source of disappointment to him, the trio complied with his request.

Jim fails to return

They left the site... and got back to their provisional home. Since they had no other plans for the afternoon, it was reported that Jim chose to sit in the hall while the rest opted for their respective rooms.

A short while later, he got up and left the house. After he had gone, it later became evident that he had left his suit jacket over the back of a chair. Apart from this, he also left behind his pill box, a box of cigarettes and a lighter.

During his last visit to the base, which was about five years ago, it was made known that he was stung by hornets about a kilometre from Moonlight. He did then inform Constance and his other friends that he would like to visit this same spot on his next trip. Whether he did so or not, no one really knows. But one thing is for sure: he did leave the chalet for a pre-dinner stroll; he failed to return by 6pm.



SOLVED! The Mysterious Disappearance of Jim Thompson, the Legendary Thai Silk King (Excerpt) by Edward Roy De Souza

Excerpts from "SOLVED! The Mysterious Disappearance of Jim Thompson, the Legendary Thai Silk King", an imprint of Word Association Publishers (www.wordassociation.com), 205 5th Avenue, Tarentum, PA 15084, USA. ISBN: 1-932205-89-6. Copyright 2004 by Edward Roy De Souza. roysouza@singnet.com.sg

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Posted on 8-Aug-2006

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