Murder at 3:52
Dan Williams sat bolt upright in bed, wondering what had waked him. The night was as black as pitch. Not a sound could be heard, not even traffic in the streets below his condo. The digital dial on the clock read 4:30. After a moment, he heard someone rapping loudly on the front door. A voice called out to him with the urgency of having done so before.
“Danno! You in there? Wake up, Danno!” called the unmistakable voice of Steve McGarrett.
Sheesh! Didn’t the man ever sleep!
Reluctantly, Dan dragged himself out of bed. He grabbed his robe from the foot of the bed even as he made his way toward the living room. He didn’t take the time to tie his robe about himself before he unlocked the door and opened it.
“Danno, there has been a murder in a park near Kailua,” McGarrett began without prelude. “A body was found floating in the surf!”
“So, the HPD will handle it,” Dan replied in uninterested tones. He was uninterested in floaters. He only wanted to go back to bed. He was too sleepy to wonder why Steve had come by, instead of calling him on the telephone.
“The victim's name is Paulo Alika!" McGarrett revealed.
Paulo Alika was a member of the Alika family, which had terrorized the Hawaiian Islands for decades! Only when family patriarch Tony Alika had tried to take control of the hotel housekeeping labor union had McGarrett been able collect enough evidence against him to make an arrest. Ever since – for more than two years, now – Tony Alika had been an inmate at O`ahu State Prison.
Dan said, “I thought Paulo Alika was attending college on the Mainland.”
“That's the latest intelligence,” McGarrett agreed. “Maybe Paulo was on school holiday, or maybe he was trying to pick up a sideline while he’s in school. In any case, we’ve got to find out who was behind this killing and put that person or organization out of business. We’ve worked too long and hard to shut down organized crime in these islands to have the Alikas come back, now.”
“You’re right about that, Steve. Give me five minutes, will you?”
“Make it quick, Danno,” McGarrett replied.
He stepped into the condo and looked about at the small, yet handsomely furnished home. It revealed Dan Williams’ well-organized ways, for there was a place for everything, and everything was in its place. It also revealed his love of reading, as well as his love of the islands as evidenced by the outsized painting of the Banzai Pipeline off Ehukai Beach Park in Pupukea on O`ahu’s North Shore. There, in the winter months, the waves were tall and the sand was the color of mocha. It was no secret that Dan had been an avid surfer in his younger years and still enjoyed helping to judge surfing competitions.
Before Steve McGarrett could take in more details, Dan reappeared, pulling a yellow cotton sweater over the waistband of a pair of white jeans. The men paused only as Dan took his wallet and keys from a small table by the door, then were on their way.
As they reached the park, Steve and Dan found Doc Bergman checking Alika’s liver temperature to determine time of death.
“Whaddaya got, Doc?” Steve asked.
“From his temperature, he appears to have been dead for several hours, Steve. I looked for marks on his hands but found none; however, there seems to be some soil under his fingernails.”
“Soil under his fingernails?” Steve asked in a tone that reflected the fact that his curiosity had been aroused. “Why does a man in a body of water have soil under his nails?”
“I’ll be able to tell you more after I get him to the lab,” Doc said.
“Okay, Doc. I’ll be in my office. I want a full review on my desk at noon.”
“At noon?” Doc protested. “I won’t be through with the autopsy until noon! I certainly won’t have lab results so soon. You know that, Steve!”
But McGarrett already had turned to leave. The forensic pathologist was talking to thin air. Would the top cop ever accept that forensic work was a slow and painstaking endeavor? It took time to get the needed results.
Neither Steve nor Dan spoke as they drove down the Pali Highway, toward Honolulu and the Five-0 offices. Both were engrossed in thought. Foremost on their minds was the re-emergence of the Alika family in yet another connection to criminal activity. The highly professional investigators did not like to allow their personal feelings to become involved in their work. Even so, it felt very personal to both that another chapter in the Alika saga was opening.
Steve had taken a personal dislike to Tony Alika, who had seemed almost as though he were perched upon a throne at his Kahala estate. There, he had ordered his staff about as though they were slaves. Several members of his staff had walked off the job; all had been found dead in the back alleys of Honolulu. So had more than a half-dozen other crime lords, who had tried to muscle in on Alika’s business. No. This was not a family that needed to be resurrected.
Steve wheeled the latest in a series of large, black Mercurys into the parking lot before the `Iolani Palace and parked. Still not speaking, the detectives alit and ran up the front steps. A security guard nodded to them and stood aside as they stepped inside. It was not unusual for the Five-0 detectives to come and go at all hours of the day and night.
The investigators were about to enter Steve's office when they spotted a large, white envelope laying on the floor in front of the door. It bore no address, but it did bear Steve’s name, formed of letters cut from magazines and newspapers.
Steve took a pair of tweezers from Jenny's desk and lifted the envelope from the floor. Using his handkerchief to hold the envelope in place, he used the tweezers to pull a single, folded sheet of paper from the envelope. Opening it carefully, he saw that it bore a brief message, again formed with letters cut from magazines and newspapers. The message read...
Killing one of us won't keep us from coming after YOU.
YOU will SUFFER for that.
After a moment’s hesitation, Dan remarked with forced calm, “That is directed at you, personally, Steve.”
“Who will come after me? For what will they make me suffer?” Steve wanted to know.
“I don’t know,” Dan replied.
“Let’s find out everything about Paulo there is to find. When Kono and Chin get in, ask them to help you. And get that envelope to Che.”
After Dan left to take the message to the forensics lab, Steve stepped onto the lanai, which ran past his office. In his mind, he pondered what he knew about the Alikas. Paulo had been 16 when Steve had put Tony out of business. Although he had been considered the likely successor to head Tony Alika’s organization, he had been too young to take over. Now, at 18, Paulo had been killed, and Steve obviously was being held personally responsible. But, why? Steve hoped that Doc, Che, or his detectives would find something to go on.
After several minutes, Steve’s thoughts were interrupted by the ringing of the phone. Walking inside, to his desk, he took up the receiver.
“Che on line 2,” Jenny informed him.
“You’re in early, Jenny.”
“Not really, boss. It’s after seven-thirty,” she replied.
“Already?” Steve asked even as he confirmed the time on the digital clock on his desk. “Yes. I’ll talk to Che. Thanks, Jenny.”
He no longer had to depress a button to enter the line on which Che was waiting to speak to him. Now, as Jenny hung up, Che’s call automatically rolled over to his line. Steve did not care for the new system. He liked to see where calls were and to have some control over where they went. No one in the state communication office had asked him what he thought a telephone system should offer. He simply had to take what they gave him.
“You are pretty quick, Che. Got something for me already?” he asked.
“Yes, Steve. I only got started, but there is something very obvious. Whoever put this note together did a sloppy job. The newspaper cutouts were not done neatly. In a few places, the line above the letters shows. It appears to be a header line. There are hints to the date: a ‘T’ and a ‘2.’”
“So, what you are saying, Che, is that the newspaper appeared on a Tuesday or Thursday between the 20th and 29th of a month,” Steve deduced.
“That’s correct, Steve. Just thought I’d let you have this information. I’ll let you know when I have more."
“Good work, Che. Mahalo.”
Steve consulted the calendar on his desk and saw that this was Friday, the 22nd. The day before had been Thursday, the 21st of the month. The message had been created with yesterday's newspaper!
Okay! Good! Steve snapped his fingers as he organized his thoughts. As he so often did, he made his way over to the chalkboard and began making notes. So far, they knew that Paulo Alika had been killed several hours before his body had been discovered and that whoever was threatening Steve had created the message to him only the day before. Unknown: Who had killed Paulo and why? Who was threatening Steve and why? Were the two incidents related? Had the creator of the message killed Paulo Alika?
Steve took the receiver from his telephone and rang Jenny. “Do we still have the Alika files?”
“No, Steve. The closed case files are sent to the archives after one year. I can have them sent back, though.”
“You'd better do that, Jenny. We have too many unanswered questions on this case. Has Duke come in, yet?”
“He just came in, Boss.”
“Send him in, please, Jenny.”
“Of course, Steve. Need some coffee?”
“As strong and as black as you can make it, luv.”
Duke walked in even as Steve replaced the receiver upon its cradle. “Yes, Steve?”
Steve briefed the detective on the recent events, then said, “I need you to take a look at our current case files and see if you can identify anyone who might have sent the threat.”
“Will do. Odd that the Alikas would come up again.”
“Very odd, Duke. Very odd.”
After Duke had left and Jenny had set a mug of steaming, very black coffee in front of him, Steve returned to organizing his thoughts.
All that was known about Paulo’s death was that he had been killed several hours before his body had been found. Doc still had not provided information about the cause of death. In fact, he had hung up when Steve had called to request a progress report.
The first question to answer seemed to be, How did Paulo die? Did he drown in the water, or was he already dead and his body thrown into the water? Those two questions gave rise to many more; for example, had Paulo known his killers? Had he met them at the park? And, of course, how did Paulo and his murderer or murderers get into the park after closing time?
A knock on the door made Steve look up. “Come in.”
The door opened, and Kono entered. He was carrying some food from their favorite Chinese takeout.
“Lunchtime, boss!” the large Hawaiian called out cheerfully.
“Whaddaya got there, Kono?” Steve asked. A soft rumble in his stomach reminded him that he had not eaten anything since the previous day.
“No saimin today. Big lunch,” Kono replied as Chin and Duke walked in. “Where is Danny? This food must not get cold.”
The men looked at each other, but no one seemed to have an answer.
“Danny took the envelope to Che this morning,” Chin offered.
“That was six hours ago, bruddah,” Kono reminded him.
Steve reached out to take up the telephone receiver to call Che. Before he could dial, Jenny burst into the office. She was holding an envelope in her hand.
“I f…found t…this on m…my desk,” she stammered.
Steve grew tense as he took a blood-stained envelope carefully with a pair of tweezers. Again, the message was formed with cut-out letters. It read,
DESTROY ALL ALIKA FILES IF YOU CARE WHAT HAPPENS
TO YOUR BOSS.
In that instant, Dan walked briskly into the room.
“Steve,” he said, “I just heard that the warning note was put together sloppily ― maybe too sloppily. Here’s a thought: Do you think someone wants you to put the clues together?”
“That’s why we’re here, isn’t it?” Chin asked with a trace of a grin on his face.
Steve glanced briefly at him. “No. Wait a minute, Chin. I get you, Danno. You’re saying that whoever sent the note was forced to send it. Maybe someone with inside information or knowledge about who the real killer is.”
“That’s right, Steve,” said Dan as his eyes lit up. “Perhaps, there is a double-crosser among the Alikas. This person knows you didn’t kill Paulo and wants you to find out who the double-crosser is. The Alikas either won’t believe him or he doesn’t have proof or he’s afraid to finger the real culprit. In a strange way, he may be asking for your help, Steve! He deliberately botched that note so you could trace the killer.”
“Who in the Alika family is smart enough to reason like that?” Duke wanted to know.
Steve nodded in agreement. “Okay, then. We need to find out who the Alikas are. Quite frankly, we had little need to study the family beyond Tony and his henchmen. Are they all still behind bars?”
“Only Billy Swan is out, Steve. He received a parole last year, since he was little more than a house boy, and promptly moved to the Mainland,” Dan supplied.
“The Alika family, then. Does Tony Alika have any children beside Paulo?”
“Seven children by three different wives, Steve,” Duke replied.
Kono’s eyes grew as large as saucers. “Seven! Who dat kanaka think he is, brah?”
“We’ll find out, Kono. Chin, you and Duke work on that. I want the book on all of them. Wives, girlfriends, boyfriends... All the sisters and the cousins and the aunts.”
“Done, Steve,” Chin replied.
A second pin board had to be set up in Steve’s office to accommodate all the notes and photos concerning the huge Alika clan. Information had been gathered during the past several hours was daunting, yet need to be seen by all.
“It will take weeks to verify every piece of information,” sighed Dan. He looked very tired.
Steve nodded, then said, “Okay gentlemen. Let’s take a look at what we've got so far. Point out what you find most remarkable.”
Silence fell over the room. Only noises from outside could be heard for several minutes.
“Strange,” murmured Duke, at last.
“What is strange, Duke?” Steve asked.
“Paulo was a son by Tony Alika’s first wife. He was her only child after her elder daughters died in a car accident.”
“He was meant to be Tony’s successor, but the word is that he wanted no part of it. He had wanted to be a doctor ever since he was a kid. He was studying pre-med at Cal Tech,” Duke explained.
Chin spoke up. “Maybe one of the other Alikas had him killed in order to take over, then blamed it on you, Steve, to hide his motives.”
“Okay,” Dan interrupted him, but don’t forget that the first note said, in block capitals, that Steve was going to suffer for that.”
“Suffer for what?” Duke asked.
“It doesn’t say,” Dan admitted.
“Exactly! It could be anything! Let’s focus on what we know, and that is that Paulo was not a member of the Alika organization.”
Kono spoke up. “Maybe someone was mad, because he wasn’t interested in continuing his father’s business.”
“I don’t think it works like that, Kono,” Chin spoke up. “If he were interested, that someone might have killed him to get him out of the way, but why kill him if he was already out of the way? It doesn’t make sense.”
“So, what does the note mean?” Dan demanded to know.
“We don’t know, yet, Danno,” Steve said in calm tones. “Okay, then. Does anyone else see anything remarkable?”
“Yes, Steve. I do,” a voice said as Doc Bergman walked into the room. “Mind you, I won’t have a full report for several days, but I think you will want to know that I have amended the time of death.”
When Doc did not continue, Steve said, “Well, give!”
“Mr. Alika had been dead for less than a few hours,” Doc related. “The cool water in which he was lying hastened the body’s cooling. At most, he had been dead only a few minutes when his body was discovered and no more than an hour when I first saw him shortly before 5:00.”
“3:52,” Kono said.
“Where do you get that, Kono?” Steve asked.
“The witness who heard something going on and discovered the body said he looked at his watch. It was 3:52,” Kono explaiined.
“Who was that witness, Kono?” Duke wanted to know.
Kono looked through his notes. “Dabney Morris from Aiea. He’s a night watchman at the park.”
“Did he see or hear the murder taking place?”
“No, only a loud splash followed by footsteps running away,” Kono explained.
“A loud splash...,” Steve mused. “Then, we need to know whether he drowned.”
“No, Steve,” Doc said. “He was dead when he went into the water. His lungs were dry.”
“Then, he could have been killed somewhere else and his body dumped into the water at the park?” Steve asked.
Doc gave a mild smile and said, “That’s for you to find out.”
“How did he die, Doc?”
“Can’t be sure until I get the lab results, but I’m leaning toward poison,” Bergman replied.
“I’ve got a problem with all this, Steve,” Chin Ho said. “He was killed just before he was dumped into the water, yet he died of poisoning? That doesn’t make sense.”
“It could,” Doc said, “if he were injected with or fed a fast-acting poison. Let me finish my lab work, and I’ll have these answers for you.”
“Okay, Doc. Thanks!” Steve replied in vague tones. His mind already was seeking to make sense of what he had been told.
In reply, Doc gave a wave over his shoulder as he went out the door.
“Okay, gentlemen, let’s call it a night,” Steve said. “We’ll meet again in the morning.”
Kono, Duke, and Chin left; only Dan stayed behind.
“What’s bothering you, Danno?”
“The block capitals.”
“They want you to suffer; not get mad, but suffer really badly.”
Steve hesitated for a moment, then said, “Danno, go home and get some sleep. You’re exaggerating things.”
“You sure, Steve?”
“I’m sure. Go on. I’ll see you in the morning.”
Being alone in his office, at last, Steve stepped onto his lanai and took a deep breath.
What would make me suffer? he mused. Losing my reputation or seeing the reputation of Five-0, which I built so carefully over the years, go down the drain. Losing one of my team… Yeah, but... Losing Danno: That would be the worst. The youngster I built into the reliable cop and second-in-command that he is, now…and who became a friend...and a confidante…
As Steve walked inside and closed and locked the doors behind him, he replayed in his mind a moment when he had broken down in Dan’s presence. He had been crying over his nephew’s death.
Yes. If anything happens to Danno, I’ll suffer very, very badly.
With Chin and Duke investigating the backgrounds of the Alika family members, Dan exploring the threat made against Steve’s life, Kono winding up investigations at the park, and Doc and Che pursuing laboratory work pertaining to the investigation, Steve decided there was not much left for him to do on the case. That was good, because he had two reports to complete for the governor and a speech to finish writing for delivery to a civic group the following week. Now, though, he wanted only to go home and tumble into bed. The day, which had begun for him at four o’clock that morning, had been a very long one, twenty hours long.
Upon reaching his condo on Ala Wai Boulevard, Steve walked through to his bedroom. He emptied the pockets of his suit atop the bureau, then shed the suit and put it in the basket of clothes to go to the cleaners. After treating himself to a relaxing shower, he padded in his bare feet to the kitchen for a glass of milk to drink before he went to sleep.
He started to open the refrigerator door, then stepped aside to reach for a glass in an adjacent cabinet. In that split second, he heard a loud blast followed by a blinding flash of white light.
The blast waked everyone in the building. Instantly, the doorman on duty rang for the police and fire department. Within minutes, a patrol car pulled up in front of the building. The officers assigned to it hurried inside and checked the attenuator panel that told them where the blast had occurred.
“Eleventh floor. Unit 1107,” one of the patrolmen.
“Who lives there?” the other patrolman asked the doorman.
A patrolman removed his CP unit from his shoulder and began to speak. “Central, this is x-ray 2. The blast on Ala Wai appears to have been in Steve McGarrett’s condo. We’re on our way up.”
“I’ll notify Five-0. The fire department is on the way. Notify of needed assistance.”
“Will do, Central.”
The taut and fit patrolmen fairly bounded up the eleven flights of stairs. As they entered the corridor, they saw neighbors trying to force open the door to the unit.
“This isn’t a regular door,” one of the neighbors told a patrolman.
“We can’t budge it,” added another neighbor.
“Yes, sir,” the patrolman replied as he produced a master key with which to turn the tumblers on the security door.
A moment later, he pushed the door open to reveal a sight that resembled a battlefield with smoke and flames all around. Not much could be seen though the thick smoke except for cabinets hanging at odd angles; they would fall from the wall soon. He also saw an overturned table and two broken chairs.
“Mr. McGarrett! Mr. McGarrett!” shouted the patrolman as he tried to force the door open far enough to allow him to enter the apartment.
“Stay back!” shouted a fireman as he ran down the hallway, toward the scene. “You can’t go in there!”
“Mr. McGarrett is inside,” the patrolman insisted.
“Are you sure?”
“His car is on the parking deck!”
“Wait until we put out the fire,” the fireman advised.
The fire was put out quickly. One of the firemen stepped over the debris and made his way toward the sliding glass doors. He opened them to help dispel the smoke. Soon, the emergency response personnel were able to see that the explosion essentially had laid waste to the apartment. They also saw that the blast had blown Steve across the kitchen and covered him with broken glass and china and cabinets that had fallen from the walls.
Two paramedics entered then and began checking the extent of Steve’s injuries. Both frowned, for the news was not good.
A short distance away, a man sat in a dark blue sedan and sneered, “Don’t you think you’re off the hook, McGarrett. There is more in store for you.”
As the ambulance pulled away, rushing to take Steve to a hospital, the dark blue sedan pulled in behind it.
Steve faded in and out of consciousness during the ride to the hospital. Each bump in the road caused him to cry out in pain. The paramedics tried to reassure him; even so, the ride seemed endless. As Steve was lifted from the ambulance outside the emergency entrance to Leahi Hospital, he caught a glimpse of a dark blue sedan. Something about it seemed familiar; however, before he could get a good look at it, he was wheeled away from the ambulance and into the hospital.
He needed to call Danno.
“Telephone,” he managed to say.
“Don’t worry, Mr. McGarrett. Hospital staff will call your family,” a voice replied.
Steve wanted to make him understand that this was important, but he could not. As the gurney rolled over a threshold, the bump caused him to cry out and to lapse into unconsciousness again. Some minutes passed before Steve regained consciousness. He had no idea how long he had been unconscious.
“Blue sedan. Tell Danno,” he managed to say.
An HPD officer standing guard a few steps away moved forward and leaned down to him.
“You saw a blue sedan?”
“Outside. Dark blue sedan. Familiar, somehow. Tell Danno.”
“Will do. He should be here soon,” the officer reassured him. “Can you tell me how old it was? We’ll run it through the computer.”
“Late ‘70s. New body style.”
“Good! 1977 or later,” the patrolman said. “I’ll tell Mr. Williams as soon as he arrives. Meanwhile, I’ll put in a call to the computer room.”
Steve’s eyes opened, and he looked up to see Chick Mitsui standing over him. He gave a sigh of relief as he realized he could rely on this patrolman to keep his word. “Chick,” he managed to say before he lost consciousness again.
Mitsui moved away from the examination table, activated the CP unit on his shoulder, and put in a call for all units at or near Leahi Hospital to be on the lookout for the car in question. Then, he called the computer room at HPD headquarters.
As Chick finished making the calls, the door opened and his partner entered.
“Take over here,” Chick told him. “Don’t let anyone in who doesn’t have a hospital identification badge.”
“Okay,” came a hoarse reply.
Kimo Kahana had seen Steve’s body lying on the table and a half-dozen people working over it. He turned as the door opened and saw Chick walk from the room.
In the hallway, Chick approached another officer. “Is the ambulance driver still here?” he asked.
“That’s me,” said one of two paramedics as they walked past.
“Did you see a dark-blue car parked nearby when we pulled up?”
“Sure! It followed us all the way over here. It was parked against the far curb when we came in.”
Instantly, Chick broke into a run toward the outside doors. Even as he ran, he spoke into his radio.
At the same time, patrolmen in two police cruisers parked outside the hospital spotted the car in question.
“Central, this is 317. I have suspect vehicle in sight.”
“Coordinate with 197. Approach with extreme caution. Mitsui, remain on your post.”
The patrolmen in cruisers 317and 197 kept the dark-blue sedan under surveillance as they planned their move. Before they could approach it, however, two more police cars drew near.
The driver of the sedan realized he had been spotted and accelerated to full throttle. He might have made a straight getaway, except that the sudden acceleration caused his car’s engine to stall. The car continued to roll even as he tried to re-start the engine. If he had been on a downhill slope, that might have worked to his advantage. Instead, he was on a level stretch of road, and the car soon came to a halt, its engine flooded.
Instantly, the sedan and its driver were surrounded by HPD patrolmen, whose weapons were drawn. The expressions on the officers’ faces said they were out for blood.
The patrolman closest to the driver’s side window called out, “Keep your hands where I can see him.”
Slowly and with seeming great reluctance, the driver’s hands made their way to the top of the steering wheel.
The patrolman reached for the handle of the door and opened it. “Now, step out slowly. No sudden moves.”
The driver did as he was told and soon had been shoved into “the position” against the side of the car.
“Frisk him,” the patrolman told another officer.
“Nothing on him,” that officer quickly reported.
“But plenty back here,” said another patrolman as he surveyed the contents of the car’s trunk. “Plastique explosives, wires, a shotgun…”
The driver was cuffed, and his driver’s license was pulled from his wallet.
“My name’s Benjamin Harrison,” the suspect insisted.
“Yeah, and Chester A. Arthur and William McKinley are your cousins, right?”
“Let’s go, Harrison – or whatever your name is.”
Dan Williams walked into the interrogation room and studied the man seated at the far side of the table. “We made a couple of very interesting discoveries, Mr. Harrison. First, your car is registered to a man by the name of Keoki Alika.”
“Yeah. Keoki said I could use it tonight.”
“Second, your fingerprints match those of Keoki Alika.”
“How do you have Keoki’s fingerprints?” the suspect wanted to know.
“There was a little matter of slashing a teacher’s tires when you were in junior high school. Remember that?”
“I want a lawyer.”
Meanwhile, at the lab, Che was bent over a microscope, shaking his head in disbelief. He took a small plastic bag from the nearby table and carefully put the object he had been studying into it. Several phone calls later and after having made notes to support his findings, he dialed a number.
“Hawaii Five-0,” he heard Jenny’s voice through the phone.
“Che here, Jenny. Please ask Danny to see me as soon as possible.”
“I’ll tell him, Che,” was Jenny's reply.
Jenny frowned as loud voices came from Steve’s office. She decided to write down Che’s message, tiptoe into the room, and hand it to Dan. At that moment, the door opened and an elderly man, impeccably dressed, but with a coarse, ugly, and frightening face, stormed out. Almost immediately, two HPD officers appeared with an agitated and handcuffed Keoki Alika between them.
“Danny?” Jenny asked.
“Che just called. He wants to see you as soon as possible.”
“Thanks, Jenny. On my way.”
After a twenty-minute ride, Dan arrived at the lab.
“Hello, Che. What have you got for me?”
Che did not respond immediately. Instead, he asked, “How’s Steve?”
“Doc said he must have had an army of guardian angels visiting. I’ll go to the hospital from here. Now, what have you got?”
“See this?” Che pointed to a small plastic bag.
“Yeah. What is it?”
“Something we found in the trunk of Keoki’s car – blond, curly hair from a wig.”
“A hair from a wig?” Dan asked in disbelief.
“Yes. It is a very expensive wig and very well done. Probably handmade on special order,” Che explained.
“What would Keoki do with a blond wig?”
Che gave a little smile. He looked tired with rings under his eyes and barely managed to suppress a yawn.
“That's for you to find out, Danny,” he said.
“Yeah, Che. Mahalo.” Before going out the door, Dan shook his head. “If you hadn’t told me that hair comes from a wig, I would have thought it was one of my own.”
Dan arrived at the Leahi Hospital to find Steve in Intensive Care. He was sedated and was receiving medication and nutrition from several inverted bags, which hung from an aluminum pole. Nearby, images flickered on a heart monitor. Dan walked into the cubicle. To his surprise, he saw a tear running down Steve’s face. Turning, he walked to the nurse’s station.
“Is he in pain? Does he need more medication?” he asked.
“No. He is physically comfortable. His psyche is wrestling with the trauma. It is not unusual,” the nurse said as she led Dan back into the cubicle.
She checked Steve’s vital signs, then wiped away his tears. “You’re doing just fine, Mr. McGarrett. Dr. Bergman is very pleased with your progress. Almost immediately, Steve seemed to relax. The nurse smiled at Dan, then turned to leave them alone.
“Hi, Steve. It’s me, Dan. Your clue to Chick about the blue sedan worked like a charm. The HPD arrested Keoki Alika. The pieces are coming together. So, you just rest. We’ll nail everyone responsible.”
“Call Leilani. Let her know where I am.”
Leilani? This was the first Dan had heard of Leilani.
“Sure, Steve. I’ll call Leilani,” Dan promised.
He wondered how he possibly would find the woman in question. Steve lived such a private life that Dan rarely knew who he was seeing – assuming Leilani was a girlfriend. She might have been any of hundreds of women in the islands. Was she someone at his church? Was she his housekeeper?
“Not a problem,” Jenny said as she took the receiver from the telephone and began dialing a number.
“Well, who is she?” Dan wanted to know.
Jenny did not respond. Instead, she spoke into the receiver. “This is Steve McGarrett’s office. He asked me to let you know he won’t be able to keep his appointments for the foreseeable future. Yes, I’m sure he will call for another appointment when he is able.”
She replaced the receiver and gave the men a look that asked, “What’s so difficult about that?”
“Well, who is she?” Dan wanted to know.
“His barber,” Jenny replied simply.
“I wish I had a barber named Leilani,” Kono said.
Chin grinned but said nothing.
“Do you know where this barbershop is, Jenny?” Dan asked.
“Of course. Why?”
“Look closely. Doesn't Danny need a haircut and a shave?” Kono joked.
“Che discovered a hair in Keoki's car that came from a wig that was probably hand made on special order,” Dan barked. “Sorry, Kono, that I’m so jumpy, but that hair looked exactly like one of my own.”
“The shop is in the Waikiki Lagoon Hotel, Danny,” Jenny volunteered.
Kono whistled but made no comment.
Arriving at the hotel, Dan asked the way to the barbershop. As he entered the establishment, something caught his eye. It was a discreetly placed sign in a display case. It read,
Handmade Wigs Made to Order
A young woman, beautifully coiffed and made up, approached him with a greeting and a smile. “Good morning, sir. How may I help you?”
“I’d like to see the manager, please,” Dan replied.
“Certainly, sir. Just a moment, please.”
While waiting, Dan looked around. Everything gave the impression of being very expensive. The wait was not a long one. Almost immediately, he heard a very melodic voice speaking behind him.
“I'm Mrs. Akama, the manager. How may I help you?”
As Dan turned, he found himself looking into a woman’s face in which Caucasian and Asian features blended beautifully. He judged her to be somewhere between thirty-five and forty years old and to be standing at about five feet and eight inches high. He judged that she would have been five feet and four inches without the stiletto heels she wore. It seemed odd that she would be wearing them, for no one wore such shoes in 1982.
“My name is Dan Williams,” Dan said, showing his ID. “I would like to have a few words with you.”
“Would you please follow me to my office, Mr. Williams.”
Dan followed the woman through the salon and into a private office. In a word, it was sumptuous, even more sumptuous, in fact, that the public area. That seemed odd to Dan, although he said nothing about it.
As they sat down in beige leather armchairs, Mrs. Akama asked Dan if he would like something to drink; he declined.
“Mrs. Akama, a card in the showcase says that you make wigs.”
Mrs. Akama stiffened. “Mr. Williams,” she began only to hesitate. “You see, of course, the Waikiki Lagoon has to swim with the tide and accept guests who are...well...not really adequate according to this hotel’s standards, but the ladies who frequent my shop, are...well...”
“...quite wealthy?” Dan suggested, helping her along.
“Yes, Mr. Williams. So, I have to ask you to be very discreet.”
“Of course, Mrs. Akama. I understand. Well, a handmade wig that was very likely made on special order can be connected to an attempted murder and maybe to a murder. I’d like to have a look at your order lists.”
“Is there any proof that this wig was made here?”
“No, there isn't.”
“Then, please excuse me,” Mrs Akama said, rising.
“Mrs. Akama, I could get a search warrant,” Dan informed her calmly.
“Very well, Mr. Williams. The files will be brought to you at once.”
Going over the files, Dan found no information concerning a wig with curly, blond hair.
“Thank you for your cooperation, Mrs. Akama,” Dan said . “Oh, by the way, I would like to speak to Leilani.”
“I'm sorry, Mr. Williams. That is not possible.”
“Oh?” Dan asked. “Why is that not possible, Mrs. Akama?”
“An hour ago, I gave Leilani the rest of the week off. Her boyfriend was killed two days ago.”
“I’m sorry to hear that,” Dan said.
“I believe Hawaii Five-0 is investigating the case. Have you found his killer?” the woman asked.
“What was his name?”
“Paulo Alika, the man who was found dead in the park."
Duke, Chin, and Kono were gathered around Kono’s desk.
Duke said, “Keoki was lying in wait and followed the ambulance to the hospital. The trunk of his car was filled with explosives. That essentially solves the mystery of who planted the bomb in Steve’s condo. Danny will tie up the loose ends there. That does not, however, get us any closer to learning who killed Paulo Alika.”
“Or why,” Kono added.
“Correct,” Duke agreed.
“I’ve hit a roadblock,” Chin spoke up. “I can’t find anyone who didn’t like Paulo. He was a good kid. Grew up in the church. Finished high school at the top of his class. Is doing well in college.”
“Anyone but Keoki Alika,” Kono spoke up.
“Maybe it was Keoki, but we can’t assume that it was,” Duke said. “There’s a big gap between being angry with Steve for arresting his father and going after his half-brother.”
“Maybe the murderer mistook Paulo for Keoki,” Jenny said as she walked in with two letters, which had come in the day’s mail delivery.
The detectives exchanged interested glances.
“Maybe he did!” Kono exclaimed. “They bear a certain resemblance to each other and are about the same height and size.”
“And it was dark out there,” Chin added.
“Good, Jenny! You may be onto something,” Duke told the secretary, who kicked up her heel in a bragging, yet teasing, way. “Chin, you and Kono work on that angle. See who Keoki’s enemies are.”
“Something tells me that kid has more than a few enemies,” Kono noted.
“I know two enemies on Hotel Street,” Chin said.
“Good! Start there. See where it leads,” Duke said.
Driving along the coast to Kaneohe, where Leilani lived, Dan’s thoughts whirled in his head: Leilani is, no was, Paulo’s girlfriend. Leilani is Steve’s barber. Steve was meant to be killed in the explosion Keoki Alika set in his condo. Coincidence? Doesn’t Steve always say there are no coincidences?
When Dan reached the address Mrs. Akama had given him, he left his car and walked up three steps to the front door of a small, yet attractive, house. He knocked, waited for a moment, and knocked again. A moment later, the door was opened by a young woman. Her well-shaped, round face, which clearly reflected her Hawaiian ancestry, was swollen. In addition, the rims of her dark eyes were swollen and red as though she had been crying.
He started to tell the woman his name only to fall silent as the woman stared at him in nothing short of horror. Before he could react, she rushed past him and started screaming at the top of her lungs.
“It was you-u-u!!! You killed him! You killed my darling Paulo!”
With that, the woman broke down wailing and sobbing. Dan walked forward, hoping to calm her. Before he reached her, started to scream again, and then she collapsed. Completely perplexed by what he had witnessed, Dan went to his car and called for an ambulance.
Two hours later, at the Leahi Hospital, Dan was approached by the doctor who had treated the woman who had collapsed at his feet. He had asked to see him.
“How is Leilani, Doctor?” he asked.
“She has experienced a very severe shock.”
“Can I speak with her?”
“I'm afraid, Mr. Williams, that you will have to wait. We have sedated Miss Kemana. She obviously has had a very disturbing experience.”
“Yes,” Dan agreed. “I wanted to ask her some questions concerning a murder that took place two nights ago. She stormed past me, accusing me of murdering her boyfriend.”
“If that is so, Mr. Williams, it would be wise that you don’t see her,” the doctor answered in clipped tones.
“I insist, Mr. Williams. I’m sure there are other police officers, who can ask those questions. Please excuse me. I have work to do.” Without waiting for a reply, the doctor stepped around Dan and continued on his way.
Dan was perplexed. Why would Leilani Kemana think he had killed Paulo Alika? It made no sense. Dan never had seen her before and had not even known her last name until the doctor had spoken it. Suddenly, he no idea which way to turn to solve the case. Ordinarily, he would have turned to Steve to help him sound out ideas.
He pondered the possibility of consulting with Steve, anyway. After all, Steve had been transferred from ICU and into a normal room the day before. If he could just tell him about Leilani... But was that wise? Out of ICU was a long way from fully recovered.
Need won out over sensitivity. See Steve, I will, but I won’t tell him about the case, he decided. If he had not been at the end of his physical and emotional ropes, he would have known his decision was senseless, but he had not had a full night’s sleep in nearly seventy-two hours, and he had not had a decent meal since… He could not remember when he last had eaten.
Nodding to the HPD officer standing guard at the door to Steve’s room, he entered.
“Hello, Steve. How are you?” he asked as he stood at the foot of the bed and looked up its length to Steve’s bruised and swollen face.
“Don’t ask, Danno. There is no part of my body that doesn’t hurt,” Steve answered, albeit with a touch of humor in his voice. “And how are you?” he inquired as he studied the pale, haggard face of his friend that bespoke too little sleep and insufficient nutrition.
“I'm fine,” Dan assured him even as he avoided making eye contact with Steve.
Steve chuckled inwardly. Danno is an excellent cop, but he never has been able to hide anything from me. Aloud, he asked, “How is the investigation going?”
“We found the blue sedan you told Chick Mitsui about.”
“Did I tell Chick about a sedan?” Steve asked.
Dan nodded. “In the emergency room, right after the explosion.”
“I don’t remember. Go on with what you were going to tell me.”
“Keoki Alika was behind the wheel, and the equipment for blowing up your kitchen was in the trunk.”
“Good work, Danno. Did you get anything out of him?”
“No, not yet.”
“What else?” Steve wanted to know.
“What do you mean?” Dan asked. His demeanor gave him away. Why, he looked like the proverbial cat that ate the canary.
“Don’t lie to me, Danno. What are you hiding from me?”
Dan looked up in astonishment. How could Steve have guessed? But he always has been able to read me.
“Steve, you are barely out of ICU. Duke, Chin, Kono… We’ll take care of everything. All you should think about is getting well and...”
“Danno, you are talking to me, Steve. Don’t give me that ‘we’ll take care of everything’ jazz. What happened?”
“I went to the barber shop, where Leilani is working. I discovered that they make wigs. Che found a hair that came from a well-made wig in the trunk of Keoki Alika’s car. It looks like my hair!”
“So?” Steve prodded him.
“I went to see Leilani. It turns out she was Paulo’s girlfriend! She accused me of murdering him! Then, she collapsed. She’s downstairs, in emergency, sedated.”
Once Dan got going, he was unable to stop. The words spewed out like magma from a volcano.
“So, one of you will have to follow up with the doctor and question Leilani,” Dan explained as the Five-0 team met the following morning.
“Then, you’re one of the suspects?” Kono asked. He gave a broad grin and reached in the direction of Dan’s hair.
“This isn’t a wig, Kono! It’s my hair!” Dan insisted as he moved away.
“We’d better go and interview Leilani right away,” Duke said.
“I’ll do it,” Kono offered.
“No, you won’t!” Chin disagreed. “You’ll lose your cool.”
“I’ll go,” Duke said. “What is the doctor’s name, Danny?”
“Dr. Kamekona. Roland Kamekona,” Dan replied. “Here’s his telephone number.”
Duke took the card. “Chin, how are you and Kono coming on your search for Keoki Alika’s contacts?”
Kono snorted. “Them’s a tough bunch.”
Chin spoke up. “No one’s talking, Duke, but the general feeling is that they and Alika are capable of committing just about any crime on the books.”
“Do they have records?” Duke asked.
“We only have a few names. The HPD’s running them through the computer,” Chin explained.
“Good. Okay, then. Let’s keep going.” Rising, he walked from Steve’s office, where they had met and back to his cubicle. He dialed the number for Dr. Roland Kamekona. Within a few minutes, he had clearance to interview Leilani that afternoon.
Duke entered the hospital room to find Leilani sitting in a high-back chair. She wore a gown and robe. Her hair had been brushed and tied back with a ribbon. She wore no makeup. Leilani appeared quite calm; Duke was nearly certain that she was on medication.
“Leilani, this is Mr. Lukela from Five-0,” the nurse said.
“With me is Sgt. Frank Kemana from the HPD,” Duke said by way of introducing his partner for the interview.
Leilani nodded in acknowledgment but said nothing.
“Are you and Frank related, your both being named Kemana?” Duke asked.
Leilani shook her head, although she gave a slight smile at Frank.
Duke walked over, took a straight-back chair from against the wall, and sat in it some ten feet from Leilani. He did not want to frighten her, after all. Frank sat in another chair on the far side of the bed from Leilani and Duke.
“We’re investigating Paulo Alika’s death,” Duke began. “I understand he was your boyfriend.”
“Yes. We want…wanted to get married, but not until after he finishes… finished med school.”
“You told Mr. Williams that a man with curly, blond hair killed Mr. Alika?”
“Did you see it happen?”
“How did it happen?” Duke asked.
“We were at the Little Grass Shack; you know, the restaurant in Kailua.”
“Yes. I’ve been there,” Duke replied.
“Paulo left to go to the men’s room. As he got close, two men rushed up to him, and the man with the blond, curly hair shoved a needle into his arm. Paulo collapsed. The men picked him up and carried him out the back door. That was the last time I saw him.”
“Did you call the police?”
“I wanted to, and I went to the pay phone, but it wasn’t working. When I got home, I found a note telling me to forget everything I’d seen unless I wanted to wind up like Paulo.”
“Do you still have the note?” Duke asked.
Leilani nodded. Reaching into the pocket of her robe, she pulled out an envelope.
Even as she handed it to Duke, he saw that it was made up of letters cut from newspapers and magazines like the two messages sent to Five-0 had been. He had her drop it into a plastic case that would preserve any fingerprints that might be present. Duke suspected the only fingerprints Che Fong would find would be Leilani’s.
“What did you do, then?” Frank asked.
“When I couldn’t use the pay phone, I went home. I was hoping Paulo would come, that he would only be unconscious, but the next day, the TV said his body had been found on the beach. I decided that all I could do was act like nothing had happened, except yesterday, at work, I lost it. I started crying, and I couldn’t stop. Mrs. Akama sent me home.”
“And, then, Mr. Williams knocked on your door?”
“Yes. He was the man who stuck the needle in Paulo’s arm.”
Frank stepped forward and showed her a copy of Dan’s professional photograph. “Is this the man who shoved the needle into Paul’s arm?”
Leilani started to speak, then stopped. She cocked her head and studied the picture more closely. Then, she shook her head.
“No. That’s not the same man.”
“Is this the same man who went to your house yesterday?”
“Did he tell you his name?”
“He started to, but I interrupted him and ran past him and out of the house. Then, I collapsed.”
“Okay. Tell us this: What about this man is different from the man who killed Paulo?” Duke asked.
“This man is haole. The man that killed Paulo was not. This man is not heavy. The man that killed Paulo weighs more than this man. Not fat, but he weighs more than this man. This man has blue eyes. I don’t know what color the other man’s eyes are, but they were darker than this man’s eyes.”
“Thank you. May we talk about the wig?”
“It was a wig – a good one, but a wig,” Leilani said. “In fact, I saw…” She stopped and gasped, her hands flying to her mouth.
“What is it?” Duke asked her.
“I saw him before! I saw the man in the wig before! He was going out the back door of the barbershop. I didn’t see his face, but I saw the wig, and I saw the way he was built and how he walked. He’s the man who killed my Paulo.”
“Could he have bought it at the salon?” Duke asked.
“He could have. It was of the quality that Mrs. Akama sells. She has Mrs. Wong make all the wigs she sells. Mrs. Wong makes only the best wigs.”
“Who is Mrs. Wong?”
“She’s an old Chinese lady. I don’t know her given name, but she lives in Chinatown. I went there to pick up an order one day.”
“Can you tell us anything that would help us find Mrs. Wong?” Frank asked.
“She lives above the bonsai store.”
“The Little Grass Shack confirms Leilani’s story about the pay phone,” Kono reported. “The telephone company repaired it yesterday. Said it looked like someone had pulled the cord out of the phone. It was dangling from the jack.”
“Good, Kono. What about Keoki Alika’s associates?”
“The list just came from the HPD,” Kono replied as he handed Duke a printout of names.
Duke read the names, then nodded. “Have you checked them out?”
“Chin’s making a call. Then, we’ll go out and find them.”
“No. He needs to go and talk to an old Chinese lady. See if Frank Kemana can go with you.”
“Yeah. Something tells me she’s going to crack the case,” Kono stated.
Chin drove to Chinatown and parked his car near the bonsai shop. He soon stood in front of a door bearing a card that read “Wong.” He rang the bell and heard small shuffling steps approaching. The door opened, and a tiny, old Chinese woman peered out. Her face was wrinkled, and she was clad in a threadbare, but spotlessly clean, pair of trousers and a smock that once had been blue but had faded to gray. Swaying on her bound feet, she leaned against the door frame.
She must be ancient, Chin thought. He knew that bound feet would have denoted her as a daughter of a rich family in China until as late as 1915. Maybe she fled from China during the aftermath of the overthrow of the monarchy, Chin wondered.
He bowed low and, in his best Cantonese, said, "Honorable lady, may I humbly ask for a few moments of your precious time?"
“I thank you, young man. Your father has brought up you well. You pay tribute to old age,” the old woman answered in a soft voice. “But it is the wish of my honorable husband that I speak the language of the country that has allowed us to settle on its beautiful shores after we had to leave our homeland. Though my lingual abilities are limited, a husband’s wish is a wife’s command.” She continued in broken English, “Please to enter and to sit down.”
Carefully, Chin lowered himself onto a very fragile looking bamboo chair.
“Mrs. Wong,” he began, “Do you know Leilani of the Waikiki Lagoon Hotel?”
“Yes, nice girl.”
“Leilani told me that you make wigs for Mrs. Akama.”
“You want wig for wife, you ask Mrs. Akama.”
“No, Mrs. Wong. I don’t want a wig for my wife. I want to know whether you made a wig like this,” Chin explained. He removed a photo from his pocket and showed it to her. It showed Dan’s head from behind.
Mrs. Wong gasped and began to tremble.
“Why ask?” she asked in a very small voice.
“I am a police officer, from Hawaii Five-0,” Chin answered gently as he showed the woman his ID.
“Five-0,” Mrs. Wong whispered.
“Please don’t be afraid, Mrs. Wong. Please tell me: For whom did you make this wig?”
Mrs. Wong stared at Chin.
“Mrs. Wong, a man has been killed, and my boss was nearly killed by a man who has something to do with this wig. Who told you to make this wig?”
The old lady was silent, but her thoughts fairly screamed: The taipan of Five-0, Steve McGarrett, nearly died, and I may have a hand in that. Oh, you Gods don’t look favorably upon me.
“Please, Mrs. Wong,” Chin pressed gently. “Something that is against the law of the country that has given you a home has been done, and you can help me solve this crime.”
Some moments passed before Mrs. Wong finally spoke.
“My husband,” Mrs. Wong whispered. She was barely audible and lowered her head in shame.
Chin could not believe the words he was hearing.
“Your husband ordered you to make that wig?” he asked for confirmation.
Chin waited before he proceeded. He wanted to give Mrs. Wong time to recover from the shame of having lost face by betraying her husband.
“Mrs. Wong, have you ever heard the name Keoki Alika?” Chin inquired.
All of a sudden Mrs. Wong looked up, her body tense and her black eyes glittering.
“Keoki, he bad man. Make husband owe money,” she exclaimed in a shrill voice.
“Your husband owes Keoki money? Why?”
“My husband, he like gamble. Keoki make him play poker. Husband no can, lose money. Keoki give him money, husband lose. No can give back money to Keoki. Keoki say, wife make wig for Keoki, husband no give back money to Keoki. Everything okay.”
“So you made the wig to repay your husband's debts?” Chin inquired.
“Yes. Husband no lose face to kanaka ‘cause no can give back money.”
“Where did you make that wig, Mrs. Wong?”
“At shop, when all home at night, so nobody know.”
“Thank you very much for your help, Mrs. Wong,” Chin said. He arose from the chair and bowed before the woman.
Outside, Chin breathed deeply and collected his thoughts:
Incredible. A Chinese woman raised in the Chinese tradition and living in Hawai`i helps a murderer, albeit unknowingly, so that her husband might not lose face to a Hawaiian. She makes the wig secretly; so, of course, Danny couldn’t find information in Mrs. Akama's books. But, when Keoki collects the wig and wears it, so nobody will recognize him, Leilani sees him leave. Now the pieces all fall into place.
The arrest took place that night as per a report from Kono that Keoki Alika and his associates spent every evening at a tiki bar near Kailua Beach. It was a ramshackle place, clearly not a venue that would interest most people. Still, it did attract a group of underworld and low-life figures.
Just after dark, Dan and Duke coasted up to the bar in Dan’s car. At the same time, Kono and Chin Ho coasted up in Kono’s car. It was a silent approach not only for lights and sirens but also for engine noise. At the same time, more than a dozen HPD patrolmen drew silently near. Farther away, a paddy wagon waited to take on those arrested in the raid.
As per their pre-arranged plans, Kono and Chin and a half-dozen men from the HPD ran around to the rear entrance of the bar, while Dan and Duke and a half-dozen men from the HPD approached the front door. On a signal via shoulder radio that everyone was in place, Danny opened the front door and, leading his team, rushed in. Kono and his team made a simultaneous raid via the back door.
“Five-0!” Danny called out.
Bodies scurried in all directions, attempting to make a run for it . No one got more than few steps away before the law came down on him. Dan strode up to Keoki Alika, who sat supremely in a chair near the bandstand, and flashed his identification.
“Keoki Alika, you are under arrest for the murder of Paulo Alika and the attempted murder of Steve McGarrett.”
Alika shrugged as two HPD officers pulled him to his feet and put handcuffs on him. It almost seemed too easy, yet the head count revealed the fact that they had all but two of Alika’s men.
“Read them their rights, gentlemen,” Dan said.
The Five-0 team walked into Steve’s room at the Leahi Hospital. The head nurse wasn’t happy about it, but Steve had requested it. Now, she scowled as she watched Dan, Chin, Duke, and Kono walk in.
“You’re making real progress, Steve!” Dan greeted him. “The last time I saw you…”
“Let’s not discuss the last time you saw me, Danno,” Steve replied, managing a wan smile. The smile soon faded, and he studied each member of his team and said their names: “Kono… Duke… Chin… Thank you for coming.”
“We’re glad to see you looking so much better, Steve,” Duke said.
“I feel better. I want to thank you for finding the killer and building such an airtight case against him in such a timely manner. John Manicote called me this morning. He’s delighted with the material you sent him. He said he’s rarely seen a stronger case to take to trial.”
“I can’t wait to testify against Keoki Akila!” Duke spat.
“I’m surprised you didn’t take him apart, limb by limb, Duke,” Steve teased him.
“Don’t tempt me,” Duke replied.
“So, it was all a plot to get even with me for arresting old Tony, was it?”
“That’s the way it looks, Steve,” Dan said. “Keoki hurt you physically, then hurt you worse by trying to take me down and discredit Five-0.”
“When will they learn we’re one jump ahead of them?” Chin wanted to know.
“We’d better be one jump ahead of them, bruddah!” Steve declared vehemently. Then, he winced. “I don’t think I’d better get too emotional, just yet.”
“We’ll be emotional for you tomorrow, when we testify at Alika’s arraignment,” Dan said. “That’s one murderous...”
“Yeah. Killing his own brother – that poor girl’s boyfriend – just so he could be king of the mountain,” Kono said.
Before anyone could respond, a knock on the door announced the arrival of the lovely Leilani.
Steve greeted her, then said, “If you gentlemen will excuse me, I have an appointment for a shampoo and manicure.”
“That’s right! It’s Tuesday!” Dan laughed.