“Not cool, bruddah. Not cool at all.”
Kono and his young friend Keoki were walking along a trail among the rocks to the beach below.
The teenager looked confused. “What do you mean, Kono? I spent a huge chunk of the money I earned running errands to buy this costume. It was definitely the coolest one I could find. Everyone else thinks so.”
Kono simply shook his head. “You got a lot to learn, you menehune.”
Keoki sighed. “Okay, what gives? What do you have against Pele?
“That’s just the point. I don’t have anything against Pele. In fact, I have great respect for Pele, as do my family and as did my ancestors.”
They had finally reached the sand. Kono sat down on a piece of driftwood and Keoki settled next to him. There was a silent truce. Finally Keoki spoke.
“I still don’t get it. Are you saying that it’s kapu, or forbidden, to go as Pele on Halloween? Is it bad luck, you mean? Something going to happen to me?” Keoki spoke the last sentence with a half-hearted laugh.
Kono raised an eyebrow and slowly turned to look at him, and then just slowly, turned back again to the ocean. “I don’t know, and you don’t know, so let’s both keep it that way.”
Keoki still wasn’t convinced. “Look, I know some say that you don’t take Pele’s lava rocks or she will curse you or your family. But I bought a Halloween costume. I didn’t steal no lava rock!”
Kono turned once more and fixed his gaze on Keoki. “Now you look, bruddah. We Hawaiians don’t take what isn’t ours. We don’t steal Pele’s rocks anymore than we steal her likeness. You dig?”
Keoki tried again, but in a more thoughtful and serious manner. “That’s all urban legend. It’s coincidence. Ignorant people who blame their misfortune on anyone and anything but themselves. Right?”
Kono didn’t blink.
“Hey Kono,” Keoki said. “How ‘bout you lend me some things and I go as a detective this year? Faux Five-0! Hey, brah?”“Smart man!” Kono replied with a smile.
Driving the Nu‘uanu Pali
by Book ‘Em Again
Danny Williams stepped quickly to the side to avoid a bunch of kids dressed as pirates running down the sidewalk. Even though years of being a cop had given him good instincts for spotting trouble, there was just something about Halloween that stretched those instincts to the limit, especially since he couldn’t help but try to discern what costumed persons might be looking for mischief instead of candy.
And, while he no longer had to concern himself with teenaged pranks and the majority of the usual Halloween mischief – that was HPD’s headache, thank goodness – the holiday still caused added complications for his regular duties. Normally, it wouldn’t have taken more than an hour or two to track down and ask a few questions of a Honolulu cab driver who had driven a suspect the same day that a murder was committed. But that was before they realized that he was off duty and had gone to Kailua for a party.
Danny had grabbed his friend and colleague, Kono Kalakaua, and the two of them had spent half a day tracking down this single but important witness. Thankfully, his information was useful, so the day hadn’t been a total loss.
Turning the corner, he spotted his friend leaning against the side of his car. “Got ‘em,” he announced as he held up a paper bag to the hungry Hawaiian. Kono wasted no time in digging through the bag and unwrapping a delicious looking hot dog. Danny smiled at his friend’s enthusiasm. Though to be fair, they had worked straight through lunch without a break. “Aren’t you going to wait until we get back to the office?”
“Why?” Kono asked between mouthfuls. “You’re driving.”
Danny conceded the point and opened the driver’s door. The sooner he got back to Honolulu, the sooner he could eat. However, once Kono swallowed the last of his first dog, he said seriously, “Might as well eat, bruddah. I heard on da radio dat there’s a bad wreck on da Pali. A bunch of pumpkins fell out of a truck and when an old lady swerved to avoid dem...”
“Where’s the wreck?”
“About a mile north of da Nu‘uanu Reservoir.”
Danny groaned. They needed to get back to Honolulu. Steve would want to hear their report. Plus, he had made plans to attend a party tonight. “We’ll take the Nu‘uanu Pali back.”
Kono held out an unwrapped dog. “All the more reason to eat fast. Don’t want ta anger Pele.”
Danny inwardly sighed; while he respected his friend’s belief in the old gods, there was no way he was letting a silly old superstition cause them more delays. “I’ll eat when we get back.”
Kono’s eyes widened, but he got in the car and quickly went to work on his second hot dog. “Just don’t blame me when da car stops working.”
“It’s only a hot dog; I doubt Pele would even recognize it as pork.”
That seemed to mollify his friend.
Thankfully, traffic wasn’t too backed up when they got on the Pali Highway. It was heavy but it was still moving, and when he got off at the Nu‘uanu Pali exit, a steady flow of cars joined them. Beside him, Kono began to murmur softly under his breath. It sounded like a prayer.
The Nu‘uanu Pali wound its way through the beautiful Hawaiian jungle, easing Danny’s spirits a little. It was a shame that the convenience of the modern highway meant that he rarely took the back roads anymore. How could such a pretty drive be the source of so many superstitions and other haunted tales?
As if to answer his question, the engine began to sputter and make weird noises. Concerned, he pulled off to the side of the road and turned off the engine. Then when he tried to restart the car, it wouldn’t start. Danny didn’t dare look at his friend. “Don’t say a word.”
Kono just couldn’t help it. “I was going…”
Aware that he was in a foul mood, Danny forced himself to take a couple of deep breathes to clear his head; he needed to think rationally. There had to be a reasonable explanation for the car to suddenly stop working.
After propping open the hood, Danny spotted what he thought might be the problem and went to work. However, the silence between the two detectives was quickly becoming awkward. So in an attempt to try to mend things while he worked, he said, “I don’t understand why Pele’s fight with Kama…” He paused as he struggled to remember the rest of the demigod’s name.
“Kamapua‘a,” Kono supplied. “With Kamapua‘a, no one is allowed to drive with pork in their car on the Nu‘uanu Pali. Kamapua‘a is half-pig, half-man, so carrying pork is like taking Kamapua‘a over da mountian ta Pele. So, Pele stops da car ta stop Kamapua‘a from crossing over.”
Kono sounded sincere in his beliefs, and Danny couldn’t deny that it was freaky that the car had suddenly stopped. He hated to admit it, but there was just something about Halloween that was making him consider the possibility that the supernatural might just be real, after all. But that didn’t mean he was just going to let Kono throw away his lunch.
A low growl from the jungle on Danny’s right caused the detective to jump back in fear. As a large white dog walked out of the jungle, his hand moved to his service weapon. He didn’t want to shoot, but he would if he had to.
Danny turned and saw Kono shouting and waving his arms to draw the dog’s attention away from him. Then Danny could only watch in horror as his friend threw first one and than a second hot dog right to the animal. The dog wasted no time in grabbing his treat and disappearing back into the jungle.
Once Danny could breathe again, he said, “Alright, I’ll admit it. I’m spooked.”
Kono smiled gently. “No reason ta be spooked. Pele sent da dog ta get da pork. We can go home now.”Danny didn’t know whether it was removing the pork or his work on the engine that had caused the car to start up again, but as they drove back to Honolulu, he did know one thing was certain: Kono was never going to let him live this day down.
October 31, 1974
The sound subtly crept into his unconscious mind. At first, it was just part of the background noise, but it gradually increased, its insistent crescendo demanding the attention of the sleeping detective. Soon the rumbling had its way and Dan Williams stirred. Thunder? he wondered, rubbing his tired eyes. He glanced at the alarm clock on his bedside table; it read a quarter to three in the morning. Figuring that there was a storm on the way, Danny got out of bed to close his window. But when he looked out at the night sky, it was crystal clear with a glowing moon and twinkling stars. That’s strange, he thought. He left the window open and made his way back to the bed.
Just as he lowered himself onto the mattress, he sensed something; he had a vague feeling that he wasn’t alone. Danny’s cop reflexes kicked in and he grabbed his revolver from the night stand as he rose to his feet. “Who’s there?” he demanded, switching on the lamp with his left hand. But there was no one. He checked his closet and his bathroom; still no one. A bit embarrassed that he was obviously imagining things, Danny relaxed again, set his weapon back down on the table and shook his head to clear his mind. He got back into his bed and absent mindedly scratched at the stubble on his cheek while he tried to mentally explain away what had happened. Must be that late night leftover pizza…or the hours I’ve been keeping.
He dismissed the incident, turned off the lamp, then settled back under the covers. But before he drifted off to sleep again, Danny could have sworn that he heard someone calling his name.
- - - - -
The white leather chair in his boss’s private office was too comfortable for the sleep deprived detective, so he kept shifting his position to keep himself awake, hoping that his astute boss wouldn’t notice. But from the side glances that he was receiving from the lead detective, he knew it wasn’t working.
“As you know, today is Halloween,” Steve McGarrett continued his morning briefing, “and HPD already has their hands full with all manner of petty crime and juvenile pranks.”
“So what else is new?” commented Chin wryly. A father of eight, he was well acquainted with the innocent and not so innocent local celebrations of the final few days of October. He just hoped that his older kids weren’t involved in any mischief that would require the intervention of HPD.
“Yeah,” Ben Kokua agreed. “Business always picks up this time of year.”
“What is new this year, gentlemen, is that we’ll be taking over some of the larger cases from Chief Dann to free up enough manpower so HPD can handle the increased load of small stuff,” McGarrett explained just as Danny was stifling a yawn. “Are we keeping you up, Danno?”
Feeling all the eyes in the room upon him, Danny stammered, “Uh, no, Steve, sorry. I didn’t sleep too well last night.” He straightened his posture and tried to look attentive.
“Young lady?” the lead detective asked matter-of-factly, which brought a light chuckle from Chin and a definite smirk from Ben.
Danny’s cheeks burned as he responded quickly, “No, nothing like that,” and glared at his amused colleagues, hoping his boss would change the subject.
Steve pressed the intercom button on his desk phone.
“Yes, boss?” his secretary replied through the speaker.
“Jenny, Danno needs another cup of coffee,” Steve answered.
“Will do,” Jenny responded without hesitation. “And boss, you have that meeting with the governor in ten minutes.”
“Thanks, love.” Steve switched off the intercom then grabbed his holster and suit jacket. “Chin, Ben, go over the evidence file on the Fleming brothers again; we may have missed something. Danno, call Doc and see what’s holding up those autopsy results. I’ll be back in an hour.” And the head of Five-O was out the door.
The other three detectives filed into the outer office in McGarrett’s wake. Danny grabbed the cup of coffee that Jenny had prepared for him and returned to his cubicle. He settled into his desk chair then flipped through his rolodex until he found the number for the county morgue. He picked up the receiver and dialed the phone. His call was answered on the second ring.
“Hi Doc, it’s Dan. How soon will you have the results for the Jenkins autopsy?”
“You’ll get them when I’m finished. Have a little patience. You’re picking up Steve’s bad habits, Danny.”
“At least give me an estimate, Doc,” Danny pushed, wanting at least some information to give his boss.
“Maybe mid-afternoon, maybe not. I’ll call you.”
“Thanks,” Danny said, not really meaning it, which was evident in his tone. He hung up the phone too forcefully before he realized that his lack of sleep was starting to affect his manners. He closed his eyes and took a deep breath. When he opened his eyes, he saw Ben standing in his doorway. It was clear that the Samoan detective had overheard Williams’ half of the conversation and the smack of the telephone’s handset against its cradle.
“You okay, Danny?” Ben asked with genuine concern in his voice.
“Yeah,” was his brief answer before Danny decided that he really wanted to talk to somebody about his eerie experience. “But something really strange happened last night, Ben…I don’t know, maybe it was just a dream.” Danny nervously ran a hand through his curly hair.
“What happened?” Ben continued, keeping his voice low so the whole office wouldn’t hear.
Danny related his experience of hearing what sounded like thunder with no sign of a storm and then feeling a presence in his bedroom when no one was there. He even admitted that he thought he had heard someone calling his name. Danny half expected Ben to laugh at him and was surprised when he didn’t.
“There are many Polynesian legends of ghosts who are actively involved with the living,” Kokua explained in all seriousness. “Maybe you have a visiting spirit.”
“You sound just like Kono!” Danny exclaimed, amused by the supernatural suggestion. “Just because it’s Halloween, it doesn’t mean that I’m seeing ghosts. I’m not six!”
“A lot of people on this island believe in the spirits, Danny. I’m just saying…,” Ben commented calmly.
“I’ll take that into consideration then,” Danny replied more diplomatically.
The conversation came to a halt when Jenny poked her head into Williams’ cubicle. “Danny, HPD is on the line. Can you take the call?”
“Sure, I’ll take it in here,” Danny replied.
The efficient secretary returned to her desk to transfer the call and Ben disappeared into his own cubicle.
This must be the call that Steve was expecting from Chief Dann, Danny thought, so he pulled out a legal pad to jot down the list of new cases for Five-O just as his telephone rang. He picked up the receiver and identified himself.
“Williams.” But it wasn’t Chief Dann on the other end.
“Hi Danny, it’s Duke. I’m down here in lock-up and…um…do you have time to come over?
“I think so. What is it, Duke?”
“We’ve got a group of teenagers here who were hauled in early this morning for vandalism. They broke windows and destroyed some equipment last night at Ming’s Laundry on Bishop Street. It was probably one of those ‘Devil’s Night’ pranks that got out of hand, but Mr. Ming is pressing charges.”
“What does that have to do with me?” Danny asked, knowing that the HPD sergeant wouldn’t call him for something trivial.
“Danny, one of the boys is David Olena, and I figured…”
“David?” Danny interrupted, clearly shocked then added, “You figured right; I’ll be right over!”
He ended the call, grabbed his jacket and told Jenny that he’d be at HPD headquarters. He just hoped that Steve would understand.
- - - - -
When Danny entered the HPD building, Duke Lukela was waiting for him, ready to usher him to the interrogation area.
“Mr. Ming has calmed down now, Danny,” the older officer explained as they walked through the building. “He’s agreed to drop the charges, if David will apologize and pay for the damage. Same deal for the other boys.”
“Good, Duke,” Danny responded, relieved that the business owner was being more than reasonable. “That’ll give me a place to start the conversation.”
Duke brought Danny to a private room occupied by a woman in her late thirties, dressed in a simple green shift, her long black hair pulled back off her shoulders – David’s mother. She was sitting with her head bowed, twisting the tissue she held in her hands.
Danny approached the woman and offered his hand. “Julia,” he said gently. She looked up then took his hand and stood. Noticing the woman’s red rimmed eyes, Danny pulled her into a comforting hug. “Don’t worry, Julia, I’ll handle this,” he whispered.
“Thank you,” Mrs. Olena said bravely. “Danny, I don’t know how this happened.”
“I’ll find out,” Danny promised. He nodded toward Duke, indicating that it was time to escort the woman out and retrieve David from his cell.
It wasn’t long before Duke returned with the teenager, who was dressed in jeans and a T-shirt. The silver haired officer led the youngster to a chair and seated him so that he faced Danny.
“Thanks, Duke. Give us some privacy, okay?” Danny said.
“Sure, Danny,” Lukela replied. Then he addressed the boy, “David, I want to you listen to Danny. He cares about you.” Duke gave David’s shoulder a fatherly squeeze before he exited the interrogation room.
The teenaged boy regarded the Five-O detective with a smug expression, but beyond that, Danny saw fear and shame in his eyes. It’s not too late, he thought.
- - - - -
A good half hour later, Danny emerged from the room with a different young man – the smugness had disappeared, now replaced by genuine contrition.
“This may be the hardest thing you’ve ever had to do, but you’ll feel much better afterward,” Danny told the boy as they rejoined Duke.
“How’d it go?” asked the HPD sergeant.
“Just fine, Duke,” Danny replied with a grin. “David is ready to apologize to Mr. Ming and work out a plan to pay for the damage.”
The Hawaiian officer smiled broadly. “That’s great, David. He’s waiting in my office.”
Williams stayed with David while he made his apology to Mr. Ming and arrangements were made for the boy to spend his after school hours repairing the damage to the shop and working to pay for the repairs he couldn’t do himself. Before Danny left, he thanked Mr. Ming and gave the elderly man his business card, saying, “If I can do anything else, please give me a call.”
- - - - -
A couple of weeks had passed. Five-O had arrested the Fleming brothers for grand larceny and for the murder of Carl Jenkins, and they had completed the paperwork on the two cases they had taken on from HPD during the Halloween rush.
Danny had all but forgotten the strange occurrence, dream or whatever it was, he had experienced in the wee hours on Halloween morning. The only lasting effect was that he had since then cut down on his late night consumption of pepperoni pizza.
Seated at his office desk, Danny was about to call John Manicote to request a search warrant pertaining to a new investigation when his telephone rang.
“Williams,” he answered on the first ring.
“Mr. Williams, this is Jun Ming from Ming’s Laundry. Do you remember me?”
“Of course, Mr. Ming. What can I do for you?”
“I’m just calling to thank you for making arrangements for young David to work here. He is a hard worker, and has more than repaid his debt. And he still comes in every day after school. He’s good company, too, for an old man like me. I’ve given him a part time, paying job!”
“That’s wonderful news, Mr. Ming. I appreciate your giving the boy a second chance. It sounds like he took it to heart.”
“Yes, indeed, Mr. Williams. You have a good day, and may the spirits smile on you.”
“You, too, Mr. Ming.”
Danny hung up the phone, sat back in his chair and smiled at the good that had come out of a bad situation. Days like this made it all worthwhile.
- - - - -
That night, a rumbling sound crept into Danny’s dream, slowly, insistently growing louder. Before long, the thunderous din pulled the detective out of his slumber and he sat up in his bed. A quick glance at the clock confirmed the time: quarter to three. What? he thought. Not again!
As he sat in the darkness, the sound gradually became clear enough to identify; it wasn’t thunder, and to Danny, it was a very familiar sound - the thundering sound of bowling balls rolling down wooden alleys and striking sets of wooden pins. Suddenly, Danny felt a presence in his room. The noise subsided and the room became quiet. Then he distinctly heard a voice call out: “Daniel.”
That’s funny, Danny thought, the only person who calls me ‘Daniel’ is…was…
“Chinough?” Danny called out tentatively. “Chinough, is that you?”
“Yeah, it’s me,” admitted the familiar voice. “Thanks, Daniel – I owe you one.”
And with that, the presence was gone.
For several minutes, Danny sat there in his bed in the dark room. Had he imagined it? He didn’t believe in spirits. Still, Ben had said that there were legends of ghosts visiting the living. Dan had grown up on the island and remembered similar stories from his childhood. But those were just stories, weren’t they?
- - - - -
The next morning, Dan Williams went to the Palace as usual, put in a full day of work typical for a Five-O detective, including overtime and Chinese take-out for dinner. He said nothing about his visitor from the spirit world. No one would believe him anyway. He wasn’t sure if he believed it himself.
By the time he got back to his apartment, it was nearly eight thirty. He loosened his tie, took off his suit jacket and draped it over a chair, put his gun and badge case on the table then sat down to leaf through his mail. Among the usual bills and ads was an envelope from what had been Chinough Olena’s favorite restaurant. Danny opened the envelope and unfolded a promotional gift certificate for a free steak dinner complete with onion rings! In his mind, Danny heard the spirit voice again: Thanks, Daniel – I owe you one.
And he believed.
Author’s Note – The character Chinough Olena appeared in “The Bomber and Mrs. Moroney” (Season 3) and “Pig in a Blanket” (Season 5).
Trick or Toby?
A Hawaii Five-0/Hogan's Heroes Halloween Crossover
"A full day off!" Danny Williams reveled in the thought as he settled in a comfortable deck chair on his lanai, coffee cup in hand and the latest surfing magazine resting on his lap. A perfect day to relax. He'd go out to Waimea later to catch a few waves, take his latest girlfriend to dinner and a Halloween party. He'd thought of turning his phone off, but that might be going a bit too far. Steve had the habit of interrupting his treasured free time and if he didn't answer the phone...
His reverie was interrupted by a knock on the door. The young detective shook his head and got up to greet his unexpected guest, when he heard a familiar screech. "Toby!" The thought of an encounter with Andrew Carter's infamous cockatoo was more than he could handle. Not on a rare Halloween off! Maybe if he kept quiet, Carter and his feathered friend would go away. He moved silently back to the lanai, prepared to wait Carter out.
"No such luck," he realized as a Cockney voice called through the door, "Open up, Mate! We know you're home—your cars are still in their parking spaces." That had to be Newkirk. What were he and Carter doing at his place this early? And with Toby? Dan gave up and opened the door, cringing as the excited cockatoo-dressed in a pirate costume of all things-jumped on his shoulder, singing an off-key "Yo Ho Ho and a bottle of rum!"
"Carter!" Danny's panicky voice pleaded. "Get him off me! I do not want to be bitten!" Toby chomped his formidable beak and bounced on Williams' shoulder.
"Sorry," the Air Force officer mumbled apologetically as he reached for his pet. Toby docilely stepped on Carter's hand and settled down for a few scritches. "Newkirk and I are putting a show for some of the patients at Tripler. LeBeau's taking time off from his new restaurant. He's meeting us at the hospital—he's gonna sing. Toby's learned a lot of new tricks, too. Kono told us you had the day off, so we thought you might like to come along. It's for the kids in the pediatric ward. They need some Halloween fun, too!"
Dan laughed. "Since you put it that way," he grinned, "I guess I'll have to come, even if it's just to keep you out of trouble. But Kono sure owes me one!"
"And Steve will be happy you're not risking another wipeout on those waves," Carter added with a slightly smug grin.
"That, too," Danny agreed.
- - - - -
The small recreation room rocked with the sound of laughter as patients and medical personnel enthusiastically responded to the Halloween show. LeBeau led everyone in a few songs. Newkirk did some of his best magic tricks and added a spectacular juggling routine featuring a variety of small stuffed animals: a bunny, two penguins, an owl, and a Teddy Bear dressed in an aloha shirt. The audience clapped wildly as he ended his act by throwing each object to a different child. The look on the kids' faces was priceless. "There's one for every kid after the show," he whispered to his companions. " General Hogan got them for us."
Toby could barely contain his excitement—and cockatoos are very excitable birds—when it was his turn. He strutted; he rolled over; he dropped a small ball through a hoop, and picked a handkerchief from an embarrassed Danny Williams' pocket, something he'd learned from Newkirk. Finally, grabbing a small plastic sword, he pranced around, climbed a rope ladder to a high perch and yelled "Ahoy, Mates!" in a loud voice. At Carter's command, the talented parrot jumped to the table top and dug through a small sandbox, hunting for buried treasure, to be rewarded with several favorite treats. Insufferably proud of himself, Toby raised his crest, bounced happily, and finally announced, "That's all, folks!" as he raised a foot and waved "Bye-Bye." The audience went wild.
Danny was brushing tears of laughter from his eyes when he felt a tap on his shoulder. One of the corpsmen motioned him to a quiet corner of the room as he said, "Detective Williams, we have a problem. One of the children is missing. We may need Five-O's help."
Laughter forgotten, Danny immediately fell into detective mode as he asked a few basic questions: name and description of the missing child, parents, anyone with a grudge against the family. He needed to speak with the hospital's CO and security people.
The child's story was a sad one. The boy, Bobby Allen, was a recent orphan. His parents had lost their lives in an auto accident, one all-too-typical in an island setting during the annual rainy season: slippery pavement, a bad curve, loss of control. Bobby had suffered only minor injuries but was understandably still in shock. His grandparents were on their way from the Mainland-New England, the CO noted-and would arrive sometime in the afternoon.
Williams took a deep breath. Orphaned himself at a young age, he could easily imagine the grief and thoughts overwhelming the boy. He'd experienced them himself. He questioned the corpsman, seeking information that might give a hint of Bobby's whereabouts. Had he said anything about the accident? Spoken to a counselor? To teachers? Family friends? When was the last time anyone saw him?
"This morning," the corpsman answered. "We brought him to see Lt. Colonel Carter's Halloween show. He loves animals and we'd hoped that parrot might help him open up."
"So," Dan queried, "he may still be in the hospital, perhaps hiding somewhere?" The young detective turned to the security chief for confirmation.
"Possibly," came the answer. "No one reported him leaving the hospital and he's not in his room. I've ordered my staff to initiate a search, but it's a big complex..."
"And a search will take some time," Williams finished the thought. "I'd better call Steve."
- - - - -
LeBeau looked at Newkirk and Carter. "Where is Danny?" he wondered aloud. He was here just a few minutes ago."
"I saw him talking to one of the hospital staff," the Cockney answered. "He must have been called away for something. Anyway, we can't leave without him. Wonder what's going on."
"He's not the only one missing," Carter added quietly. "Toby's gone, too."
- - - - -
Cockatoos are playful, inquisitive, and intelligent birds. Like other pets who've spent a long time in the company of humans, they can also read moods and emotions-and Toby could read them better than most. He'd noticed the quiet, sad little boy sitting toward the back of the room and had observed him sneaking out in the general excitement at the conclusion of his act, not at all the usual behavior for a guest at one of his finest performances. Something was wrong. It was up to a cockatoo to discover what. Time to go exploring! Someone had to find that child. Why not him? After all, wasn't he an unofficial member of Hogan's team? Now which way had the boy gone? Ah, down that corridor—lots of rooms to hide in. Toby launched his own investigation.
- - - - -
The look on Danny's face as he returned to the recreation room told the Heroes that something was seriously wrong. "We have a child missing," he told the men, "A small, blond boy, Bobby Allen, right arm in a cast. He just lost his parents in an auto accident. He seems to have vanished toward the end of Toby's act."
"Mon Dieu!"LeBeau's concern was evident in his expression. "Pauvre petit." Newkirk and Carter looked shocked; a morning that had started out with so much fun had suddenly turned tragic.
"Carter," Williams turned to the older man. "You know this hospital better than I do. Is there anywhere on this floor a child can hide?"
"Lots of places," the pharmacist replied. "There are several storage closets in this corridor. He could be in any one of them, maybe hiding behind a cart or..." Carter went on to list several possibilities when Newkirk broke in, "You said Toby was missing, too. You think he followed the boy?"
"Maybe," Carter replied. "He might have been curious. He can get into a lot of mischief."
Danny smiled in spite of himself. He knew just how much mischief that bird was capable of getting into! "So it's find Toby and we'll find the boy?"
"Peut-être," LeBeau nodded. "Toby loves children."
"We've got a lot of rooms to search," Danny finished the conversation. "We'll split up, search in pairs."
- - - - -
Toby walked quietly along the edge of the corridor, avoiding people, his acute hearing attuned for any hint of the missing child's location. A soft, sobbing sound alerted him. He looked around, tentatively raising and lowering his crest. Ah, that room there—the door was open just a crack, big enough to get his beak into. He pulled on the door, opening it just wide enough to slip inside. There, huddled in a corner behind a table filled with sheets, was a small, sad child. Someone who needed a cockatoo's comfort! Toby gently climbed into the boy's lap, mumbling softly, "Hi . . . Hello . . . Love ooo."
"Birdie!" the surprised boy whispered. He gently patted Toby's head as the bird responded "Love ooo." The child broke into sobs as he held the cockatoo.
- - - - -
Carter stopped suddenly. "Did you hear that?" he said. "It sounds like a child crying. It's coming from over there."
Danny nodded his agreement as he quietly opened the door and stepped into the small room. "You were right!" he said. "Toby found him."
Dan knelt beside the sobbing boy as Carter retrieved his pet. The young detective gently held the boy, letting him sob out his grief and reassuring him that people were there for him, that his grandparents were on the way.
"Toby can stay with you for a while," Carter added as he squeezed the child's shoulder. "He really likes you," he continued as Danny lifted the small boy and returned him to his own room. The Five-O officer decided to stay with the bereaved child until his grandparents arrived. It may not have been the way he'd planned to spend Halloween, but it was the way he needed to, the way little Bobby needed him to.
Author’s Note. Toby's behaviors are based on actual behaviors of his alter ego, my pet umbrella cockatoo. They are extremely sensitive to moods.
When Five-0 Goes Trick-or-Treating
by Steve's Girl
"Ye know, bruddah, on a day like today, I wish I was seven again," Kono sighed sadly, stepping into Danny's office.
"How so?" Danny asked.
"Don't ye know that today is October 31, Halloween?"
"Nevah went trick-or-treating as a kid?"
"Well, no. Aunt Clara wasn't all for it, and..."
"What a wasted childhood!"
"Good morning, Chin. You're in early today," Danny and Kono answered in unison.
"Are you discussing anything important?"
"Kono just tried to explain to me what I missed, not having gone trick-or-treating as a kid."
"Oh yeah, Halloween. My kids hardly slept last night and fought over breakfast about who will wear what costume tonight."
"So that's why you are in so early today," Jenny chimed in. "And will you accompany your kids, Chin?"
"No. Tim can watch over them this year. Lin and I will go out for dinner."
"So, you'll go treating instead of tricking," Danny remarked.
"Let's imagine, just for fun, what we would do if we'll go trick-or-treating tonight," Jenny suggested.
"I know," Kono replied at once. "I would chase dat Mike Martin up and down dat beach where he hit me over de head with a stone!"*
The others stared at him, open-mouthed.
"In disguise?" Jenny finally asked.
"…'Course! With my head under my arm, I'll be de ‘Horrible Headless Kono!’"
Everyone was nearly bursting with laughter.
"I...," Jenny gasped after she was able to breathe again, "would prepare some scary Halloween finger food, dress as if I had just risen from my grave of centuries, and scare Marty Collins to death. He scared me so much I wasn't able to cope, and that's eating at me still.”**
No one burst with laughter this time. Everyone was speechless after Jenny's emotional outbreak.
"Scary Halloween finger food?" Kono (and who else?) wanted to know.
"Well, eyeballs, for instance. Take some peeled lychees and press a green or blue grape into each fruit, or..."
"Okay, okay, Jenny. We're getting your drift. No more, please," the men begged.
"And you, Danny?" Chin asked.
Danny's blue eyes showed a cold glitter when he answered Chin's question.
"I’ll get into Walter Gregson's mind and make him imagine the fall he would have taken down rocks hadn't I pulled him up."***
Everyone was stunned. Nobody would have imagined a trait like that in Danny.
"And what about Steve?" Kono asked after a little while.
"Oh, Steve," Jenny was eager to answer. "Steve will be the famous ancient magician Stephanopolos, who is able to set everything right."
"And would I get an adequate costume?" they heard Steve's slightly amused voice ask behind them.
"How long have you been standing there, Steve?" Danny wanted to know, his face slightly reddening.
"Long enough, Danno," Steve answered softly, looking him in the eye. "Now, Jenny. What about my costume? Will I wear a pointed hat?"
"Of course, Steve, and a long cape made of heavy velvet in a deep, dark lilac color and a magic wand made of ivory and gold."
"I suppose, since I am to be an ancient magician, a magic wand made of ivory is in order. Mahalo nui loa, Jenny, for believing I can make everything right, but even a magician can't do everything, himself. He needs assistants. So, gentlemen, let's get to work. And, Jenny, I'd like a cup of coffee, please."
* Five-0 episode "Trouble in Mind" (Season 3)
** Five-0 episode "The Bomber and Mrs. Moroney" (Season 3)*** Five-0 episode "Beautiful Screamer" (Season 3)
Death Will Strike
A green-skinned witch, her nose covered in warts, laughed wickedly as she gabbed with a cap-clad vampire, while a girl dressed as a Renaissance maiden dipped the ladle into the punch bowl and poured some into a cup. A circus clown in rainbow polka-dotted outfit and coned hat allowed a grizzly bear to squeeze his big, red nose, and a hobo danced with a fairy. The music started out as soft sambas and tropical guitars then veered towards fifties and sixties Halloween-themed pop and rock. As Bobby “Boris” Pickett sang about the Monster Mash, a herringbone tweed-caped Sherlock Holmes and a gray wool-bedecked Watson, black bag and stethoscope in hand, stood off to the side, acting as spectators to festivities in which they were apprehensive to partake.
Holmes was none other than Steve McGarrett, the chief of Hawaii’s illustrious Five-0 state police organization, and Watson was Steve’s real-life sidekick, Danny Williams, known affectionately as Danno. Though they liked a good social outing once in a while, they felt strange wearing costumes and pretending to be someone else, because it reminded them of their undercover work.
The ambiance was interrupted by the sound of their hostess, Melinda Grayle. “Steve, Danny!” she called out. “Do I have to take you two by the hand and show you how to have a good time?”
“What makes you think we aren’t?” Steve asked, casually. He flecked some loose thread from the collar of his cape.
Melinda fumed. “You are impossible, Steve!” Melinda threw her hands up. In her blonde sausage curls, green satin dress and matching parasol, Melinda resembled a Southern Belle. Her husband, the formidable Sen. Erwin Grayle, invited the Five-0 chief and his assistant out of formality, since the governor and everyone else in Hawaii’s government and business world was there.
“So wonderful of you to come,” Grayle told the two cops. Danno wasn’t sure if he should say anything, knowing how his boss felt about the senator. It was obvious that the senator’s greetings were phony.
“Thank you for having us,” Steve said, managing a forced smile. The look came across as somewhat malevolent, and Senator Grayle was not fooled. “I see you chose the right costume for the occasion,” referring to the Red Death ensemble from the film Masque of the Red Death. Grayle walked away in a huff, with his wife trailing after, trying to placate him.
“That was slick,” Danno told his boss. “I didn’t think you’d do it.”
“Wearing that costume, he had it coming,” Steve said, smiling while his blue Irish eyes shined. Sen. Grayle left the room while his wife returned to her guests. She went to the center of the room and called out to everyone to get their attention.
“Everyone! Come around. Madam Kahala is going to tell fortunes,” she said.
“Shall we, boss?” asked Steve and Danno’s burly associate, Kono Kalakaua, who was dressed as a Viking.
“I hope she doesn’t tell me I’m going to get married and have ten kids,” Chin Ho Kelly, the fourth member of the Five-0 squad said. He was already married with eight kids.
Despite being dressed as Sherlock Holmes, it was not Steve McGarrett who smoked a pipe but rather his Chinese-Irish sergeant, who looked pretty silly doing so in an alligator costume.
Madam Lahaila was a slender, bronze-skinned woman, with straight jet-black hair and almond-shaped hazel eyes. Her stare was just as striking as the rest of her appearance. She walked swiftly into the room, with all the finesse of a cat, sat in the center in front of a table where two large red candles were lit, and placed a transparent globe in front of them. The whole room was silent, and Lahaila looked around suspiciously, eyeing all the party guests as though they were going to pounce on her like hungry wildcats.
“Death is in this room tonight,” she warned, as the flames on the candles started to tremble, as though the wind was passing by. Lahaila looked up. Her eyes locked with Steve’s. “You!” she pointed at the Five-0 chief. Steve looked back at her, confused. He pointed to himself.
“Yes, you, Pretty One,” Lahaila replied. “Be careful. Death will strike tonight. It will pull you in, and you must walk carefully.” She pulled out a card from a deck of tarot cards in her hand and placed it on the table. Everyone stared at the image of a skeleton on horseback, carrying a scythe and grinning menacingly. Steve stifled a gasp while Danno gripped his boss, arm, fearful that something might happen to him at any moment.
Steve managed to regain his senses and challenged Lahaila. “Miss, this is not funny. If you’re threatening me, you will be serious trouble.”
Lahaila’s eyes opened wide in terror at the accusation. “I never use the spirits in jest, sir. I am serious.”
“It’s just a party game, McGarrett,” Grayle interjected. “Lighten up.” The crack sound that came next echoed through the room like the burst of a firecracker. Everyone hit the ground, while Steve and the rest of the Five-0 men went into action. Women screamed, Grayle yelled for everyone to hide and not move from their spots, and Steve ran outside. The back yard was deserted, except for the security guards combing the area.
“No sign of anyone else,” one of them told Steve.
“Keep looking,” he ordered.
“Steve!” the feminine voice called from the house. Steve turned to see another member of the Five-0 team, Jayna Berringer, running towards him. The heavy blue velvet skirt of her Elizabethan gown was useless in impeding her speed. She ran up to him in record time, out of breath, her black hair falling over her face.
“What happened, Jayna?” Steve asked.
“Danny found the bullet,” she replied. “You’d better come and see.”
“They went back inside the house, were the party guests were still gathered. Grayle and his wife stood over the costumed form of the Renaissance maiden who lay on the ground. The blue silk of her dress was spattered with crimson blood. Steve’s blue eyes lit up in fear.
“Claire …” he said in a whisper, as though he had never seen the girl before. Jayna clutched his arm.
“Oh, God!” Melinda Grayle sobbed. Her husband consoled her.
Madam Lahaila’s prophecy had already come true: Death had struck around Steve McGarrett.
What had once been the scene of merriment and zest was now a crime scene. Doc Bergman examined the body, while Che Fong from the forensics lab gathered up whatever physical evidence he could. The scene was making Danno wretch. No matter how many crime scenes he saw, he still could not fathom the brutality and senselessness of murder –especially now.
The victim, Claire Treadway, was the wife of Senator Arthur Treadway, who was unable to attend that party because of a meeting with some civic groups. His alibi checked out, according to HPD. That was one suspect to scratch off, Danno thought but, knowing how Steve thinks, he decided not to make that scratch mark yet.
The mortuary attendants covered the body, lifted the stretcher, and carried it away, just as Sen. Edmund Treadway entered.
“What in blazes is going on here?” he roared. “Where’s Claire!?” He stopped when he saw the stretcher with its white-sheet-covered contents.
Everyone stood where they were. They were afraid to make a move, lest Treadway come after one of them. Jayna Berringer was questioning of the guests, and Treadway saw her and pounced.
“You!” he yelled. “You hated her. You wanted her dead!” He lunged at Jayna, but the detective was quick on her feet and jumped out of the way. Treadway was not to be deterred, though. He was made a quick detour and swung his fist, pummeling it into Jayna’s face, just in time for Steve and three HPD men to join the fray. They managed to pull Good rich off Jayna, but she was already crying out in pain. Steve rushed to her, trying to comfort her, taking off his jacket and placing it under her head.
“What’s wrong with him!” she screamed.
“Jayna, calm down!” Steve cried just when a medic came over. Steve turned his fierce blue glare towards Treadway. “You’re under arrest! Book him, Danno.”
Danno wasted no time in getting his handcuffs on Treadway, but the Senator continued to hurl threats.
“You’re going to pay for this, McGarrett!” he screeched and Danno and an HPD officer hauled him away. “You’ll pay!”
John Manicote, Oahu County’s beleaguered DA, frowned as he paced from one side of the room to the other. Steve managed to remain calm, but he knew his friend was at his breaking point. He kept quiet for the moment, the only sounds in the office coming from a ticking clock on the wall and some birds chirping outside.
“This just doesn’t make sense, Steve,” he said. “First Senator Grayle is angry that you came to his party …”
“Though his wife invited me,” Steve interjected.
“That was confirmed by her, yes, but he was still angry that you chose to come,” Manicote went on.
“How about Sen. Treadway assaulting one of my officers,” Steve sneered, “or is that perfectly legal?’
Manicote shot an exasperated look at Steve. “I’m not trying to cover up Treadway’s behavior, but the fact remains that something is going on here which goes beyond a so-called curse brought on by some crooked psychic.”
“We checked Madam Lahaila’s background, and the strange part is that she’s legit,” Steve said. “She was a consultant to many business and government officials, with uncanny results. She told Mrs. Grayle that Gov. Jameson was going to win the election before he had even announced that he was a running for his party’s nomination.”
“I’ll give her that,” Manicote said, “but she could not have been right all the time.”
“Unless she had help –someone to assure her that her readings would come true,” Steve said.
“I’m all ears, Steve,” Manicote urged.
“Grayle was angry because Five-0 uncovered the bribes and kickbacks some members of staff were getting from the construction companies. He had nothing to do with it, but it was still humiliating for him nonetheless,” Steve explained. “In the process of that investigation, we also found out that Claire Treadway was having an affair with one of those contractors, so it was even more mortifying for Sen. Treadway.”
“So both of them had axes to grind against Five-0,” Manicote surmised.
“Definitely,” Steve replied, “but there’s more. The contractor in question was none other than James Berberich, who’s got his hand in every organized crime cookie jar on this rock and the other six islands. Madam Lahaila used to work in one of Berberich’s night spots on the Big Island.”
“So it all falls right into place,” Manicote said, “but it doesn’t explain why Treadway assaulted Jayna.”
“That’s something she’ll have to tell us,” Steve said. “She should be out of the hospital by now.”
Jayna Berringer had recovered somewhat from her bruised jaw. The doctor had given her painkillers and some injections and told her to take it easy. Knowing her, that was impossible. She had changed of the blue velvet Elizabethan gown and into a light green sheath. She even took the time to place a silver rose pin on her left shoulder. Despite her soft appearance, beneath the elegance lay one of toughest facades Steve ever knew. Jayna was not going to let someone attack her and get away with it.
“The wheels are turning in your head, Jayna,” the top cop told his young assistant. “What’s going on?”
“That bullet was meant for me,” Jayna stated. Steve stared back at her, stunned.
“Meant for you?” he asked.
“Look at my dress.” She pointed to the blue velvet Elizabethan gown. “Claire Treadway was wearing a similar dress, made of silk but in same shade of blue. It was different in style, being from the Renaissance, but a hit man might not know the difference. He would have been told to shoot a woman in a blue dress and that was that.”
“Then that explains Treadway’s outburst,” Steve replied, “if he was involved in the hit.”
“Could it be that he blamed me for the world knowing about his wife’s affair with Berberich?” Jayna straightened the rose pin. “If anything, he should blame himself, his wife, and Berberich. I was only the one who found out about it and, even then, I didn’t tell the reporters anything.”
Steve got up and straightened the carved figurines on Jayna’s mantel piece. “The truth doesn’t matter to a man like Treadway. There has to be more to it than revenge. What else did you find out when you uncovered the affair?”
“That Claire Treadway had a bank account under her first name and her grandmother’s last name in the amount of ten thousand dollars,” Jayna said. “The money was a bribe from Berberich to Grayle. I was in the middle of building a case against them. The affair was already public knowledge.”
She got up and went to a cabinet. She pulled out a box and took it to the coffee table. She pulled out some notebooks and files.
“What are you looking for?” Steve asked.
“Claire’s statement when we questioned her.” Jayna found the paper and skimmed it for the information she needed. “Here it is.” She handed the statement to Steve. “Claire was done with Berberich and was going to go back to her husband. They were still married when she died, and not separated or having any problems.”
Steve read the statement. Claire talked all about her relationship with Berberich, which she had broken off six months earlier, she explained. She and her husband reconciled and were patching things up. Was Treadway still angry about the affair and not about to let it go? Steve wondered. There was some more information they needed, which would help everything become clearer.
Sen. Treadway was bailed out by his lawyer and sitting comfortably in his living room when Steve and Danno spoke to him. The senator offered no apology for hitting Jayna, which Steve expected and made Danno seethe with rage. Treadway sipped a bourdon and ranted on about how Jayna broke up his marriage.
“How did Jayna break up anything?” Steve asked. “You and your wife reconciled, and Jayna was only doing her job of upholding the law and investigation James Berberich. It’s not her fault your wife had an affair with him, or that she took ten thousand dollars from him.”
Treadway took a large sip of bourbon and eyed the two detectives with contempt. No amount of reason could sink into him. “She could have kept it private …”
“She did!” Danno snapped. “Jayna used the utmost discretion. The reporters found out on their own.”
“Of course you’ll defend her!” Treadway yelled. Steve began to feel exasperation Manicote felt that morning. On the table, a bowl of candy sat as a reminder that today was Halloween, and what terror lay in store for them today.
“Did your wife decide to wear that blue Renaissance costume all along?” Steve asked.
“Yes. She got it at a costume shop last week,” Treadway answered.
“Did you know about the money that your wife had in the bank?”
“Not until my wife was investigated.”
“How did you find out about the shooting?” Danno asked. “You came only minutes after it occurred.”
“Melinda Grayle called the hotel where I was having that meeting with the Chamber of Commerce.” Treadway put down his empty glass.
“And you went right to Jayna when you got there.” Steve did not hide his scorn. “You wanted her dead. What happened? Your hit man couldn’t tell the difference between the Renaissance and the Elizabethan age, so he shot the wrong woman? Maybe you have given him a history lesson.”
Treadway turned the darkest shade of pink they had ever seen. He clenched his fists and his eyes glared angrily. He looked like a human volcano at the point of eruption.
“Feel free to let it out, Treadway,” Steve said, casually. “That will suggest that you are innocent, or just a very convincing actor.”
“I DID NOT HIRE ANYONE TO SHOOT JAYNA OR CLAIRE!!!!!!!!!!!!” Treadway roared. “You’re wasting your time here! We are done!”
Steve and Danno rose. “Don’t bother to see us out, Senator. We know the way.” They left Treadway, curses, insults, and all, as they made their way outside.
“Boy, you really made him mad,” Danno said. “What did that prove?”
“That he might be telling the truth,” Steve said. “Such a reaction can’t be forced. If he was involved, he could do his best to remain calm under pressure.”
“Human behavior is unpredictable,” Danno countered.
“That’s what leads me to the next part of our investigation,” Steve said as he opened the door the black Mercury and got inside. “I think we’re going to pay a visit to the Grayles. Have Chin check on Berberich and tell Kono to find out what he can on all hit men who entered the islands recently and local ones as well.” He put the key in the ignition.
“Got it.” Danno picked up the radio receiver and began to call in as they pulled away.
James Berberich scowled at the slender, gray-eyed man who stood before him. Berberich walked from one side of the room to the other, not saying a word.
“You wanted to scare McGarrett and finish off Claire, didn’t you?” the gray-eyed man asked. “We made good on Lahaila’s warning and got rid of an albatross around our necks. We killed two birds with one stone anyway, to use a term loosely.”
“The problem now is that we have more birds to kill,” Berberich said.
“They’ll protect Berringer around the clock, if McGarrett has his way.” The gray-eyed man’s eyes started to lose their enthusiasm.
“We’ll have our way,” Berberich said. “I have another plan …” He waved his index finger at Olson in a gesture for him to come closer. …
Senator and Mrs. Grayle lived in a posh house in Hawaii Kai. The splendor of the area did little to hide the fact that a murder took place here less than twenty-four hours before. The chalk outline of Claire Treadway’s body was on the drawing room floor, and Melinda Grayle went about housekeeping as usual, or as close as she could get. She was still picking up the last remnants of last night’s revelry.
“I just can’t believe it’s happened,” Melinda said, holding back tears. “Claire never had an enemy in the world.”
“Apparently, there are some who disagree,” Steve replied. “How close of a friend were you?”
“We were friends, not the closest, but we liked each other,” Melinda said as her husband entered.
“Did she ever talk about her marital problems, or her affair with James Berberich …?” Danno asked.
Melinda seemed hesitant, looking to her husband for affirmation. He stared blankly at her, then Melinda decided to speak anyway. “She was in love with James, but ended it. She couldn’t even remain with him, after all that trouble.”
The revelation startled the two policemen, who heard a different story from Treadway.
“Was she still in love with him all this time?” Steve asked. “Was she still seeing him?”
“No,” Grayle said. “I know this because Ed hired a private eye to follow Claire around. She didn’t know about this, but he told me. The private eye never saw Claire meeting with James or anyone associated with him. She had given him up completely.
“Was there anything strange that you noticed about last night’s party – any gatecrashers, guests behaving strangely?”
“All guests were accounted for,” Grayle said. “There were some who didn’t come.”
“How many?” Danno asked.
“Only three,” Melinda answered, “Ed Treadway, a couple named Michael and Helen Crown. The Crowns had already committed to another party.” Danno wrote all this down as Melinda spoke.
“I need to know more about your staff,” Steve said to Grayle. “Who is your chief of staff?”
“Leon Olson,” Grayle said bitterly. “He should be at the office right now.”
“And was he aware of what was going on with Berberich?” Steve asked.
“No,” Grayle replied. “He was just as clueless as I. All those people who were taking bribes were sacked and are under investigation, you said.”
“Yes, they are,” Steve replied, “but investigations take time and new information turns up. Because Claire Treadway’s death occurred on your property, we have to take the bribery case into account when trying to find her killer. There might be a connection.” Steve was careful not to say what connection.
Grayle didn’t protest. Unlike his friend Treadway, he was as cool as a cucumber. Steve expected some harsh words from the man, given that he didn’t want him on the premises the night before.
“I checked out the private eye who followed Mrs. Treadway around,” Chin said, lighting his pipe. “It all checks out. She was not continuing her affair with Berberich.”
It was Kono’s turn this time. “Word on the street is that some heavy artillery was called in, but it’s domestic.” He cracked his knuckles, “… from inside Sen. Grayle’s office.”
“Good work, men,” Steve said, a gleam coming back into his eyes. “Chin, what’s the scoop on James Berberich?”
“His construction company’s riding high on favors from the Planning Commission and some of Grayle’s staff. He’s got a contact placed high in Grayle’s cabinet who’s been orchestrating all the bribes. The ones we got a hold of were small potatoes. This guy was the ringleader. He remained in the shadows because if anyone named him, they’d be dead.” Chin let out a puff of smoke.
“Just like Claire Treadway,” Steve said. “Was she the only one who named Berberich?”
“The one and only,” Jayna replied. She entered the room slowly, still sore, but Steve knew it would be futile to tell her she shouldn’t be there.
“I don’t know if she really loved him or not, but she was done with him,” Jayna went on. “That’s why she was so anxious to talk. She felt cheated.”
“Fooling around with Berberich will get you burned,” Steve said, rubbing his forehead. “Now, it’s time to light the fire.”
It was evening, and all the spooks and demons of the land came out, in their store-bought or homemade costumes, shouting “Trick-or-Treat!” at every doorstep. Steve managed to unload half his candy on some of the children in his building. It was time to head back to the office for the night shift. The phone rang as he was putting on his jacket.
“Mr. McGarrett?” the voice was female, and as smooth as silk. Steve thought it sounded familiar. “This is Madam Lahaila. I must see you. It is urgent.”
“Come to my office,” Steve said.
“No, someone might follow me.” She sounded scared. “Can you come to my office? I’m at 372 Grant Street, above the Silver Moon.”
“I’ll be there,” Steve said, and hung up. The Silver Moon was one of Berberich’s night clubs, and he had the feeling that Lahaila was not really scared.
- - - - -
Madam Lahaila’s office was decorated in a mixture of psychedelic and East Asian. She sat on a chair in the middle of the room when Steve entered. A crimson hole was in the center of her forehead, with a long stream of blood dripping down the center of her face.
“Come in, Mr. McGarrett,” a male voice said from behind.
Steve wasted no time. “Just what is going on?” He whirled around to see a man with gray eyes and a vicious sneer.
“Madam Lahaila said death would come your way,” said Leon Olson. Next to him stood a rugged Hawaiian man holding a gun.
Steve tried hard to hide his fear. Any move from him, and the Hawaiian would pull the trigger. “Berberich sends his regards.” The next sound Steve heard was gunfire, but it didn’t come from the Hawaiian man’s gun. Steve hit the ground, just in time to see the Hawaiian fall over, clutching his stomach. The gun fell out of his hand, and Steve dove for it. The Hawaiian man groaned in pain, and Olson was nowhere to be found. Steve sprang up just as Jayna and Danno entered from the other room.
“It took you long enough,” Steve said, dusting the dirt off his suit.
“We took the fire escape,” Danno said, putting his gun back into his holster.
Jayna went over to the phone to call an ambulance, and then went to administer first aid on the Hawaiian.
“There was another man here,” Steve began.
“Leland Olson,” Danno said. “Grayle’s chief of staff. HPD will pick him up. He won’t go very far”
“I don’t get it, Danno,” Steve said. “Was Lahaila trying to tell me something?”
“They might have been trying to threaten you, scare you into backing off,” Danno said. He walked over to Lahaila’s table. Some tarot cards were laid out on it, like she was telling someone’s fortune. The first card was the Two of Swords, the second was the Wheel of Fortune, and the third was the Lovers.
“The Two of Swords means two forces opposing, a conflict between two equally matched forces in which neither has the clear advantage,” the second-in-command explained. “The Wheel of Fortune means that change is not only likely to happen, it is certain to happen, and soon. The Lovers can literally be about romantic love, but also about how that love can cause problems, and it can also signify choosing between two consequences, one positive and the other negative.”
“You think Madam Lahaila was making one last reading for Steve – or for someone else?” Jayna asked.
“The cards were already laid out when I entered,” Steve said, “and Lahaila was already dead. She might have known that Olson would betray her and was making sure she got her vengeance.” Steve examined the cards again. “Let HPD take over here. We have some more suspects to bring in.”
James Berberich was sipping champagne and lighting candles on a table, set for two. Romantic music played on the record player, and he went to the window to make sure there were no trick-or-treaters about to spoil the ambience. He raised the glass in a silent toast that only he understood. It was then that the front door came crashing open, and Steve McGarrett came thundering in, followed by Danny Williams and the rest of the Five-0 squad.
“What is wrong with you, McGarrett?!” Berberich yelled. “Go play cops and robbers somewhere else!”
“I’ll play it right here, thank you,” Steve said, “and now I’m making my arrest. Tell your playmate to come out, too.”
“There’s no need!” a woman’s voice called. Melinda Grayle stepped out from the shadows, clad in a slinky pink robe.
“Well, Mrs. Grayle,” Danno replied. “Fancy seeing you here.”
“Did you tell your husband that you were taking some kids trick-or-treating?” Steve asked, his blue eyes turned steely in contempt. “Having an affair is one thing, but being an accessory to murder? You knew all about who was behind Claire Treadway’s death. Your statement about Claire not remaining with Berberich, ‘even after all that trouble.’ I detected some scorn in your voice, and that was enough to have me digging. That bank account Claire was sitting on – the account was not created by her, but you, disguised as Claire. “
“You can never prove that,” Melinda said, defiantly.
“Oh, yes we can,” Danno said. “We checked the paperwork. Your fingerprints were on it. Olson confirmed the rest. Berberich gave you the money for safekeeping, when Claire wanted nothing more to do with it or him and was getting out of the affair. You wanted Claire dead because she not only knew about the money, but about you forging her name on the bank account.”
“A lot of supposition, McGarrett,” Berberich protested. “Let’s see how well it holds up in court.”
“It will,” Steve said. “Claire made the statement to Jayna that she knew about the account, and Olson admitted to trying to get her to take the money and create the account for it. The bank manager remembered both women coming into the bank the day it was created.”
Berberich fumed and glared at Melinda. It was a sign that they were not going to win.
“Book ‘em, Danno,” Steve said. Danno took Berberich by the arm, while Jayna took Melinda’s arm. Outside, children in costumes gathered to watch the proceedings.
“Are you McGarrett?” a boy in a Superman costume asked.
“Yes, son,” Steve said, bending down slightly to talk to him.
“I want to be a cop like you when I grow up!” he said.
“And I’ll make sure to go along on your first ride!” Steve replied as he patted the boy’s head. “Happy Halloween!”
Halloween at Five-0
By H50 1.0 FOREVER
“Steve,” began Governor Paul Jameson as he and Five-0 Chief Steve McGarrett walked along the lanai outside the governor’s office. “I know you’re busy working with the Los Angeles police to close down the latest drug operation, but this is important, too. For entirely too long, public opinion regarding law enforcement in the islands has been on the decline. Because of the nature of Five-0’s work, the public doesn’t really understand what you do. Some think Five-0 duplicates HPD efforts and should be abolished. We cannot allow that way of thinking, because the legislature will react to public opinion, and we need their support.”
“Yes, sir. I’ve noticed the outcry of late. What do you suggest we should do about it?”
“I think we should participate in the city’s Halloween festival.”
“Oh? In what way should we participate?”
“We should have a booth where Five-0 shows off some of its greatest accomplishments. We should give away Five-0 caps and tee shirts. And we should participate in the drag race.”
“The drag race, sir?”
“Yes! I know Five-0’s black four-door sedans may look basic and stripped down, but we both know that, under the hood, they are authentic police interceptors. Even the little boy who gave evidence in one of the cases imagined that your car has a thousand horsepower and a turbo charger.”
Steve flinched at the reminder of the child who had insisted that McGarrett’s car could do anything! “Correct me if I’ve misunderstood you, sir. Are you saying that the festival committee is planning a drag race down Beretania Street?”
“But, sir, onlookers and pedestrians will line both sides of the street. Suppose there is an accident and a car goes up on the sidewalk? No, sir. The risks are too great. I agree that Five-0 needs to set up a tent and let the public know the kind of work we do, and I even have some discretionary funds with which to buy hats and tee shirts, but I really must draw the line at drag racing.”
“Nevertheless, Steve, it is how we will participate in the Halloween festival. Now, no more arguments. Simply make sure the cars are in good condition and start ordering the hats and shirts.”
“But, sir . . .”
When the governor refused to give in, Steve muttered a terse “Yes, sir!” and strode angrily away.
“Jenny, call Moki Ohana in publications and ask him to come up here,” Steve told his secretary as he entered the Five-0 suite and made his way toward his office. As he passed each of his detectives’ desks, he knocked to indicate that each man should come to his office. As if in a choreographed dance, Chin Ho, Kono, and Danno emerged from their cubicles and fell into step behind Steve.
“What’s going on, Steve?” Danno asked as they came to a stop before Steve’s desk.
“The governor wants Five-0 to participate in the city’s Halloween festival,” Steve replied.
“What should we do, boss? Write out tickets to jaywalkers?” Kono asked through a toothy grin.
“The governor wants us to participate in the drag race,” Steve replied.
“The drag race?” the detectives exploded in unison.
“You gotta be kidding, boss!” Kono shot back.
Danno spoke up, “Steve, isn’t the LAPD waiting to hear from us about the drug raid?” It was the nicest way he knew to remind everyone that matters far more important than a drag race needed their attention.
Steve said not a word as he set his jaw.
“Okay, boss. You’re not kidding,” Kono said. “It’ll serve the governor right if a car has a blowout and careens into the state house,” Kono snarled under his breath.
. . . Careens into the state house, where fifty people are sitting on the steps, Steve thought to himself. Aloud, he said, “Danno, I want you to review the case files and find two or three that showcase the kind of work we do. In short, they should show that we work above and beyond the HPD’s detective bureau. At the same time, we cannot breach security protocols. Chin, I want you to work with our artist, Moki Ohana, to come up with designs for Five-0 caps and tee shirts. Together, you two come up with two or three designs that we can review.”
“What do you want me to do, Boss?” Kono asked.
“Keep working on the drug raid for now. I’ll let you know more about the Halloween festival after I make a few calls.”
Jerking the receiver from his telephone, McGarrett buzzed Jenny. “Get me Chief Dan at the HPD.”
“Yes, Boss,” the red-haired secretary replied even as Danno, Kono, and Chin Ho filed from Steve’s office, past her, and into their cubicles.
Within minutes, Steve had outlined the situation to the chief of police for the City and County of Honolulu.
“No, Steve. No. You cannot have drag racing on city streets,” the police chief stated.
“Will you contact the festival committee and inform them of that fact? Governor Jameson seems to think it’s all been approved.”
“No. The meeting to finalize festival plans won’t be held until tomorrow. Thank you for letting me know about this, Steve. I’ll nip it in the bud.”
“Thank you, Chief. I’m glad we see eye-to-eye on this.”
“I’ll insist that the drag race be held at the race track.”
“Good! Good!” Steve agreed. “Does the HPD plan to participate in the race?”
“No. I wouldn’t allow it. Why do you ask?”
“Governor Jameson wants Five-0 to race two of its cars.”
“Not a good idea, Steve.”
“I think I’ll give the director of the state transportation office a call. After all, they’re his cars, and he has to please the governor, too.”
“Good idea, Steve. I’ll handle the festival committee.”
After talking to the transportation director, Steve settled back in his chair and gave a sigh of relief. After taking a few sips of coffee, he arose, walked over to the chalkboard, and began reviewing plans for the drug raid.
Large amounts of heroin were arriving in the Islands. Five-0 and the HPD had run surveillance to see just how the drugs were entering O‘ahu and where they were going from there. They had tracked movement from a point near Makaha, on the leeward coast, where the drugs had come ashore in airtight containers, and on to a warehouse near the airport. What they did not know was how the drugs were being transported from the warehouse and to the Los Angeles area. They also did not know why the drugs were being passed through Honolulu when Los Angeles was their intended destination.
“Steve, we’ve got a problem,” Chin said as he and Moki Ohana walked into the chief investigator’s office.
“What’s on your mind, gentlemen?” Steve asked.
“It takes time to make tee shirts and hats, Mr. McGarrett,” Ohana said. “It’s a silkscreen process. Each one has to be done individually. With different sizes and all and quantities in the hundreds, we can’t hope to obtain them overnight.”
“Mr. Sakai at Aloha Hats estimates four to six weeks to produce what we need,” Chin added.
“”We have two weeks, Chin. Can he make it a rush order?” Steve asked.
“He has other orders, too, Steve. Everyone wants tee shirts and hats for the Halloween festival,” Chin explained.
“Did you tell him the governor is making the request?” Steve asked.
“Yes, Boss. He said he only has so many blank shirts in inventory and so many workers and machines to do the work.”
“Keep calling around. The governor was adamant.”
“Done, Boss,” Chin said as he turned to leave.
“Maybe we need a new governor,” Ohana muttered under his breath as he followed Chin from the room.
“I wouldn’t say that aloud, not if you want to keep your job, Ohana,” Chin scolded him.
That night, the Five-0 team, aided by two squads of HPD patrolmen, raided the warehouse. Making a silent approach, they completely surrounded the structure. On cue, they burst inside and surrounded a dozen hapless field workers and a half-dozen rifle-toting guards. Hearing footsteps upstairs, the officers dashed up two sets of stairs. They ran into the masterminds at the top of the second staircase. Steve spun kingpin Ollie Morse around and slapped handcuffs on him, even as he read him his Miranda rights.
That evening, at the race track, a local band played contemporary Hawaiian music between races. Steve was surprised by the number of people who wore Five-0 tee shirts and caps. Indeed, Five-0’s exhibition at the fairground that afternoon had been a resounding success. The Five-0 team wore tee shirts and caps, too, with their blue windbreakers that bore the word “POLICE” in large yellow letters across the back. At night, in late October, the temperature often dipped down into the low 70s. With the trade winds blowing, one could feel chilly.
Now, as the last race of the night was about to begin, a 1968 Mercury Park Lane pulled up at the starting line, its police lights and siren announcing its arrival. In deference to the governor’s wishes, the state transportation director had agreed to let a qualified driver race a car that no longer was in use by the state. Kono had coordinated the transfer of the car from the state transportation motor pool to the garage of super-mechanic Keoni Kauakahi, in Waimanalo.
“Keanu Linkoa said Tony Alika put his house on the market right after the drug raid,” someone said.
“Yeah. He just got out of Leavenworth, after McGarrett turned him over to the IRS for tax fraud, and he doesn’t want to go back.”
“All that’s well and good, but that doesn’t spell the end of the kumu,” a third person said. “Just as Tony Alika succeeded Cappy Pahoa, someone will succeed Alika. There will always be someone ready to lead organized crime in the islands.”
“Yeah, probably so, but don’t worry. McGarrett will nab him, too,” someone said.
Sitting on the row behind the three speakers, Steve drew in a deep breath. Yes, his work was cut out for him. Some days, it seemed like he took two steps backwards for every step forward. Even so, something that was both definable and indefinable kept him in pursuit of the islands’ wrongdoers.
At the starting line, the triple-black 1968 Mercury with its 428 cubic inch V8 engine was joined by a shiny maroon 1950 Mercury Coupe with a 468 cubic inch V8 engine. The drivers of the two classic cars revved their engines as they prepared to battle it out in what some were calling the drag race of the century.
Steve chuckled under his breath as word came that the race was about to begin. “The Park Lane’s a wonder, but against a souped up coupe? I’m not so sure about that.”
“Don’t worry,” Kono said. “The Park Lane’s souped up, too. Kauakahi’s been working under the hood ever since the state turned the car over to him.”
“Okay, then, to the Park Lane,” Steve replied.
The drag strip offered a quarter-mile race track with a slowdown stretch beyond it. Smoke filled the air as the cars’ engines were revved to full throttle with their brakes engaged as their drivers watched the starting lights, known as the Christmas tree. The green lights lit up, and the race was on.
The Park Lane left the starting line first followed only a second later by the coupe. It edged ahead by inches only to be overshadowed by the Park Lane. Back and forth, the maroon car, then the black car, then the maroon car nosed ahead until, mere yards from the end of the race, the Park Lane put on a sudden burst of speed and surged ahead of the coupe and over the finish line.
Kono exclaimed loudly, “That baby always could do anything and everything. You took it through ditches, around hairpin turns, and up gravel mountain roads, and it never missed a beat.”
“They don’t make ‘em like that, anymore, Kono,” Steve agreed.Fireworks lit up the sky as the last event of the Halloween festival began and those seated in the stands were treated to a startling display of Halloween-inspired pyrotechnics.