This arti­cle is part 5 of 9 in the series The Honolulu Retribution

“Thank you so much for accept­ing my invi­ta­tion.  I hate to dine alone, and it’s so much more inter­est­ing to meet peo­ple while on vaca­tion,” I said as I helped each into a seat at the table.

“Well, thank you for ask­ing,” said the old­er of the two as she slid her purse under her chair.

“I’m Glenda Fleming, and this is my daugh­ter, Angelique.  She goes by ‘Angie.’ ”

“So nice to meet you both.  I’m John Singleton from Dubuque, Iowa,” I respond­ed.  “I’m here on my own.  A bit of busi­ness and plea­sure togeth­er, so I fre­quent­ly find myself din­ing alone — and din­ner con­ver­sa­tion is a much more pleas­ant adjunct to dining.

“I’ve already ordered din­ner, but let me call the wait­er over so I can get mine delayed until you order. Perhaps you’d like some wine as well.”

“That would be fine,” said Glenda, smiling.

I sig­naled the wait­er over and asked him to hold my din­ner until the two ladies had ordered, while Glenda ordered a glass of Chardonnay for the two of them.

After the wait­er had deliv­ered two Chardonnays and anoth­er ries­ling for me and tak­en the ladies’ din­ner orders, we con­tin­ued our conversation.

I learned that they were from Reston, Virginia and that Glenda’s hus­band would be com­ing to Oahu the next day on busi­ness and would join them at that time.  I also learned that Glenda was active in the League of Women Voters and the DAR and that Angie was a sopho­more at the University of Virginia, tak­ing a sab­bat­i­cal for one semes­ter from study­ing marine biol­o­gy.  Glenda did­n’t vol­un­teer any infor­ma­tion about her hus­band’s busi­ness, and I did­n’t inquire any further.

Of course, they learned a great deal about John Singleton of Dubuque, Iowa, all of it fic­ti­tious and pret­ty much of it made up on the fly.

However, the meal was pep­pered with light ban­ter and casu­al con­ver­sa­tion about how beau­ti­ful Hawaii is, what we had seen while there and what our future activ­i­ties would include.  Naturally, I did not reveal that my future prob­a­bly includ­ed killing anoth­er human being.

At the con­clu­sion of the main course, I insist­ed that they let me buy a round of “Kimo’s orig­i­nal hula pie” and cof­fee since we had ear­li­er agreed that our din­ners would be Dutch treat.  As we fin­ished the pie, we all chuck­led over its adver­tise­ment as “the pie that sailors swam ashore for in Lahaina.”

I could­n’t help but regret the end of the meal and part­ing with such charm­ing com­pa­ny, but it was get­ting on to 9 p.m. It was nec­es­sary for me to be with­out com­pa­ny when­ev­er Raymond called back.

I have to admit that, in a few las­civ­i­ous moments dur­ing din­ner, I found myself won­der­ing what it would be like to have a more inti­mate inter­lude with these two charm­ing ladies.  But those sce­nar­ios only hap­pen in spy nov­els and to guys who look like Pierce Brosnan.  I also had to won­der if the same idea had­n’t crossed their minds at some point.

So we said our good­byes and I began a leisure­ly walk back to the Vive, sati­at­ed in both mind and body from the good con­ver­sa­tion and excel­lent food.

It was actu­al­ly about 12:20 when the cell phone rang with the call from Raymond.  After arriv­ing back at the hotel from din­ner, I had once again tuned the TV to the news, done a bit of read­ing and perus­ing the attrac­tions brochures, but had drift­ed off to sleep in the lounge chair.  I was star­tled back into wake­ful­ness by the inces­sant buzz of the phone and picked it up off the table beside me as I wiped my eyes to try to arouse myself fully.

“Michael, ‘ol boy.  Was begin­ning to think you weren’t going to answer.  Sorry I’m run­ning a bit late, but my sources were hav­ing some dif­fi­cul­ty run­ning down Mr. Trane, espe­cial­ly as he tends to switch his per­sona fre­quent­ly while traveling.”

“Well, have you found any­thing?” I asked with some sleepi­ness appar­ent in my voice.

“Oh, indeed.  Our boys are quite effi­cient, you know.  It seems Mr. Trane also trav­eled from Maui to Oahu about the same time you did.  Stroke of luck you two weren’t on the same plane,”

I could almost hear the chuck­le in Raymond’s voice as he con­sid­ered the possibility.

He con­tin­ued, “He is in and out of the Prince Kuhio Federal Building on Ala Moana dur­ing the day.  No one knows for sure why.  But he’s appar­ent­ly stay­ing in a U.S. gov­ern­ment-owned house at 1616 Kuahaka Street.  That’s in the Pearl City area.  It’s north of down­town Honolulu in case you’re not famil­iar with the area.  We can’t deter­mine how long he’s like­ly to be on Oahu or where he’ll be trav­el­ing to when he leaves.  That’s all we’ve been able to find out for the moment.  I hope it helps.”

“More than I can say, Raymond.  I appre­ci­ate all your help,” I said.

“You’re entire­ly wel­come, Michael.  Call any­time I can help.  Or call just to say hel­lo.  By the way, I assume you intend to bring some harm to the gentleman?”

“I wish I could say, Raymond.  The last few days have left me won­der­ing just what I am going to do.  I’m con­vinced that he was respon­si­ble for flight 2620, but I also feel I have an oblig­a­tion to be absolute­ly sure.  My whole career has been based on doing the right thing for the right rea­son.  I’m not sure I could live with myself if I ter­mi­nat­ed an inno­cent per­son.  I may well have to work out some way to inter­ro­gate him before I take any action — and I sure don’t know how to bring that about, at least not right now.”

“Well, what­ev­er you do, ‘ol boy, be care­ful.  I should­n’t like to think that I passed along infor­ma­tion to you that wound up get­ting you killed.”

I thanked Raymond again, and he rang off with his usu­al ‘chee­rio.’

  • Chuck Witt

    Chuck is a retired archi­tect, a for­mer news­pa­per colum­nist, and a life­long res­i­dent of Winchester.

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