aerial photography of buildings during daytime
This arti­cle is part 7 of 9 in the series The Honolulu Retribution

It was­n’t pos­si­ble for me to get back to my car and fol­low him, and there was real­ly no need for that at the present.

But I had some infor­ma­tion that would let me know that he was like­ly at home if I saw the Chrysler parked there.

I also had no chance of acquir­ing a gun on short notice.  I did­n’t have any con­tacts here who could pro­vide me with an ille­gal weapon, and with­out iden­ti­fi­ca­tion show­ing me to be a res­i­dent of Hawaii, I could­n’t legal­ly pur­chase a hand­gun at a rep­utable gun shop.

It looked like the only type of weapon I could legal­ly acquire would be a knife of some sort.  Knives are messy weapons and require close con­tact, which I usu­al­ly try to avoid, but cir­cum­stance seemed to allow no oth­er choice.

I have always appre­ci­at­ed the design of the Sykes-Fairbairn com­man­do knife.  It’s easy to con­ceal and can be used for cut­ting or stab­bing.  Maybe try­ing to find one would be worth the effort despite the urgency of my mission.

Before head­ing back to my car, I looked for a hotel where I could make use of a lob­by phone book to look up mil­i­tary sur­plus and mil­i­taria arms stores, mak­ing note of half a dozen.

I sat in the car going over the Honolulu street map that I had been car­ry­ing with me and marked out the streets on which the var­i­ous stores were locat­ed, trac­ing a line from the near­est one out, and head­ed out of the park­ing lot to my first destination.

The first store I vis­it­ed dealt entire­ly with new firearms and new hunt­ing equip­ment and had noth­ing sim­i­lar to the S‑F knife.  However, I did pur­chase a small con­tain­er of pep­per spray think­ing it might come in handy if I need­ed to dis­able Trane momen­tar­i­ly. Then I head­ed to the sec­ond store on the list.

The sec­ond store was a trea­sure trove of antique and mil­i­tary firearms as well as dag­gers and knives, but he had no Sykes.  He told me that he occa­sion­al­ly got one in but that he did­n’t have one at the moment.  I asked if he knew of any place where I could find one as I want­ed to add it to my col­lec­tion.  Though he did­n’t know of any off­hand, he very gra­cious­ly vol­un­teered to call a cou­ple of the oth­er stores to see if he could find one for me.

On his sec­ond attempt, he reached a fel­low arms mer­chant who said that he had two in stock.

Asking me if I want­ed to go to the shop and pur­chase one, I eager­ly nod­ded, and he told his friend over the phone that I would be there short­ly and to please make sure that one was kept back for me.  It was unlike­ly that the mer­chant would have sold two Sykes in the short time that it would take me to get there, but I thanked the pro­pri­etor for his kind­ness and departed.

As it turned out, the store to which I had been direct­ed was the fourth stop on my list, and I hur­ried there.

The shop was fair­ly small, locat­ed in a strip shop­ping cen­ter.  The walls were lined with racks hold­ing a wide array of mil­i­tary rifles and some swords.  It was obvi­ous that many of the weapons on dis­play were true col­lec­tors’ items and worth a good deal of mon­ey.  In glass cas­es fronting the wall dis­plays were pis­tols, knives, and an assort­ment of tra­di­tion­al Asian weapons such as nun­chaku, shuriken, sais, and ton­fu — as well as some repro­duc­tions of maces and axes.

The mid­dle-aged gen­tle­man behind the counter greet­ed me as I entered the store, “Good morn­ing.  Can I help you with some­thing, or would you like to just browse for a bit?”

“Your friend over at Pacific Arms sug­gest­ed that I could find a Sykes-Fairbairn com­man­do knife here,” I responded.

“Oh yes,” he said.  “I have two over here.” He walked toward one of the dis­play cas­es, slid­ing a door behind it to the side to with­draw two slen­der, blued daggers.

“Both of these are authen­tic,” he point­ed out, “but I only have a scab­bard for one.  It’s in pris­tine con­di­tion, unlike many of the scab­bards that dete­ri­o­rate over time.  The leather gets dry and cracks, but you can see this one is in very good shape.”

I picked up both weapons, heft­ing one in each hand.  It was obvi­ous that they weighed the same.  If one had been a repro­duc­tion, there would have been a weight dif­fer­ence.  The blu­ing on both was in excel­lent con­di­tion, and both were honed to a keen cut­ting edge.

“I think I should like to have the one with the scab­bard.  How much are you ask­ing for it?” I inquired.

“Considering its con­di­tion, I’ll have to get nine­ty-five dol­lars for it.”

“That seems fair.  I’ve cer­tain­ly seen some sell­ing for a good deal more.”

“Excellent,” he beamed.  “Would you like for me to wrap it up for you, or I could put it in a box if you like.”

“A box would be fine.”

He scooped up the knife and scab­bard and dis­ap­peared for a brief moment to a room behind him, return­ing with a short, slen­der box.  He placed the knife in the scab­bard and then both into the box.  I count­ed out five twen­ty dol­lar bills and a ten to cov­er the state tax.

He returned the change and asked if I had a large col­lec­tion of knives.

“No,” I said.  “I’m just get­ting start­ed.  Perhaps I’ll be back to look over some more of what you have.”

“Please do.” He waved.  “Thanks, and have a nice day.”

Leaving the gun shop, I spot­ted a small fab­ric shop a cou­ple of doors away.  I placed the knife box under the pas­sen­ger seat of my car, locked it, and walked over to the fab­ric shop to get one oth­er item that I would need.

  • Chuck Witt

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

Series Navigation« The Honolulu Retribution: chap­ter 6The Honolulu Retribution: chap­ter 9 »The Honolulu Retribution: chap­ter 8 »