As L.T. had said, Herschel apparently did not travel with a squad of goons. As I exited the elevator on the ninth floor, there were no skulking gangster types patrolling the halls, so I casually roamed the halls trying to get a fix on Herschel’s whereabouts, but without success. The floor was quiet and I did not encounter anyone before finding a stairway that would provide passage back down one floor.
It had been a long day and the change in time was beginning to catch up with me. I entered my suite and headed off to the bedroom to prepare for bed, after taking care of brief toilette issues.
The large window overlooking the ocean was operable so I opened it to let in the evening breeze and to listen to the soft sounds coming from some of the activities still underway down at ground level. It wasn’t long before I was soundly asleep.
It also didn’t seem very long before I was once again awake, perhaps jostled from slumber by the accelerating pace of things going on outside and the brightness of the day streaming through the sheer curtains at the window which were billowing into the room.
Rubbing the sleep from my eyes, I headed to the bathroom for my morning shave and shower. The steam and hot water of the shower washed away drowsiness and I emerged fully awake and ready to take on the day.
After donning some island-appropriate clothes I headed for the kitchen where a pot of hot coffee awaited, as I had started it brewing before showering.
As I downed my first cup of coffee I watched the TV channel which offered a host of activities available for the typical tourist. A second cup beckoned and I heated the breakfast sandwich in the microwave and poured myself a glass of juice. The mango/pineapple was a sweet and welcome change from orange juice and, finishing this light breakfast, I headed to the lobby.
I had still not determined what course of action I would take to contact Herschel. My hope was that our meeting would be purely accidental, but it might become necessary to contrive some method of meeting up if I was not successful within a couple of days.
I stopped at the concierge desk in the lobby to collect some touring brochures and island maps. The young lady behind the desk was — as all the staff seemed to be — a real beauty. Long dark hair framed a small oval face with characteristics of Pacific islanders. It would not have been hard to stay talking with her for hours.
I thought she might be the perfect person to inquire about Herschel since she undoubtedly met nearly every guest of the hotel at one time or another.
“Do you know a Mr. Herschel?” I inquired.
“Mr. Herschel? Oh, yes. Mr. Herschel visits the hotel often and he comes by the desk whenever he stays here. I haven’t seen him today yet,” she offered, anxious to be of help.
“I was told he was staying here and I wanted to try to meet with him to possibly conduct some business, but I don’t want to impose on his vacation time unduly,” I said.
“Mr. Herschel is a very nice man. I’m sure he would be receptive to meeting with you at some point. Would you like for me to message him and let him know that you’re looking for him?”
“Oh, no. No.,” I answered quickly. “If I can meet him casually, that would be best. I wouldn’t want him to think that I’m stalking him,” I said, trying to make a joke of it.
“Well, ” she continued, “I know that he has lunch here almost every day at the Beach Club so you might have some luck catching him there.”
I thanked her and asked her once more not to mention to him that I was trying to reach him.
I accepted a number of brochures and recommendations and walked to the nearby library which was really nothing more than an open area set off from the lobby, with bookshelves along one wall. From one of the many comfortable chairs there, it was possible to peruse a book and survey the lobby simultaneously.
It was now about ten-thirty, and after sitting in the library for about half an hour going over the brochures — and failing to see Herschel — I wandered down to the pool area and then on to the beach just beyond.
The sound of the surf was soft and nearly drowned out by the sounds of the people at the pool and lining the shoreline, but I sat for a while just scanning the ocean beyond and enjoying the sunshine and breezes.
The time passed quickly and it was soon noontime, so I headed back to the restaurant with the hope that I would encounter Herschel.
The restaurant was not very crowded; it seems that during midday many tourists are out and about on the island rather than staying around their hotels and thus they find other places to eat.
What luck! As I entered the restaurant I spotted Herschel sitting with his secretary near the rail separating the interior dining area from the veranda.
When the receptionist approached to lead me to a table, I asked if I could have the one adjacent to Herschel and she willingly obliged. She placed the menu on the table as I sat down and I glanced over toward Herschel who happened to be looking at me at the same time.
I flashed my warmest smile and gave a slight nod of recognition, which he returned.
After ordering a light lunch and iced tea I looked his way again and caught his eye.
“Nice hotel,” I opined, hoping to strike up a conversation.
“Yes, it is,” he responded cordially. “I stay here every time I come to Maui. It has all the amenities that I need and I love the island itself.”
“Oh, so you’ve been here before?” I queried, feigning interest.
“Many times. I come for both business and pleasure. My name is Marion Herschel,” he said, extending his hand.
I reached out to shake hands, “Michael Tate,” I said. “Pleased to meet you.”
“This is my associate, William Pinter,” replied Herschel nodding in the direction of the man sitting opposite him.
Pinter extended his hand, nodded slightly, but remained silent.