This arti­cle is part 6 of 9 in the series The Maui Condiments

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.

Contact made!

  • Chuck Witt

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

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