My Kind of Town

by Don Chapman

Monday, October 29, 2001

A safe harbor

>> Pearl Palms

"What?!" Shauny Nakamura said, sitting down with the cordless phone. "Fawn and Chuck Ryan?!" Fawn was Shauny's identical but very different twin.

"I got that distinct impression," Lily Ah Sun replied, "when I ran into Chuck last night."

"Where?!" Shauny almost always spoke in exclamation points.

"The Royal Hawaiian Hotel." Lily heard the unspoken question. "I'll tell you about that part later. He was glowing. He and Fawn spent the rest of the day and into the evening together, including a walk on the beach."

"Fawn?!" This was radical behavior for Fawn, the 27-year-old who vowed to remain a virgin until her wedding night. Which was one reason she had not come close to sniffing a wedding night. But neither had Shauny, whose policy on intimate behavior could be called open door.

"Damn." No exclamation point.

Lily could hear both surprise and jealousy in Shauny's voice. It was Shauny who, when they met this guy Chuck while working out at the Honolulu Iron Works, had invited him to have lunch with them. Then Lily and Shauny started drinking, and Shauny was too blitzed to notice that while Ryan laughed at her jokes, he was charmed by Fawn, and she by him.

>> Waters off Pearl Harbor

Shinjo Eiki had gone to his brother -- well, half-brother --with an idea that would not only give Shinjo a chance to save Japan, it would give Shinjo eternal honor. His brother, the military dictator Tojo Hideki, saw the brilliance of the plan. Also, Tojo was desperate.

And so it was that in June 1944 a Japanese submarine was diverted away from Saipan, much to the silent consternation of Imperial Navy admirals. Barely a mile off Pearl Harbor, the mother sub deposited Shinjo and a specially modified one-man sub into the sea for a secret mission.

Shinjo crept close, lurked outside the entrance to Pearl Harbor, steering clear of the anti-submarine netting he'd been told about. On the second day a transport ship was approaching. His intent was to sink it at the entrance to the harbor, blocking it. It was so close, he couldn't miss. But the tube was jammed. So was the second tube.

Angry, frustrated, Shinjo considered ramming the ship. But he carried a total of four torpedoes. His fifth weapon was the sub, and when he had fired all of his torpedoes, then he would turn the sub into a battering ram. His mission could still succeed as planned. He just needed to get to a deserted cove where he could work on the tubes. Three days later Shinjo found one on the north shore of Molokai.

Don Chapman is editor of MidWeek.
His serialized novel runs daily in the Star-Bulletin
with weekly summaries on Sunday.
He can be emailed at

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