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My Kind of Town

Don Chapman

Friday, May 7, 2004


Lama on the line


» Portlock

HPD solo bike officer Quinn Ah Sun was taking this one personal. He'd provided the official motorcycle escort for two American presidents and the presidents of several foreign nations, most recently Gloria Macapagal Arroyo of the Philippines, and he'd never been so relieved to get one of his VIPs safely to their hotel than he was today with the second Lama Jey Tsong Khapa.

It had almost gone very badly earlier at his parents' home in Liliha, where a shrine was dedicated at the place he realized his Buddhahood. Right before his eyes, a guy in orange monk's robes, whom Quinn and Sherlock Gomes had identified as a hard type worth keeping an eye on, reached inside his robes just before the lama passed by. But suddenly he was going down and a dark pistol was floating up from his right hand through the air and the lama was leaping and kicking the guy in the head, knocking him cold.

The SWAT team Gomes had asked Quinn to call in arrived then and whisked the lama away. It could have gone much worse.

"The first Tsong Khapa was such a great man, Lil, he did so much good, who'd want his reincarnation dead?" Quinn asked his new bride (and former cousin) Lily as he huli'd the rosemary chicken smoking on the poolside grill.

She handed him a second Sam Adams Light. "Sounds like you've got an idea."

He explained that Gomes had spoken with three other hard types, all Chinese bankers with Bank of Lhasa's Bishop Street office. "The one in orange looked just as pake. Then there's what happened at the Legislature."

"Democrats," Lily muttered, freshening her pink zin. Dems on both sides caved to a protest from the Chinese government and canceled the lama's address to a joint session. "So what's got them all nuha?"

"They say the lama's appearance was interference in Chinese internal affairs, a dangerous slap to Chinese sovereignty, a serious wound to growing business ties between China and Hawaii."

"Oh my, a wee touchy, aren't they? Any motives?"

"Not sure, but I see a trend. And Gomes says the pistol was Chinese."

At the academy they taught recruits never to take cases personal, and Quinn knew his instructors were right. But sometimes you couldn't help it. He sure couldn't help it the first night he visited this house and heard Lily's maid Rosalita scream. It got him shot in the thigh, but he'd saved Rosalita from getting raped or worse, and he lived.

He was taking this one personal. He was a Buddhist. He'd looked into the young lama's eyes and believed in the good he could accomplish.

"Lily," he said as the cordless phone chirped, "I'm gonna ask the captain to put me on the lama's security detail full-time."

"Ah Suns." She listened, handed him the phone. "Lama on the line."



See the Columnists section for some past articles.

Don Chapman is editor of MidWeek. His serialized novel runs daily in the Star-Bulletin. He can be e-mailed at dchapman@midweek.com

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