My Kind of Town

Don Chapman

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Nobody’s answering

» Hawaii Kai

Tailing the teal BMW convertible sedan was easier than Lu Wi expected. Traffic was heavy heading out to Hawaii Kai, and he putted along on the mo-ped, easily keeping up. Even if he lost them, the license plates were easy enough to remember and track: OLA.

The car stopped at Foodland in Hawaii Kai, and Lu Wi waited as the attractive local female driver, in her late 20s, and two passengers, a Filipina of about the same age and what he guessed was her daughter, 8 or 9, went inside. The kid's body was still glowing slightly. At least until she walked into the fluorescent lighting that turned everyone greenish.

They returned to the car 15 minutes later with a shopping cart full of bags, loaded them in the trunk. If this is what spy work is all about, Lu Wi the Te-Wu houseboy was thinking, what's the big deal?

He followed as they went back out to the highway, turned right on Lunalilo Home Road, left on Poipu, up to Lumahai. When the car pulled into the driveway of a corner house, he putted past, found it was a dead end.

He killed the engine, coasted to a stop, got off the bike and checked the engine as if something were wrong with it.

The engine fired to life again, of course. He putted back down the street, again killed the engine and coasted past the house. The BMW was inside the garage, door closed. Lights were coming on inside.

Lu Wi coasted to a halt at the corner, pushed the bike up on the curb out of sight of any windows in the house.

He pretended to putter with the engine until darkness fell, then hurried along a mock orange hedge. He heard the sound of laughter from the back yard, and splashing. The girl, her head glowing, was in a swimming pool set in a lovely Hawaiian garden.

Her mother and the other woman came out with chilled beverages. Auntie Lily, the child called her. Elizabeth, both women called the child.

Hurrying back to the mo-ped, Lu Wi tried calling Fon Du, then Wing Ding, Zip Lok, Doo Wop and all the other Te-Wu agents who lived at the Kahala oceanside estate.

Not one answered. Very odd.

Lu Wi coasted a couple of blocks before turning on the engine. He rushed back to Kahala, was shocked to see people in HPD and FBI jackets milling about.

From there he sped to the safe house up Makiki Heights, but noted a black car parked in the shadows across the street and continued on.

What the hell was going on? Lu Wi needed to catch some news.

He needed Su Lik, the cute little waitress at Fook Yuen. He called her.

"Lu Wi, Lu Wai," she sang, "Lu Wi, Lu Wai, babe, you gotta come."

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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