My Kind of Town

by Don Chapman

Sunday, February 17, 2002

The Honolulu Soap Co.:
Sunday digest

State Capitol

It was just bad luck, Machiavelli Yang mused, that grandparents on both sides of Sen. Donovan Matsuda-Yee-Dela Cruz-Bishop-Kamaka's family happened to be named Yee. If the senator was going to be elected governor, he needed one more hyphen.

The only way to get another hyphen now was from a wife, which the senator also needed. Bachelor governors need not apply.

Something was missing, definitely. But what -- or who?

Then it hit him in yet another flash of brilliance: Portuguese! Of course! And Machiavelli knew just the girl. Sen. Donovan Matsuda-Yee-Dela Cruz-Bishop-Kamaka-Gomes does have a nice ring, doesn't it?

State Library

Following the librarian's instructions, Lily Ah Sun descended a flight of concrete stairs to the basement and a door marked Serials. The rising scent of old newsprint filled her nose, and Lily's heart raced knowing she might be just steps from finding clues to what made her father and her Uncle Mits quit speaking 21 years ago.

She remembered the room quite well. When Lily was a girl, her mother always stopped in here to read the fashion news from New York and Paris.

The first Ah Sun reference she found was for a Clarence Ah Sun. Lily knew her family genealogy four generations back, but she'd never heard of a Clarence Ah Sun. Who was he? The second Ah Sun listing was also for Clarence. Both papers had mentioned him on the same day, June 21.

Ah, but here at last was something significant, the third listing: Ah Sun, Mits, again in both papers, same day, June 1. And that was the end of the news made by Ah Suns in 1981.

Just on a whim, she pulled down the volume for 1974, the year before she and Quinn were born. Whim? Later, she would come to believe it was nothing less than divine inspiration.

Makiki Heights

His first try was just bad luck, Sen. Donovan Matsuda-Yee-Dela Cruz-Bishop-Kamaka told himself. The plan was perfect. Unfortunately his shot with the first poison dart just missed HPD Detective Sherlock Gomes. The second shot was dead-on, but then that stupid WWII-vintage Japanese mini-submarine surfaced right in front of Gomes and the dart pinged off it harmlessly. Bad luck was all that kept him from committing the perfect crime.

Darts were still a good plan. This time use his long-distance blowgun. The senator poured a common household poison in an old Yum-Yum Tree pie tin, placed the tips of a half-dozen darts in the acrid solution to soak. But really, all it would take was one.

State Capitol

Sometimes Machiavelli Yang's flashes of brilliance amazed even himself. He knew just the girl-- Donna Gomes, his travel agent. Beautiful face, great figure, she'd been a Miss Something-or-another in her younger days.

She radiated warmth and grace, but in a down to earth, very local kine way. Why hadn't Machiavelli thought of her before? Donna Gomes was the perfect complement to Sen. Donovan Matsuda-Yee-Dela Cruz-Bishop-Kamaka!

And if she could swing even half the Portuguese vote the senator's way in the fall election --bingo! -- Machiavelli would continue to enjoy breakfast at Washington Place on a regular basis.

He speed-dialed Donna's number at Uku Miles Travel and she answered on the fourth ring. "Oh, Mr. Yang, where are we going this time?"

"Not far," he said. "Actually, I just wanted to set up a time where we could meet face to face, maybe over lunch."

"I'm working right through lunch today, both of my staff called in sick."

Machiavelli asked what he could bring her for lunch.

"Actually, my brother is bringing me lunch. But stop by any time."

"See you soon then."

PanAm Building

Donna Gomes pressed the button for line one, cutting the call from Machiavelli Yang on line two, wondering what was up with him. Mr. Yang seldom came into the Uku Miles Travel office except to pick up a ticket. "Sorry, Big Brother, that was one of my regulars," she said to the caller she'd earlier placed on hold. "Got to take care of them."

"Understood," HPD Detective Sherlock Gomes replied. "So what do you want for lunch, sis?"

"I feel like some comfort food. How about mochiko chicken from L&L?"

"It's on the way."

"Thanks. And I'll have the one-way ticket to Portland for your Sen. Donovan Matsuda-Yee-Dela Cruz-Bishop-Kamaka ready when you get here."

It was hard for Donna to believe that the senator, so handsome and popular, had screwed up enough to warrant her brother booking him into that drug rehab center in Portland. Then the phone rang again and Donna put the senator out of her mind. But not for long.

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

E-mail to Features Editor

Text Site Directory:
[News] [Business] [Features] [Sports] [Editorial] [Do It Electric!]
[Classified Ads] [Search] [Subscribe] [Info] [Letter to Editor]

© 2002 Honolulu Star-Bulletin