My Kind of Town

by Don Chapman

Far from heavy

>> Queen's Medical Center

Sitting up in his bed, his right thigh bandaged, Quinn Ah Sun compared the three framed postcards spread out beside him. The handwriting on the third and final card was definitely different from the other two, yet all were signed "Bobo."

"So who wrote this one?"

"Hold on." She handed him a yellow legal notepad. "Now compare the writing on the last postcard with this."

"Whose writing is this?"

"Someone, I'm afraid, who knows what happened to Bobo."

"Someone you know well enough to lift his notepad. And it's definitely a he -- you don't have to be a handwriting expert to see it's not feminine."

"Quinn, it's ..." Lily took a deep breath. It escaped as a sad sigh. "It's my father. Well, not really my father, I guess, but..."

"Uncle Sheets?!"

"I'm almost sick. I just took the notepad from his desk."

Quinn whistled softly in shock and dismay. "Oh boy. I think you'd better come sit here beside me," he said, setting the three frames on the bedside table. "I have to tell you what I just learned from my mom."

"She called back?"

"Yeah, we had a great little talk."

Lily slid onto Quinn's bed, sat facing him. He gently took one of her hands in his, kissed it.

"This is gonna get kind of heavy, Lil. We're getting real close to the truth of why our fathers quit talking 21 years ago."

"I need to know the truth, Quinn, whatever it is." She squeezed his hand. "I can handle. And if I have to, I can lean on you."

"Yes, you can. Always."

And so he told her of the conversation with his mother, how she had gone down the hill to the Pearl City Tavern that night 21 years ago to throw dice because his father had called and said that he, his brother Sheets and their hanai brother Bobo, who was in town with a cruise ship on which he was performing, were going to play poker in Waimanalo, boys only.

"Apparently my dad didn't like it that my mom was a better poker player. Anyway, she didn't expect him home until way late, but he shows up about 8:30 and proceeds to get hammered. The more he drinks, the quieter he gets. Only thing he says is they didn't get to the party because Bobo never showed up. A week later, you guys move to Kailua and the feud is on."

"And except for that last postcard, Bobo is never heard from again. This is getting heavy."

Quinn took a deep breath of his own. Heavy-wise, they were still a long way from the Fat Lady's arrival to sing. "Then there's my dad's stolen .45."

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

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