My Kind of Town

Don Chapman

A great convergence

>> Honolulu

"Cruz, hey, it's me," a soft breathy voice said on Cruz MacKenzie's answering machine. "Damn, I thought you worked on Sundays. I need to talk with somebody I can trust. Call me. No, I'll call you. Later."

If Sonya Chan trusted him so much, why didn't she leave a number? And when, exactly, was later? And why did she need someone she trusted?

The phone rang then for the third time on this Sunday morning, tying a record. "There's a report of a yacht south of Kona that looks like Pet Shop," said Nick Ornellas, the former HPD cop who was now selling life insurance and had sold Daren Guy his policy just hours before he was eaten by a shark. Or so the official report said.

"How credible is the source?" Cruz asked.

"Don't know, just that a fisherman called it in."

"This could be the break we've needed."

"I got a feeling about it."

"The old cop instincts kicking in?"

"Loud and clear."

"By the way, I just got a message from Sonya."

"Where is she?"

"No idea, but at last she's alive and well. Said she'd call me later."

"So you're gonna hang around the office all day waiting for a call?"

"For a while maybe."

"It was me, I'd haul my okole back to the Big Island. Something tells me this story is about to get kicked up another notch."

It was a gamble, Cruz knew. The fisherman could have been wrong. But Cruz had known Ornellas for years, trusted his instincts. And if he was right, if Pet Shop was about to be discovered, Cruz wanted to be there for the exclusive. It was, after all, his favorite word -- exclusive.

"I'm on my way."

"I'll pick you up at the airport, just call when you get your flight info."

Cruz recorded a new message, indicating he would be at the King Kamehameha Hotel in Kona for a few days, hoping Sonya would call back and contact him there.

And after packing a few things at home, he headed to the airport, bought a ticket from Hawaiian for the next flight to Kona.

And with that the great convergence was fully on. For as Cruz flew to Kona, Sonya Chan spotted the Big Island from the wheel of the yacht Wet Spot. This part of the island was familiar, and she knew she was just hours now from Pele's Bath, where Daren and Sushi Leclaire awaited.

At that moment, as TV outdoorsman Virgil Root, Daren's long-lost cousin, and his cameraman had breakfast at the King Kam, their waiter suggested they visit a magical place called Pele's Bath. "Get da bes' snorkeling on da island, brah. You gotta check um out."

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


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