All Hallows’ Eve: The Unmaskings of Honolulu — Chapter 20 (excerpt)

David Chan declined assistance from his escort to accompany him to his front door.  Although still a bit wobbly, he knew he could get up the walkway unaided.

He had also declined further police guard.  He would depend on himself for protection.  He was always hard-headed that way, preferred to rely on himself rather than others for almost anything.

Chan stopped to view his garage.  The roof looked fine, except that it now sat at a 45 degree angle, its right edge touching the ground.  The right wall that had supported it, was a shattered, black, splintered ruin.  His car had been towed to HPD for further inspection.

Chan shook his head.  How could he have survived the blast?

He moved slowly up the walkway, made it into the house, grabbed a beer, and sat at the dining room table.  He could not think straight about the news he’d received from Hank Lee that morning.  So the body was not his son.

Where was his son?  Why the ruse of planting his son’s wallet on the victim?  Of course there was an attempt at deception, but why?  To what end?

The search was on.  The other three members of the Hawaii 49 team, Chief of Detectives Kimo Kauhane, Chin Ho Kelly, and the newest member, Kono Kalākaua from Vice, were determined to put in overtime on the hunt for Chan’s son. Each had teamed with half-a-dozen officer’s to fan out over the island.

In addition, Chan’s godfather, Wilbur Apana, had promised Chan that he would do everything he could as well to find David III.

The Captain had asked Kauhane if he wanted more men as unit leaders.  Two he had Kauhane consider were Sergeant Steve McGarrett from White Collar, and up-and-coming hotshot beat officer Danny Williams, but Kauhane decided the two were a bit green for the job at hand and that he and the other two would suffice.

Chan wanted badly to join in, but he was still a bit woozy.  Would the beer help?  The body, probably not.  The soul, definitely.

He sat and sipped.  On the table in front of him were three folders. One was the collection of photos taken by his daughter Sara.  The second was the Richard Han missing person file.  The third was the missing person file for his father, Lieutenant David Chan Senior.

Chan’s father was the only one of him and his six brothers to join HPD.  This was surprising to everyone.  Not that he chose to join, but that others hadn’t.

David Chan Senior’s Number One, Two, and Three brothers had always shown a great interest in helping their father try to solve his cases.  Granted, they’d been viewed as pests and general hinderances to solving any crime, but they had always showed great enthusiasm for the chase.  However, they’d all ended up in other careers, art, banking, and medicine, respectively.

But it was David Senior who had jumped into HPD when he came of age, much to his father’s unease.  Police work had been a hard business for him, and both he and his partner, Apana Chang, had tried with some vigor to talk David out of committing his life to the often 24/7 grind of police life.

Their arguments had fallen on deaf ears, however, and David Senior became a police officer in spite of their advice.  And not only did he become a police officer, but he rose to the rank of Detective faster than anyone on the force ever had.  He had been involved in, and solved, many famous cases, perhaps the most widely known being the Joseph Kahahawai murder at the hands of the Massie clan.

Well, he had solved the Kahahawai case, but . . . . Chan had argued from the beginning that Kahahawai was innocent, that he had been framed and then murdered.  But Chan and those who knew the truth were forced into silence. This was a travesty that David Chan Senior had often said was his greatest regret, his greatest shame. If they’d only been able to speak truth over the powers that be. But it was a world of White privilege then, and some wondered if it weren’t still like that.

And then, in July of 1940 David Chan Senior had disappeared.  It was not unusual for Chan to be away from the house for a day or two at a time. Police business often kept he and his partner Wilbur Apana up and at ’em for days.  But when he did not come home on the third day, Beatrice, his wife, had called Snuffy Apana to ask if he knew where her husband might be?

Apana told her he did not know, that he’d not seen his partner since the day before, and just assumed that he was busy working elsewhere.

Apana then informed the rest of HPD that Chan was missing, and a massive search was made.  Chan’s car had been found abandoned on a Kāhala sidestreet.

The neighborhood had been canvassed with no luck, and although great effort was given to examining the car and interviewing all the usual suspects, there had been no headway made.

Apana had taken it upon himself to knock on the front door of Kang Yu’s Kahala estate, and had questioned him at length about Chan’s disappearance.  That Chan had it in for Yu was no secret, and Yu’s dislike of Chan was famous as well.  The bad blood between them was growing to the stuff of legend in the oral history of the department.  Sooner or later, they bet, Yu’s ass would be in a sling.  Chan was there every time the Korean syndicate boss so much as spit on the sidewalk.

It was well-known that Chan had asked the FBI to look into Yu’s income tax filings.  “After all,” Chan had said, “hey, if they nailed Capone that way, maybe we’ll have the same good forrune.”

But Yu was no Capone.  His taxes were squeaky clean, apple pie in order, and the day the FBI got back to Chan about this, it was Chan who wanted to spit on the ground. And then some.

Yu had apparently told Snuffy Apana that even if he were fool enough to kill Chan, why on earth would he leave the car five blocks from his house.  Everyone hemmed and hawed over this, but some thought that by doing so, Yu would have a perfect seeming way of professing innocence while at the same time being guilty as hell.

Still, nothing could be pinned on Yu.  Even as the fervor of the search for Chan waned, Snuffy Apana swore that he would never give up looking for Chan, and if Yu were involved in his disappearance, then Apana made it known that he would bring Yu to justice.

David Chan Junior had changed his major from Agricultural Economics to English.  His love for Elaine, it was said, had blinded him to the pursuit of a practical degree.  But when Elaine, nearing graduation, had told David Junior that she intended to earn a teaching certificate, he had immediately imagined that he would do the same thing.  This was practical, right?  They wouldn’t be millionaires anytime soon, but they would be gainfully employed in the public school system.

And then a month after graduation David Chan Senior had disappeared.  A month later David Chan Junior was enrolled in the police academy, Elaine was distraught, and his mother, Beatrice Chan, had fainted at the news.

So it came to be that a potential high-school English teacher turned out to be one of the finest officers ever to join the ranks of HPD.

But there was a problem.  Much as they appreciated his enthusiasm at the academy, the brass had to explain to Chan that rookie officers do not suddenly become investigators of potential homicide cases.  That was detective grade work.  Fresh faced beat cops were supposed to be out there doing just that:  beating the pavement.

And so with great reluctance, officer Chan watched while others, including his godfather, Snuffy Apana, ran down the case.  Apana, of course, kept his godson abreast of the situation, but as the months dragged on, he expressed great sadness at not being able to bring his godson’s father’s murderers to justice.

“But,” said Chan, “do we even know he’s actually been murdered.”

It was the question of a child who’s love for his father would not allow him to believe that his father was dead, not the question of a hardened police officer who knew better.

“David,” Uncle Snuffy had told him.  “I hate to tell you this, but in my gut I know your father has been murdered, and in my gut, I know who did it.”

Chan had nodded at this.  He was becoming, daily, more the tempered cop his godfather and his father were.  Deep inside, he knew that his father was dead.  And that (snip)

* * * * *

Today’s word is


Use it in a piece of writing and post that piece as a comment below. I would love to read it : )

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