The House of Missing Keys, Part 6

David Chan sat at his desk trying hard to read and not think about the keys. So if this athletic young man had been pushed into the water . . . and then it came to him. Obviously, someone had held him under the water. What else could it be?

Geez, thought Chan, to hold a guy that big and strong underwater. That would probably take a bigger and stronger man. Or woman? Possibly.

He glanced at the keys. A drowned man, he thought.

“Eh,” said Victor Yamamoto, sliding into his desk chair. “Guess what?”

“I just figured out what happened to that guy in Nu‘uanu Stream,” said Chan. “I don’t know why I didn’t see it right off the bat. Someone must have held him under until he drowned.”

“What you guessing at?” said Yamamoto. “That’s a different guess. What about my guess what question?”

“Okay what?” said Chan.

“I just talked to Hank Lee,” said Yamamoto.

“I would not have guessed that,” said Chan. “So?”

“Well,” said Yamamoto, “you know Miss Laura?”

“The dead woman in bed with Ammonton?”

“Yeah,” said Yamamoto. “Guess what?”

“What, Vic? I give up.”

“She’s a he.”

“Say what?” asked Chan.

“It’s Mister Laura.”

Chan stared at his partner. “A man. Miss Laura is a man.”

“Yeah,” said Yamamoto. “How does that fit in now?”

Chan sat back and looked up at the ceiling. “Well,” he said, “she appeared to be very athletic.”

“Yeah, like she lifted weights, maybe,” said Yamamoto.

“Just like Kazu Hatanaka,” said Chan.

“Two very strong people,” said Yamamoto. “And weird, but kine-a like the guy in the canal, not to mention whoever could hold him under.”

“And strong-looking just like the bartender at the Holo Holo Bar,” said Chan. “Junior Kanalu.”

“Lotta strong guys,” said Yamamoto.

“You know,” said Chan, “Kanalu told me he does weight training at Central Y. I wonder if any of these other people work out there? It could be a major connection.”

“You don’t think your drowned guy and whoever held him down might be tied into this whole thing?” asked Yamamoto.

Chan looked at the three keys. One for a car, one for Hatanaka’s house, and one for someplace else. A house without a key because it was sitting here on his desk.

“We need to go to Central Y. We need to know who all trains there,” said Chan.

“Let’s go, boss,” said Yamamoto. “I think we got a winner here. I agree, the Y is the key, David.”

And with that, they went to Chan’s car and headed over to Ala Moana.

The drive was a short one. Inside the Central Y, they found the manager’s office. Steve Okimoto looked like a man who took full advantage of the weight lifting facilities. Chan looked at his thighs and judged that they were bigger around than his head.

After showing their badges, Chan asked to see about the master list of members. The first name he looked for was Junior Kanalu. Of course, his real first name wouldn’t be Junior.

And there it was: Junior Kanalu. Apparently, his parents had not reached far for a first name.

“And here’s Kazu Hatanaka,” said Chan.

“What about the drowned guy?” asked Yamamoto.

Chan ran his index finger down the roster. “Here,” he said. “Keola Waioli. Did Hank give you Miss Laura’s name?”

“No,” said Yamamoto, “there’s no positive ID on her yet.”

“Who?” asked Steve Okimoto, chiming in.

“A murder victim,” said Chan. “We only know her as a Miss Laura.”

“But she’s actually a he,” said Yamamoto. “So we don’t know his real name.”

“Ah,” said Okimoto, “I know what you mean. The ones who perform, they have those made-up names.”

“What?” said Chan. “What performers?”

“You know,” said Okimoto. “The guys who dress up like women.”

Chan and Yamamoto looked at each other, then back at Okimoto. “Like at the Palms?” said Chan.

“Yeah, just like there,” said Okimoto. “Some of them work out here. I’m telling you, some of those ladies are really big. I mean they could kick plenny ass if they wanted to.”

“Huh,” said Chan. “So a lot of them work out here?”

“Well,” said Okimoto, “I don’t know for sure. I don’t know if they all work out. But the few I know who come here, the ones who’ve told me that they perform, they are in pretty mean shape.”

They thanked Steve Okimoto for the information, then returned to Chan’s car.

“Well,” said Yamamoto, “We know the Palms. That’s the one on Hotel Street. You know any more?”

“Yeah,” said Chan. “There’s Tia’s Place in Kapahulu. Other than that, I don’t know. But it’s a start. I’ll drop you at the station. You take The Palms, and I’ll go over to Tia’s Place.”

With that, they returned to the station. As Yamamoto exited the car, Chan said, “Before you take off, call Hank Lee and see if they’ve ID’d whoever Miss Laura is yet. We need a real name.”

And then the two went their separate ways.

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