ch5 pg 29-30

GREENIE lived in an apartment in central Honolulu. It was just a short hop around the mountain ridge to his neighborhood. Most of the residential areas were located within the valleys rivers and streams had carved out of the volcanic rock.
Makiki is a densely populated area that was strewn with high rise condos and apartment buildings. The streets were narrow and lined with parked cars night and day. An open stall was as precious as gold.
"Stop here."
Kua pulled next to a neighborhood grocery store that was located in the lobby of a smaller building. I went in and bought about twenty dollars worth of junk food, enough to fill two shopping bags. I placed them in the back seat and we proceeded to Greenie's place.
I told Kua to park around the corner. This would be tricky.
"Wait for me here. Same thing. If I'm not out in a half hour, go back to the hotel."
"You sure?" he asked.
"If I'm not back by then, there won't be too much you can do for me. Except call my lawyer."
He nodded to me.
I grabbed the sunglasses off his face and opened the door. I grabbed the two shopping bags and walked up the block in the rain.
Michael Green lived in a large ell shaped condo that stood about twenty stories high. The longer side of the building faced the ocean, while the shorter side faced Diamond Head. All the lanais had a view; top dollar could be asked for all units.
For a City and County worker, Michael Green lived in style.
The lobby was located in the corner of the building adjacent the tenant parking. i clutched the two shopping bags as I dodged the puddles and made my way across the the flooded asphalt. Fortunately, three people got out of their cars ahead of me and headed for the the lobby door. I hurried to catch up with them. Up ahead, I could see the security phone on the wall next to the doorway. I got there just as the last person was opening the door. Like I had hoped, because of the rain and the shopping bags, he held the door open for me.
I once had the pleasure of making the acquaintance of a shop lifter named Rollie. The fact that we occupied the same cell is a story for another day. He told me that the key to success was to act like you belonged there. Blend in with the crowd, act like you work there, and you'll never be recognized. Walk out the door like you own it and chances are you will. In other words, confidence meant success.
"Whew! Some weather huh?" I said behind the sunglasses.
The guy grinned at me. "Liquid Sunshine."
I smiled back. We both got into the elevator and pushed buttons for our floors. i chose the one to the floor above Greenie's, the local guy pushed a button three floors below. Now I would be able to exit on the right floor without him knowing which one it was. Just in case anyone asked.
I took a step back and stood there dripping on the floor.
"You should have drove."
I smiled sheepishly. "I just got here from the mainland. I haven't had time to find a car."
"Really? My cousin like sell his Toyota. Only like two grand. Get a/c and one nice stereo. Let me give you his number."
He took out an envelope and wrote down his cousin's name and number. "Tell him Kawika told you for call."
"Why thank you. That's what I like about the islands, you are all so helpful." I smiled at him and held out my hand.
The door opened and Kawika got out. "Remember to tell him my name."
I thanked him again.
The elevator doors closed. I felt a little guilty about taking advantage of his hospitality. The 'aloha spirit' was alive and well here.
The car stopped with a jerk and I got out. Holding the two shopping bags I walked down the hall to Greenie's apartment. Now came the tricky part. It had been a long time since I had picked a lock.
I put the shopping bad down in front of the door. The pick set I had brought along was like a small grass cutter. You inserted the pick into the lock and cranked the handles together. The tumblers and pins were manipulated until the lock turned.
I hoped the deadbolt was off.
A bead of sweat dripped off the end of my nose. I heard a door open down the hall. I extracted the pick from the lock and dropped it into the shopping bad below. I put my hand on the door know and put my hand in my pocket. An elderly Chinese woman passed me and smiled. She walked down the hall and waited for the elevator.
To my surprise, the door was unlocked. I braced the door with my foot and picked up the shopping bags.
I entered Greenie's apartment.


  1. Cliffhanger end to this chapter! Unlocked doors...always a problem.

    By the way, couple of typos - 8th lst line and 4th last line.

  2. Got it. Forgot to spell check.