|I Need All The Friends I Can Get
Author: Keleka PM
A state senator is murdered and the Governor is the prime suspect.Rated: Fiction K - English - Words: 15,649 - Reviews: 1 - Favs: 1 - Published: 09-15-99 - id: 3602
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
I Need All the Friends I Can Get by Teresa L. Conaway
Steve McGarrett thought he saw something in the dead man's hand. He knelt on one knee, being careful not to get too close to the puddle of blood which had collected next to the corpse.He took a pen from his inside jacket pocket and used it to try to push open the lifeless fingers. He was right; there was something. He snapped his fingers to get Danny Williams's attention.
"Yeah, Steve?" Danny said, not looking up from his notebook where he was scribbling information.
"Look here, Danno," McGarrett said, pointing to the hand. "Whaddaya make of that?"
Danny dropped to his knees and got as close as he could without touching the body. "Looks like a button," he said. "Awfully small for a button, though."
McGarrett pointed to his own collar. "'Bout the size of one of these?"
Danny examined McGarrett's collar and was surprised he hadn't recognized the item clutched in the dead man's hand as a shirt collar button. He grinned sheepishly. "Guess I'm not a button-down kinda guy."
McGarrett chuckled. "Not until they start putting them on aloha shirts." He signalled the photographer to take some closeups and told the lab technician to bag the hands. Standing, he motioned Danny to join him in the kitchen.
"It's gonna be a zoo when the press finds out, Steve," Danny said. " A state senator murdered practically right under our noses like this." It was a straight shot from the apartment's lanai to the window of McGarrett's office in the Iolani Palace.
McGarrett nodded solemnly. "Refer all reporters to me," he said.
"And you won't tell them a thing," Danny deadpanned.
"You got that right, bruddah." McGarrett drew a deep breath and let it out slowly. "Ok, lay it out for me. Whaddawe got?"
For the next few minutes Danny relayed the skimpy information he had gathered so far. At noon the cleaning lady had arrived and found Senator Rio dead on the living room floor. Her screams brought the neighbor, a Mrs. Freeman, running. Freeman told Danny that she had heard two men's voices arguing in this apartment around 8:00 a.m. when she came back from walking her dog. Doc Bergman said that Rio had been dead at least a few hours because rigor mortis had begun; he'd be more precise after the autopsy.
"That's it so far, Steve," Danny said, "except the button, of course. Duke is going door to door interviewing residents and Chin is trying to find the super and anyone else who might have been around at the time."
"Any sign of the murder weapon?"
"Not yet. Doc says it's either a small knife, like a paring knife, or something else small and sharp, like a letter-opener. I've got a couple uniforms looking for it." Danny looked out the kitchen door and watched for a moment as the coroner's men gingerly lifted the corpse onto a stretcher and covered him with a sheet of black plastic. He turned back to McGarrett. "You gonna call the governor?"
McGarrett looked at his watch. "Can't. If he's on schedule, he's on a plane heading for the Big Island."
"Oh, yeah," Danny said. "I forgot. Dedication ceremony at the new hospital."
"Right." McGarrett rapped his knuckles sharply on the kitchen counter. "All right, Danno, you wrap it up here. I'll be in my office. I want a full report before The Man gets back."
Senator Jake Rio--"Big Jake" as the Honolulu Advertiser was fond of calling him--was the senior Republican senator. In any other state he might be called the minority leader; but in Hawaii, the Republicans were such a minority--this year, seven out of twenty-five senators were members of the G.O.P--that their leader wasn't even given the honor of that title.
Not that Jake Rio was the leader of his party even in the ordinary sense of that word. The only political power he wielded was that offered by the news media which only too gleefully televised his almost continual harangues against the governor, the Democrats, and the bureaucracy. No one in state government could ever remember Jake Rio voting for anything during his twenty years in the legislature. He was always obstructive, never constructive.
And now he was dead.
McGarrett had been unable to get Rio out of his mind since returning to his office. He simply couldn't fathom what motive anyone would have for killing Rio. Big Jake was the kind of politician that people snickered about at parties; no one took him seriously. His murder couldn't have been politically motivated.
McGarrett's thoughts were interrupted when Danny Williams sauntered into the office and flopped down into a chair across the desk from his boss. "Well," Williams said slowly, "I don't have much yet, but I've got more than the newspaper."
McGarrett snorted. He picked up the afternoon edition of the Honolulu paper. The front page headline read: "Big Jake Murdered; Police Baffled." The only information that McGarrett had released to the press was that Rio had been found dead, apparently stabbed. The paper had managed to stretch that into three-quarters of a page. At the bottom of the front page was a picture of the governor at the hospital dedication on the Big Island and a few lines about the ceremony.
"Are you baffled, Danno?" he asked.
Danny laughed. "I wouldn't say 'baffled,' Steve. Perplexed, maybe. But not baffled."
McGarrett tossed the paper on his desk and leaned back in his chair. "So tell me what you've got."
Danny removed a small notebook from his jacket pocket and opened it. "Well," he began, "the neighbor heard the sound of two men arguing about 8:00. We haven't been able to find the super yet--he left for the beach at 11:00--and no one else in the building saw or heard anything unusual."
"Great," McGarrett said. He picked up his pencil and started to twirl it in his fingers like a baton. "Any signs of the murder weapon?"
"Yes, at least we think so. HPD found an Iolani Palace letter opener and a blood-stained linen handkerchief in the trash bin on the sidewalk right outside the building's front door. The letter opener was covered with blood. Che's running tests now."
"An Iolani Palace letter opener?" McGarrett said. "Like this one?" He held up his letter opener, a gift from the governor.
"Doesn't make sense that Rio would have one. The governor had them specially made. I can't imagine him giving one to Rio."
"Me neither. Not after that speech Rio gave about the governor's proposal for McKenzie State Park."
McGarrett stood and walked over to the French doors to the lanai. "We need a motive, Danno. What about his personal life?"
"I've got Chin going through the apartment with a fine-toothed comb right now. Duke is on his way to Molokai to search the Senator's home and see what he can dig up there. His only family is a son in New York. I couldn't reach him; N.Y.P.D. is trying to find him for me."
Steve turned in time to see Che Fong enter the office, carrying several file folders. "Whaddaya got, Che?"
"The murder weapon, for one thing, Steve," Che answered, holding up a plastic bag containing an Iolani Palace letter opener, caked in dried blood. "The blood is definitely Senator Rio's."
"Any prints?" McGarrett asked.
"Plenty. Only a couple good ones from the weapon, though. I've sent them all to the print lab for identification."
"Good. Anything else?"
"The handkerchief," he said, holding up another plastic bag, this one containing the blood-stained piece of linen. "The blood on it matches the blood on the knife."
McGarrett looked hopeful. "Is it traceable? Anything unusual about it?"
"It has a monogram in one corner," Che said, turning the baggie over to show McGarrett. "A small letter 'P'."
Danny took the baggie with the handkerchief. "I'll get right on it, Steve."
McGarrett nodded. "Anything else, Che?"
"I've got Doc's report here," the forensic scientist said, shuffling folders and handing the red one--the coroner's file--to Steve.
McGarrett quickly leafed through several pages of autopsy report to the conclusions at the end. He found what he was looking for. Time of death: between 7:00 and 10:00 a.m. He handed the report back to Che.
The phone started to ring. McGarrett snatched it from its cradle before it finished the first ring and barked, "McGarrett." He listened for a moment then looked at Che with wide eyes. "Is he sure?" he asked. He listened again, then said, "You keep him there, Chin. I'm on my way." When McGarrett hung up the phone, he burst into the outer office. "Danno," he barked, signalling Williams to join him. They took the stairs two at a time and jogged to the car. "Chin just talked to the super at Rio's apartment building," McGarrett told Williams as he jerked the car into reverse and pulled away from the curb. "He swears he saw the governor leaving the building at 8:15 this morning."
"I oughta know, Mr. McGarrett," the super said impatiently. "I voted for the man three times. I know the governor when I see him."
McGarrett sighed. There was no shaking the man's story. He studied the super for a minute. James Osterhoff, a ten-year army veteran. Warrant Officer. Helicopter pilot. Perfect vision. Part-time grad student at U.H. Surfing enthusiast. And dead certain that at 8:15 a.m. he had seen the Governor of Hawaii leaving a building where one of his political enemies had been murdered sometime between 7:00 and 10:00 a.m.
"You're certain it was 8:15? It couldn't have been 9:15 or 7:15?"
"Like I told you, Mr. McGarrett, I was up there," he pointed to the apartment building's reception desk on the other side of the lobby. "I was on a ladder. I was re-setting the clock because the electricity went out for a few minutes last night. I remember exactly what time it was when I saw Governor Jameson walk out of the elevator."
McGarrett shuffled his feet and thought for a few moments. "After you saw Governor Jameson come out of the elevator, what did you see?"
"Well, I was surprised to see the governor, and I...you know, I watched him, kinda star struck I guess."
"Uh huh. What did he do?"
"He went out the front door. That's all. He didn't talk to me or anything. He probably didn't even see me."
"Did you see which direction he took when he went out?"
"Yes, sir, he went--" Osterhoff stopped and widened his eyes as though he had just remembered something. "Wait a minute. I did see something else. He walked straight out to the curb and tossed something in the trash bin hanging there on the parking meter pole. Then he walked north, toward the palace."
McGarrett brought his hand up to his face, not wanting Osterhoff to see his discomfort. Oh, God, he thought. It just keeps getting worse. There wasn't a doubt in his mind that the governor had nothing to do with Rio's murder, but the last thing he and his boss needed was for the press to get this story and run wild with it.
McGarrett asked Osterhoff not to talk to anyone else, especially the press, until Five-0 had a chance to follow up. Danny and Chin followed him to his car. A newspaper dispenser sat outside the building's door. McGarrett stopped in his tracks. Something gnawed at him, something he couldn't quite grasp. He reached into his pocket for a quarter, slipped it into the machine, and removed a paper. He flipped the paper over to look at the photo on the bottom of the front page, the photo of the governor at the hospital dedication on the Big Island.
There it was, staring him in the face. The governor, shaking hands with the hospital administrator. The governor, who was fond of button-down shirts, with one side of his collar neatly tucked in, buttoned down, the other sticking out, overlapping his collar. Either it had become unbuttoned, or...the button was missing. He held the photo out for Danny and Chin to see, pointing at the governor's collar.
"Auwe," Chin said, grasping immediately the photo's significance. "The collar button."
"The collar button," McGarrett said, his voice low and tight. He turned and walked briskly to his car, swung open the front door, and snatched his radio microphone. "McGarrett to Central. Patch me through to the control tower at Honolulu Airport." In a moment he had his connection. "What is the status of the governor's plane?" he asked.
"It's third in line behind two passenger jets, sir," the senior air traffic controller said. "It should be on the ground in about fifteen minutes."
McGarrett turned to Williams and Kelly. "Chin, I want to know everything--and I mean everything--about James Osterhoff, and I want to know it today." Chin nodded. Steve jabbed a finger at Williams. "Danno, get on the horn to the print boys. We've got to have those fingerprints, pronto. And ask Manicote to meet me in my office in two hours. I'm going to the airport."
Twenty minutes later, McGarrett stood beside the governor's limousine watching as the state jet taxied in. He waited while the steps were lowered and several of the governor's aides disembarked. Finally the governor emerged. McGarrett felt his throat tighten as he thought about what he had to do.
Governor Jameson spotted McGarrett when he was about halfway down the stairs. He waved. McGarrett waved back, trying to appear cheerful for the reporters who were there. He waited while a few asked the governor questions. One of the questions was about Senator Rio. The governor made a few noncommittal remarks--the Big Island police had told him about the murder when he arrived for the hospital dedication--and then headed for his limousine.
"Well, Steve," he said cheerily, "To what do I owe this honor?"
"Governor," McGarrett said, his voice low so none of the reporters might hear. "I have to talk to you...alone."
Jameson studied McGarrett for a moment and saw the seriousness in his eyes. He nodded, signalling his driver and aides to wait while he and McGarrett got in the limousine. "What's so urgent, Steve?" Jameson asked when they settled in the back seat.
"Governor," McGarrett began, not quite sure how to proceed. He knew he should tie down the police work first. He shouldn't treat the governor any differently than he would anyone else. "Governor," he said again. "We have a few clues in the Rio murder. Before I tell you about them, I have to ask you a few questions that will seem, well, a little strange."
Jameson lowered his eyelids and cocked his head. He shrugged. "Shoot."
"Sir, do you know you're missing a collar button?"
Jameson put his hand to his collar and felt for the buttons. "Gee, Steve, I guess you're right."
"Do you know when you lost it, sir?"
"It was there when I got dressed this morning. I don't know when it fell off." He shifted in his seat. "Steve, what's this all about?"
"One more question, Governor. Do you have a handkerchief?" Jameson nodded. "Could I see it?"
Jameson reached into his trouser pocket and withdrew a white linen handkerchief. He handed it to McGarrett, who quickly examined it. There was no monogram.
"Sir, did you go into Senator Rio's apartment building this morning, before you left for the Big Island?"
Jameson looked away for a moment. "Why do you want to know, Steve?"
"Could you just answer the question, sir?"
"Yes, I was in that building this morning. I went to see Senator Rio. I had hoped I could convince him to stop fighting my development proposals for McKenzie State Park."
"And did you, sir?"
"No. As usual, our conversation deteriorated into a shouting match. He is...was...the most contemptible man I've ever met."
"What time were you there?"
"Steve, if you don't tell me what is going on, I'm going to throw you out of the car!"
For the next few minutes McGarrett told the governor about the collar button, the letter opener, the handkerchief, and what Osterhoff and Freeman had seen and heard.
"My God, Steve," Jameson said. "What should I do?"
"Two things, sir," McGarrett said softly. "First, you should give me permission to have Washington Place searched, preferably before you return to it. It'll look better if my men have gone over it before you have a chance to go in and destroy any evidence."
"Evidence! There is no evidence."
"I know that, sir, but if you go to the mansion before it's searched, the press will say you had time to destroy evidence."
Jameson nodded. "What will you be looking for?"
"Monogrammed handkerchiefs, for one thing," McGarrett said. "Do you have any?"
"Peggy might," Jameson added, referring to his wife. "She might have some."
McGarrett shook his head. The last thing he wanted to find in the governor's residence was a linen handkerchief with a monogrammed "P" on it. Why did the governor and first lady have to be named Paul and Peggy?
"You said there were two things," Jameson said.
"Second, Governor," McGarrett said softly, "Call your lawyer."
Late that evening, McGarrett sat at his desk staring out the French doors to the lanai, thinking. He had avoided the press all day, but tomorrow he knew he would have to tell them something. Several of the more aggressive reporters could tell something was up and were practically camped outside the Iolani Palace, waiting for a chance to pounce on the Five-0 men.
A pile of folders lay on the desk. They contained the reports his men had submitted that afternoon. On the top was the most damaging: the fingerprint report. The letter opener that killed Senator Rio had on it one crystal clear right thumb print belonging to Governor Paul Jameson.
The searches of Washington Place and Senator Rio's apartment had turned-up nothing useful. The collar button found in Rio's hand matched the remaining collar button on the governor's shirt, but there were probably thousands of shirts with identical buttons in the islands. Che had found no blood stains, hairs, or other fibers on the shirt which might connect the governor to the murder. Unfortunately, the flight attendant on the government jet remembered noticing that the governor's collar was already undone when he boarded the plane at 9:00 a.m. That meant the governor had lost his collar button sometime between leaving Washington Place and 9:00 a.m. when he boarded the jet. One thing in the governor's favor: Loose threads hanging where the collar button should have been showed no signs of stress. Apparently the button had fallen off rather than being yanked off.
On Molokai, Duke had found nothing useful at Rio's home. However, a Rio neighbor had suggested to Duke that he consult Daniel Hoffman, Rio's attorney and best friend. Unfortunately, Hoffman was incommunicado, on a camping trip to McKenzie State Park, but was scheduled to return tomorrow morning. Duke would be waiting for him when he arrived.
Though it could be worse, McGarrett knew things weren't looking too good for Governor Jameson. A few hours ago, District Attorney John Manicote had reached the same conclusion when McGarrett laid out the evidence for him.
"Jesus, Steve," Manicote had said, rubbing his hand nervously through his thinning hair. "Can't you bring me an easy one just once?"
"I don't like it either, John. If it weren't the governor--"
"If it weren't the governor you'd have already made the arrest."
McGarrett looked away. Agreeing would mean that he wasn't doing his job, that he wasn't administering justice impartially as he was sworn to do. "What do you want me to do, John?" he asked, happy for once to let the attorney decide.
"I'd like to submit it to a grand jury."
McGarrett nodded. "That would be the politically prudent thing to do."
Manicote blinked at McGarrett, apparently startled to hear him tip his hat to politics. He thumped his chest with his right fist, as though struck by an arrow, and feigned pain. "And if we do the politically prudent thing, the media will crucify us."
"And the governor."
Manicote stood and walked to the door. He turned back to face McGarrett. "I think you ought to interrogate the governor, Steve."
"Call me after you do. I'll decide then whether to wait for the grand jury or to proceed under a prosecutor's information."
"You're probably going to have to arrest him, Steve. It's going to be on your shoulders." With that the D.A. was gone.
A sudden rap on the door brought McGarrett back to the present. The door opened and Danny Williams dragged himself into the office. Danny had been on call the night before. "You look like three day old poi, Danno," McGarrett said grimly. "Why don't you go home?"
"I could say the same to you, Steve," Danno said, working up the energy to smile. "NYPD just called. They found Rio's son. He's catching a flight to Honolulu tomorrow. Arrives here at 7:00 p.m. I asked Chin to meet him."
McGarrett nodded. "Go home, Danno. Tomorrow is going to be a bitch."
For McGarrett, the next day started only a few hours later, at 8:30 a.m., when he walked out of his apartment building on Ala Wai Boulevard in Waikiki. A half dozen reporters encircled him, demanding to know the status of the Rio murder case."We'll have a statement for you this afternoon," he said, pushing through the crowd toward his car.
"Do you have any suspects yet?" one reporter shouted.
"Is there any truth to the rumor that Rio was killed by a jealous husband?"
"No comment." That was a new one. He would have Chin look into it, though his gut told him the reporter was only fishing. Once into his car he watched in his rear view mirror as the reporters scrambled to their cars, no doubt to chase him to the Iolani Palace where they would hold him siege all day.
Danny Williams was waiting for him when he pulled into his parking place in front of the palace."We may have a break, Steve," Danny said, handing McGarrett a sheet of paper. "Duke telexed this over from Molokai an hour ago. He found some papers in Rio's car. That was in them."
McGarrett examined the paper as he trotted up the steps to the palace and the stairs to his office on the second floor. It was a letter, on letterhead belonging to the New Hawaii Development Corporation, the company that stood to gain the most if the governor's development plans for McKenzie State Park made it through the legislature. The first two paragraphs made strident arguments why the senator should drop his opposition to the proposal, but it was the closing sentence that caught McGarrett's eye: "If you continue to oppose Senate Bill 76-102, Senator, I fear that the consequences to you personally will be more severe than you can even imagine." It was signed by Lowell Bower, President and Chief Executive Officer.
"Tough talk," McGarrett said, holding the letter out in front of him and Williams and stabbing at the closing line with his index finger. "Tough talk, but inconclusive."
"It's a threat," Danny offered.
"A threat to do what, Danno?" McGarrett handed the letter back to Williams. "A threat to with-hold campaign contributions in the future? A threat to campaign against Rio's re-election?"
"Maybe. Maybe a death threat."
"Maybe. It's a long shot, Danno, but check it out."
McGarrett had barely walked behind his desk when the call he dreaded came. It was Harrison Atley, the governor's lawyer.
"What's this nonsense about, Steve," Atley demanded. McGarrett could almost hear the attorney's chest puff out in righteous indignation. "Are you planning to charge the governor with Senator Rio's murder?"
"That's going to be up to Manicote, Harrison," McGarrett said calmly. "Will you let me question your client?" Your client. Those words spoken to mean the governor made McGarrett's blood run cold. Yet he knew the only way he could do this was to treat the governor as he would any other suspect.
"I think you already have," Atley barked. "And you didn't read him his rights, either."
McGarrett waited a few beats before he answered. Atley was only doing his job, but this conversation was unnerving. "I know, and I can't use anything he told me yesterday afternoon. I want to talk to him again. Maybe I can find something in his story that I can run with, to eliminate him as a suspect." When Atley didn't answer, he added, "I want him out of this just as much as you do, Harrison."
"Sure, McGarrett. You're just doing your duty," Atley said sarcastically. "Hold on a minute." McGarrett could hear the muffled sounds of two people conferring on the other end of the phone, presumably Atley and the governor. "Ok, McGarrett," Atley continued. "I'll let you talk to my client in his office at ten. Try not to leak it to the press."
McGarrett stared at the handset for a moment after Atley had hung up; he wasn't used to being ordered around by defense attorneys. He looked up when Chin walked in, took a chair, and worked at lighting his pipe. "You got something, Chin?"
Chin raised his eyes to look at McGarrett and nodded his head while still working his pipe. When he finished, he said, "You ain't gonna like it, Boss."
"So what else is new? Let me have it."
Chin opened his notebook. "I been over at the governor's office, talking to the staff. The governor's last appointment Tuesday was with Senator Rio. It's pretty tense over there, Steve. They all know something is up. They're afraid to talk, afraid they might say something to hurt the governor."
"What'd you find out?"
"Apparently the governor's meeting with Senator Rio was not too friendly. The secretaries both admitted that the governor and Rio were yelling at each other by the time the meeting ended."
"Rio always could bring out the worst in people."
"Right. Well, apparently he brought out the worst in the governor too. After Rio left, one of the secretaries went in to the governor's office to see whether there was anything he wanted her to do before she left for the day."
McGarrett looked up, worried. He could sense what was coming. "What did he say?"
"He said, and I quote," Chin read directly from his notebook, "'I'd do anything to get that man out of the Senate.'"
McGarrett exhaled. "Well, it could be worse," he said.
"It's bad enough."
McGarrett nodded, knowing Chin was right. The press would have a field day with it. The case was a prosecutor's dream come true. "Anything else?"
"Danny tracked down that handkerchief," Chin said, flipping a few pages in his notebook. "That 'P' isn't a monogram; it's a designer emblem like the alligator."
"Very fashionable. Only the best people buy 'Pfeiffer' linen handkerchiefs. Only one store in Hawaii sells them. The owner says he doesn't remember the governor or first lady ever buying any. Rio neither."
"Then it might have belonged to the killer."
McGarrett tapped his knuckles on his desk top and sat down. "That's something, anyway. What about Osterhoff?"
McGarrett nodded. "I could have guessed that. After all, the governor admits to having been in the building."
Jenny stuck her head in the door. "Phone, Steve. It's Duke."
"Yeah, Duke," McGarrett said sharply when he picked up the receiver.
"I just talked to Rio's lawyer, Daniel Hoffman. He's been on a wilderness camping trip for the last week and hadn't heard about Rio's murder."
"Did he have any ideas, Duke?"
"Not really. He's going to fly to Oahu this afternoon. Said he'd come by when he gets there."
McGarrett had a thought. "Did Hoffman say whether Rio had a will?"
"Yes. He's going to bring it and Rio's other legal papers with him tomorrow."
"Good, Duke. Is there anything else you can do there?"
"I don't think so. I've talked to some of Rio's neighbors, but I don't think I got anything that will help us."
"Ok, Duke. Report in as soon as you get back." He hung up and glanced at the clock. Quarter of ten. He would have to leave for the governor's office shortly. "One more thing, Chin," he said after a moment. "See if you can find out anything about Rio's love life. Did he have any lady friends? Did any of them have husbands?"
McGarrett shrugged his shoulders. "It's worth a try."
"Right, boss," Chin said, shaking his head. "Husbands."
Governor Paul Jameson, sitting behind his desk, fidgeted with a paper clip. He put it down several times, knowing that a trained investigator like Steve McGarrett would take it as a sign of nervousness, of guilty feelings. But he picked it up again each time, using it to focus his nervousness. Without it he was afraid he'd break out in a cold sweat.He believed absolutely in the American system of justice. "Innocent men aren't convicted," he said, trying to sound resolute. "I have nothing to worry about."
Across the desk, his attorney, Harrison Atley, lifted his head from the legal pad he had been studying. "Don't bet on it, Paul," he said gruffly. "Innocent men do get convicted. Sometimes it's prejudiced juries, sometimes it's ineffective defense counsel, sometimes it's cooked-up evidence, and sometimes it's just circumstance. I don't think we have to worry about the first three in this case, but the fourth--"
"I have faith in Steve McGarrett to find the evidence to show I'm innocent." Jameson realized immediately how naive that must have sounded.
Atley tossed the legal pad onto the governor's desk. "I want you to understand something, Paul. Steve McGarrett is the enemy. He's a cop. It's not his job to find evidence that proves you're innocent. It's his job to find Rio's killer, and right now, the circumstantial evidence all points to you."
Jameson nodded. He had to remember that. Steve is the enemy.
"Before he gets here, I want to go over a few things with you. First, wait a few seconds before answering any of his questions. That gives me time to object, if necessary."
"I understand," Jameson said, though he really didn't. This could not be happening to him. An attorney could not be saying these things to him.
"And if I object, you keep quiet. Don't say another word until I give you the go ahead."
Jameson nodded, his voice refusing to cooperate. His mind was busy with the decisions he had to make that day that would effect the welfare of the state; he focused on those decisions as a way to avoid thinking about what was happening.
"Listen carefully to what he asks, and be precise with your answers. Don't volunteer any information, and above all, don't lie." Before Jameson could respond, there were three sharp raps on the office door and Jameson watched pensively as his secretary admitted Steve McGarrett. It seemed like a dream to him, with McGarrett walking through a pale cloud. He noticed that McGarrett was carrying a manila envelope.
"Harrison," McGarrett said, offering his hand to the governor's attorney. "Governor," he said, nodding solemnly in Jameson's direction. McGarrett's serious demeanor brought Jameson out of his dream state. He got the message: this is real; this is serious. McGarrett took the other seat across the desk from Jameson, about three feet to Atley's left.
"Let's get this over with, Steve," Atley said quickly. "My client is a busy man."
McGarrett smiled wanly. "I think I know that already, Harrison."
"I'm not going to let you bulldoze the governor," Atley responded.
Jameson raised his eyebrows, surprised by Atley's aggressive tone. Until now, Atley's role as his personal lawyer had been limited to the more genteel and gentle areas of legal practice: business, estates and trusts, tax. He had had no idea there was a tiger inside that four hundred dollar suit.
McGarrett took a deep breath and tried to be patient. "I'm not going to bulldoze anyone, Harrison. Your client is not only the governor and my boss, he's also my friend."
Jameson shifted in his seat and cleared his throat. It was his own attorney, not Steve McGarrett, who was making him feel like a criminal. "I'm glad to hear that, Steve," he said. "I need all the friends I can get."
Steve exchanged glances with Atley. Silently they declared a truce.
"Governor," McGarrett began, "you have the right--"
"The governor waives the reading of his rights," Atley said softly.
McGarrett nodded, clearly relieved he wouldn't have to read the governor his Miranda rights. "Fine. Governor, tell me everything you did from the time you got up on Wednesday morning."
Jameson cleared his throat and tried not to sound nervous. "I got up at 7:00 a.m. After I dressed I called Senator Rio to see whether he minded if I stopped by his apartment. I left Washington Place about 7:40--"
"What about your security detail?" McGarrett interrupted. Personally the Five-0 chief was seething that the governor had been able to elude his security detail. He wondered how many other times it had happened. One thing was sure: If it hadn't happened this time, they wouldn't be in this mess.
"I slipped out the back door. I didn't tell them I was going. It was just a few blocks and I didn't want to attract any attention." Jameson stopped, realizing how bad that sounded. "If my security detail had gone with me it would have attracted the press. I wanted a chance to talk to Rio somewhere that he couldn't turn it into a media event."
"Did anyone else know you were going to Rio's?"
"Think carefully. Did you tell anyone the night before that you were going to visit Senator Rio in the morning?"
"It didn't even occur to me until I was in the shower that morning. No one could have known I was going there; even I didn't know until I actually picked up the phone and called him."
"What happened when you got there?"
"I tried to reason with him about his opposition to my proposals for McKenzie State Park, how the limited development I was proposing would have minimal effect on the environment and create several hundred non-tourism jobs for the local population."
"How did he take it?"
"There is no reasoning with that man." Jameson could feel his voice rising in pitch, his anger with Rio evident in his voice. He waited a moment to continue. "I'm afraid I lost my composure and we got into a shouting match. I left by 8:15 and walked directly back to Washington Place. By 8:45 I was in my limo heading for the airport."
"Did anyone see you when you left the building?"
"I don't know. I didn't see anyone."
Atley cut in with a question. "Was there any traffic on the street?"
"Yes, I suppose," Jameson answered. "I really didn't notice."
"Governor," McGarrett continued, "when you left the building, did you throw anything in the trash receptacle out front?"
"No, I don't--Wait, I did throw a pack of matches in the trash. They were in my jacket pocket. I don't need matches so I threw them away."
"Do you remember what was on the cover of the matches?" Maybe we'll find them in trash that Danny had collected from that receptacle the day of the murder, McGarrett thought.
"I think it was from the Ilikai Hotel. I attended a reception there a week ago."
"Good." McGarrett wrote himself a note on the back of the manilla envelope. "Now then, did you notice any indication that someone else was in the apartment?"
"I didn't notice anything. The bedroom and kitchen doors were closed. Someone could have been in there, I suppose." The governor paused for a moment to think. "He offered me a cup of coffee. He already had one cup out and had to get a second one for me out of the kitchen."
McGarrett opened the manilla envelope he had brought with him and removed a small plastic baggie. It contained the collar button found in Rio's hand. "Was the collar button on your collar when you left Washington Place?"
"Yes. I have to unbutton them when I put on my tie and then rebutton them when I'm finished. I know it was there when I dressed."
Atley cleared his throat. "Let's clarify that, Paul. You know it was there when you finished dressing, but do you know it was there when you left Washington Place?"
"Oh. I don't know for sure. It may have fallen off already. All I know for sure is that it was there when I put on my tie."
"When did you first notice it was missing?" McGarrett asked.
"When you pointed it out to me at the airport."
McGarrett reached into the manilla envelope a second time and removed another plastic baggie. This one contained the murder weapon. "Governor, is this one of the Iolani Palace letter openers you had made last year?" He handed the baggie to Atley who passed it to Jameson.
"Wait a minute, McGarrett," Atley said, half rising out of his chair and turning to face McGarrett. "How can he possibly tell whether it is one of the ones he had made? Maybe the manufacturer made some extra and sold them as souvenirs himself."
"Let me rephrase the question," McGarrett said calmly. Atley had a point. He would have Chin check out the manufacturer. "Could this be one of the letter openers you had made?"
"Yes," Jameson said again. "I hired a professor at the university to design them for me and I had them made by a master craftsman on Molokai."
"How many did you have made?"
"How many do you have left?"
"Eleven. No, ten. I gave one to Senator Rio."
Atley winced. So much for not volunteering information.
"You gave one to Senator Rio?" McGarrett asked. "When?"
"That morning. The morning he died."
"You took it with you to his apartment?"
Atley stood quickly and moved to stand between McGarrett and Jameson, an instinctive, protective move. "I think that's enough, McGarrett. I'm advising my client not to answer any more questions."
McGarrett stood too. For a moment he stared hard at Atley, not sure whether to thank the man for stopping the interrogation before the governor got in any deeper or to be angry for cutting him off. Finally he said, "Just one more question, Atley."
"One more, McGarrett, but I might advise my client not to answer it."
"I understand." McGarrett stepped to his left so he could see the governor. "Governor Jameson, did you kill Senator Rio."
"No, Steve, I did not."
Vultures, McGarrett thought, looking down from his lanai to the members of the press gathering on the steps of Iolani Palace. The rumors had started shortly after lunch that an arrest had been made in the Rio murder case. Manicote called a press conference on the steps at 6:00. Thank God it's Manicote's show and not mine.
McGarrett walked back into his office and dropped into his chair, exhausted. He couldn't remember being this tired since his plebe year at the Academy. He closed his eyes for a moment and tried to forget what he had done that day. It wasn't easy.
After he had left the governor's office he met with Manicote in the Supreme Court's law library where the prosecutor was researching the legality of indicting a sitting governor. Although Manicote always looked tired--all prosecutors were perpetually exhausted--McGarrett thought he looked especially haggard today. Manicote tossed his pen on his legal pad when he saw McGarrett approach, motioned him to a seat, and leveled his eyes on the cop. McGarrett could almost feel them drilling into him.
"I don't see that I have much choice, Steve," Manicote said after McGarrett filled him in on his interrogation of the governor. "If it were anybody else you'd be demanding I charge him with the murder."
"I just need a little more time, John."
"It's only a matter of time before something leaks and the press finds out who our prime--make that our only--suspect is. If we haven't moved by then it will look like a cover-up."
McGarrett slapped his hand on the fine kona wood library table, drawing stares from lawyers at nearby tables. "We're railroading him, John."
Manicote lowered his voice. "Be logical, Steve. If it were anyone else, would you call it railroading?" He raised his hand and started ticking off his fingers as he recited the evidence. "Item one, his fingerprints are on the murder weapon, right?"
McGarrett nodded reluctantly.
"Item two, the night before the murder, the governor's secretary heard him argue with and then threaten Rio, right?"
"More like a wish than a threat."
Manicote ignored him. "Item three, he was seen leaving the building at about the time of the crime, and he even admits to going to Rio's apartment. What more do you want?"
McGarrett shook his head. Manicote was right, even though he was dead wrong. McGarrett would stake his career on it. "At least... at least waive mug shots and prints. It's going to be hard enough to arrest him and bring him in."
"It's standard procedure, Steve. We shouldn't deviate--"
"Dammit, John, they waived mug shots and prints for Agnew and he was guilty as hell."
Manicote nodded. Issuing the information would be hard enough; he didn't really want to have to look at the governor's mug shots on the front page of tomorrow's newspaper. "Ok, Steve, do it your way."
Some commotion on the street below caught McGarrett's attention and brought him back to the present. Looking down from his office, he saw that Manicote had stepped up to the microphone. He knew he should be down there to back up Manicote, but he just couldn't do it. John was going to have to go this one alone. He stepped back into his office and sat behind his desk.
On the desk was Chin's report on Rio's love life. The Senator, a widower since 1965, had been linked romantically with only one woman since then. She was a nurse at the University hospital, a widow with two small children. Rio was devoted to her and they planned to marry in a few months. There was no evidence of any other romantic liaisons in the senator's life.
There was also a report from Williams about the New Hawaii Development Corporation and its president, Lowell Bower. New Hawaii was a close corporation with only one shareholder: Horizon Investors, Inc., a Delaware corporation. Williams was investigating further.
He shut his eyes and rubbed them hard. It didn't help. He could still see the hurt look in Paul Jameson's eyes when he returned to the governor's office a few hours ago. Dan Williams had handed Atley the arrest warrant and they all waited silently while he read it. They stood awkwardly for a moment, none of them quite sure what to do next.
"We're waiving prints and mug shots, governor," McGarrett said finally, not knowing what else to say.
Paul Jameson walked around his desk and stopped a few feet in front of McGarrett and Williams. "You're arresting me, Steve?"
McGarrett nodded. It was all he could do. Still no one moved.
Finally, Jameson held out his arms toward McGarrett, his fists close together. McGarrett shook his head. Jameson shifted and held out his arms to Williams. "Book me, Danno," he had said, smiling.
A knock at the door brought McGarrett interrupted his throughts. Chin entered, followed by a tall, lean, serious-looking man in a grey suit. McGarrett looked questioningly at Chin.
"This is Daniel Hoffman, Senator Rio's attorney."
McGarrett nodded and motioned Hoffman to a chair while he sized him up. The suit was too expensive, the hair too perfect. Hoffman looked like he just stepped out of a corporate boardroom. He hardly looked like a small-time Molokai lawyer.
"Mr. McGarrett," Hoffman began, with an accent that had the faint echoes of New York in it. "I'm sorry we had to meet under such circumstances. The senator thought highly of you."
Yeah, sure, McGarrett thought, knowing full well what Big Jake thought of Hawaii Five-0 in general and Steve McGarrett in particular. Five-0 was Paul Jameson's brainchild and Rio didn't much like anything that had Jameson's fingerprints on it.
"May I assume that the press conference downstairs has something to do with this case?" the attorney asked.
"Yes, Mr. Hoffman," McGarrett said quietly. "We've made an arrest."
Hoffman, who had started to open his briefcase, stopped suddenly and blinked at McGarrett. "An arrest? Already?"
"Yes. A few hours ago."
Hoffman waited, expecting McGarrett to tell him who was arrested. Finally he asked. "The senator's son?"
McGarrett raised an eyebrow. "His son? His son is in New York. What makes you think he murdered his father?"
Hoffman fumbled with his briefcase for a moment. "I'm sorry if I jumped to a faulty conclusion, Mr. McGarrett. It's just that...well, let me show you." He removed a file folder from his briefcase. "This is the will I drafted for Senator Rio eight years ago." He handed it to McGarrett. "If you'll look at paragraph thirteen you'll see that the senator left his entire estate--after some minor charitable contributions--to his son, Henry, or 'Hank' as he likes to be called."
McGarrett studied the paper. "Yes, I see."
"Senator Rio and his son have been estranged for years, Mr. McGarrett," Hoffman continued. "But the senator has no other family and he does--I mean, did--love his son despite their differences."
"Financial profit is one of the most common motives for murder, but this alone--"
"Then, six weeks ago, senator Rio informed me that he intended to marry and wanted to change his will leaving his estate to his intended wife with only a minor legacy for Hank. This is the new will I drafted. The senator has--had--an appointment to sign it next week." Hoffman handed McGarrett another document. "He also asked me to notify his son of the intended change. I sent Hank this letter three weeks ago."
McGarrett took the offered letter and read it. He liked Hoffman's style. Most lawyers would have wasted three pages to tell Hank Rio he had been cut out of his father's will. Not Hoffman; he did it in three sentences.
"So you see, Mr. McGarrett, when I heard that my client had been murdered, I assumed--"
"Not a bad assumption, Mr. Hoffman," McGarrett said, relieved at last to have another suspect of some merit. "Chin, see what you can dig up on Hank Rio. I want to see him as soon as he arrives in Honolulu."
"Right, boss," Chin said.
"How much are we talking about, Mr. Hoffman?" McGarrett asked after Chin left.
"How much? Do you mean his estate?" McGarrett nodded. "It's a substantial estate, Mr. McGarrett. I don't have an exact figure."
"How substantial? Enough to kill for?"
Hoffman nodded. "To a desperate man, the senator's holdings would be quite a windfall."
"Is Hank Rio desperate?"
"Maybe. He's never been very successful."
"Is that why he was estranged from his father?"
"Mostly," Hoffman said, shifting in his seat uneasily. "I think Hank was a big disappointment to his father. He never finished college. He's never had much ambition."
McGarrett nodded and stood to indicate the interview was over. Hoffman took the hint, closing his briefcase and rising. "I'll be at the Ilikai if you need me, Mr. McGarrett. One last thing, though. Who did you arrest?"
McGarrett looked away for a moment. "Governor Paul Jameson," he said finally. "I arrested the governor."
While John Manicote fielded questions on the front steps of the Iolani Palace, McGarrett slipped out the back and walked three blocks to Ling Ho's Mexican Restaurant. McGarrett had never figured out how a Chinese-American managed to have the best Mexican food in the islands, but tonight he didn't really care. He just wanted to get out of the palace before the reporters stampeded his office.
At the restaurant he ordered his usual--cheese enchiladas with a side order of jalapenos--and took a table in the back. A few minutes later Danny Williams joined him.
"I thought I'd find you here," Williams said, signalling to Ling Ho that he also wanted his usual--steak fajitas with extra sour cream, and a beer. He wasn't on duty tonight. Or, at least, he hoped he wasn't.
"Is the press conference over?" McGarrett asked.
"Yeah. It was breaking up when I pulled up to the palace. I high-tailed it over here to avoid the reporters."
"I hope no one followed you, Danno. I wouldn't want the press to discover our hideout."
Williams chuckled for a moment and then became serious. "I haven't found anything out of the ordinary about Lowell Bower. No record, no apparent criminal connections."
"What about the other company?"
"Horizon Investors. I had the Secretary of State put in a high priority request with the Delaware Secretary of State. I just picked up this telex a few minutes ago." He pulled a paper out of his inside jacket pocket. "Horizon Investors is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sunchase Financial Services, Inc., a Texas corporation."
McGarrett waited while Ling Ho served up his enchiladas and Danny's fajitas. "Follow the trail wherever it goes, Danno. We're pulling out all the stops on this case. While you're at it, have Duke check out Daniel Hoffman too. He just doesn't look like the wilderness camping type to me."
McGarrett watched while Williams piled high the sizzling steak, peppers, and onions on his tortilla. He was always amazed by how much food his young partner could pack away. "Hank Rio should be here in a couple hours," McGarrett said. He filled Dan in on what he had learned from Daniel Hoffman.
Danny looked at his watch. "I thought you had a date tonight with Lieutenant Scholar," he said, grinning.
McGarrett cringed. "Oh God, I forgot all about Karen."
"Makes the fifth time, doesn't it?"
McGarrett nodded sheepishly. Three weeks ago while working on a missing child case he had met Karen Scholar, a young Coast Guard officer. So far he had made four dates with her and had to break all four. "I'll call her."
"She's probably expecting it," Danny said, enjoying his boss's discomfort.
McGarrett threw him an aggrieved look. "Watch it, bruddah, or I'll put you to work tonight."
Half an hour later, Williams dropped McGarrett off in front of the Iolani Palace. The steps were empty now, with no evidence of the mob scene that had been going on a little earlier. The office was empty too, and quiet. Too quiet. It meant a storm was about to break.McGarrett sat in the dark for a moment, pondering his next move. Chin should be there shortly with Hank Rio. He didn't hold out much hope for linking Hank Rio with his father's death. He was brooding about the governor's fate when the phone rang. It was Karen.
"Steve, I'm going to be the villain this time," she said.
"You have to cancel?"
"We just got a search and rescue order. I could be out all night."
McGarrett wondered whether she was giving him a dose of his own medicine. "Darn, Karen," he said innocently, "I was really looking forward to seeing you tonight."
"I'll make it up to you," she said, laughing. "What about tomorrow night? Seven o'clock?"
"It's a date."
McGarrett hung up the phone and leaned back in his chair. Probably no two people had ever gone to so much trouble to try to have a first date. Most women would have given up on him by now. He closed his eyes and within seconds was sound asleep.
In what seemed to McGarrett like only minutes later, a light knocking on his office door woke him. He looked at his watch; he had slept for over an hour. He cleared his throat and shook his head. Waking up isn't easy when you're exhausted. "Come," he said finally, with what he hoped was a firm voice.
Chin Ho entered with a middle-aged hippy in tow. Chin pointed to a chair in front of McGarrett's desk and steered the man toward it. "This is Hank Rio," he said to McGarrett.
McGarrett studied the man. He couldn't have been much younger than McGarrett but he was doing his best to look younger. His blonde hair was long and pulled back into a ponytail. He wore gold wire frame glasses, a small gold earring in one earlobe, and designer jeans that were just a little too tight. He assumed a typical adolescent posture, both nervous and defiant. To McGarrett the young Rio looked a lot like a character out of a Stephen King novel.
Chin handed McGarrett a file. McGarrett opened the file and leaned back in his chair to read its contents. Hank Rio wiped his nose on the back of his hand and looked nervously around the office. The file contained an arrest report for Henry Jacob Rio, alias "Harry Ridge," alias "Hector Rogers," alias "Richard Rio," alias "Richard Hector." The arrest report listed seven arrests and two convictions, all for minor, non-violent offenses, mostly for shoplifting, petty larceny, and possession of marijuana. Hank Rio had spent some time in the Nassau County Detention Center in the early seventies but had never seen the inside of a state penitentiary.
McGarrett closed the file and leveled his most intimidating gaze on Hank Rio. "May I express my sympathies over the death of your father," he said after letting Rio squirm for a few more seconds. "He was a...valued...public servant to the people of Hawaii."
Rio crossed and uncrossed his legs, wiped his nose again, and said "Yeah, well, you know, these things happen."
McGarrett crooked an eyebrow and tossed a glance at Chin Ho. Chin shrugged.
"Your father was murdered," McGarrett continued, hoping to evoke an emotional reaction of one kind or another.
"Yeah, I know. The cops in New York told me."
"Any idea who might want to kill your father?"
Rio snorted. "How much time you got?"
McGarrett shifted in his seat. No wonder Big Jake disinherited this little worm, he thought. "You didn't get along with your father, did you, Hank?"
For the first time Hank Rio looked McGarrett in the eyes. "What's there to get along with?" he said slowly. "The old bastard lived in Hawaii. I escaped to the mainland as soon as I could."
McGarrett stood, walked around to the front of his desk and perched one hip on the corner. "Where were you Wednesday between seven and ten in the morning?" he asked. "Our time," he added.
Rio wiped his nose again and looked away. "So am I a suspect now?"
"Just answer the question, Mr. Rio."
"I was in New York."
"Where in New York."
"I don't know."
"Why can't you look at me?"
Hank Rio made a pointed effort to make eye contact with McGarrett but quickly broke it. "Come on man, I was in New York. I couldn'ta killed my old man."
"Where were you the night before?"
"I don't know. Probably hanging out at 'Bottoms Up.'"
"Is that a bar?"
"Yeah. I go there most every night."
"Then someone ought to remember you being there."
McGarrett looked at Chin Ho and nodded, a signal for Kelly to start tracking down the young Rio's alibi for Tuesday night and Wednesday morning.
"Where are you staying while you're in Hawaii?" McGarrett asked.
"With some friends. Guys I went to UH with."
McGarrett stood, ending the meeting. "Okay, friend. Give your address and phone number to Detective Kelly and don't leave the island without letting me know. Got it."
"Yeah, I got it."
As soon as the office door closed behind Hank Rio, Chin said, "Looks like we got suspect number two, boss. I'll get on it."
McGarrett snorted. "The bereaved son," he said, shaking his head. "How can a son not even care that his father was murdered? I'd give my right arm to have my father back."
Chin nodded gravely. In the seventeen years he and McGarrett had known each other, McGarrett had never talked about his parents. "I hope my boys never feel that way about me," Chin said softly.
McGarrett nodded, thinking that tomorrow he'd call his sister in California. She and her husband were the only family he had and he suddenly wanted to hear their voices. He tossed some papers into his brief case and swept toward the door. "I'm going home, Chin. Hold the fort."
McGarrett was falling endlessly over the ocean. The sun was bright, the sky was clear, and the ocean was empty and calm. He knew this was a dream. He first had the dream when he was a plebe and he continued to have it over the years whenever he was approaching burnout. It was his psyche's way of warning him to relax. Take some time off. Mellow out. Somehow he knew that if he didn't heed the dream's warning, he would hit the water and that would be the end of Steve McGarrett.
He forced himself awake. He was perspiring heavily, even though the window was open and a cool ocean breeze was sweeping through his bedroom. He could tell by the sound of the traffic seven stories below on Ala Wai Boulevard that it wasn't rush hour yet. He pulled back the sheet and climbed out of bed. He looked around the room and was thankful that his housekeeper would come today. Once a week Helen Ishuro came to his apartment and put his life back in order for him. Once a week he had clean sheets, clean laundry, and clean dishes. She even did his grocery shopping for him. He didn't want to think about what life would be like without Helen Ishuro.
He shook his head, stretched, yawned, and groped at the end of the bed for his bathrobe. For a moment he considered going for a morning jog. Then he remembered the dream and decided that this was one morning he could skip it. Instead, he would take a long shower, fix a full breakfast, and watch the 7:00 a.m. news. It wasn't much, but it would help.
An hour later he carried his breakfast into the living room on a tray. A bowl of shredded wheat, half a cantaloupe, a cup of yogurt, and, of course, toast with seedless blackberry jam. For McGarrett it was a big breakfast. He had finished the cereal and was about to tackle the cantaloupe when the phone rang. It was Chin Ho Kelley.
"Steve, I've got something for you about Hank Rio's alibi."
"Good or bad?"
"Good for the governor maybe. Bad for Hank."
"Let's hear it," McGarrett said, jamming the phone against his ear with his shoulder so his hands were free to spread jam on the toast.
"I just got off the phone with the owner of 'Bottoms Up.' He's retired NYPD. Nice guy."
"Was Rio in the bar that night?"
"Absolutely not. They had a big pool tournament that night. Ed, that's the bar owner, said Rio never misses a pool tournament so when he didn't show up they all commented on it."
"What's his impression of Rio? Does he know him well?"
"Very well. Says he's a gambler, a petty thief, and a general all around screw up."
"That's pretty much the impression I got too."
"Ed said he'd ask around and see what he can find out. I also talked to Rio's landlord. The rent is due on Mondays and Rio made himself real scarce. Didn't see him between Sunday night and Thursday morning when he showed up flashing some big bills and acting like a big shot."
"Good work, Chin," McGarrett said. "Better get HPD to put a tail on him. Make it conspicuous. Let's see if we can rattle him."
"Right, boss," Chin said. "Uh, you okay, Steve?"
"Sure, Chin. Why do you ask?."
"You're usually in the office by now. Jenny was worried and wanted me to ask."
McGarrett chuckled. "You tell that mother hen that I'm fine. I just wanted a little time off. I'll be in by eight."
McGarrett had barely hung up the phone when it rang again. This time it was Governor Jameson.
"Sir, I shouldn't talk to you without your attorney's permission." God, this is awkward, he thought.
"This is Governor Jameson, not Jailbird Jameson," the governor said, sounding more tense than he intended. "I need to inform you that I have temporarily surrendered my executive powers to Lieutenent Governor Waihee. You're to report to him until my case is resolved."
"And, Steve, I have to ask a favor."
"If it's mine to give, sir, anything."
"I'm supposed to participate in a symposium at the law school today. 'The Future of Criminal Justice in Hawaii.' Under the circumstances--"
McGarrett didn't want him to finish the thought. "Of course, sir. I'll attend in your place." After he got the details about the symposium, McGarrett said, "Governor, I don't think it would violate any rules for me to tell you that we have another suspect."
"I don't want to raise your hopes unrealistically, but, at least we finally have someone else to investigate."
"Thanks for telling me, Steve. I know this is as hard for you as it is for me, but I'm confident that the system won't fail me."
"I am too, sir," McGarrett said, though for the first time in his life, he wasn't at all confident.
True to his word, McGarrett reached his office by eight o'clock. Chin met him at the door."What are you doing still here, old man?" McGarrett asked. "You're supposed to be off this morning."
"Too busy to be off," Chin said, chuckling. "And I've got something damned interesting for you."
"More? I just talked to you less than an hour ago."
"There are six haberdasheries in New York City that sell Pfeiffer linens."
McGarrett stopped sorting through his mail and looked at Kelly. He said a quick prayer to himself before he spoke. "And?"
"Hank Rio is a regular customer at one of them and--"
"And he buys Pfeiffer handkerchiefs!"
"You got it, boss. All the wise guys in New York carry them. Hank wants to be a wise guy real bad."
McGarrett broke out into a wide grin. "Chin, I just may have to give you a bonus this year."
Kelly chuckled. "I telexed NYPD an affidavit and asked them to get a warrant for Rio's apartment. I also arranged for the D.A. there to take the haberdasher's and Ed's statements."
McGarrett took several deep breaths. His heart was pounding so hard he could almost hear it. The door swung open and Danny Williams came in, looking refreshed after his night off. "Chin told me the good news, Steve."
"Don't jump the gun, Danno. There's a hell of a lot more evidence against the governor than against Hank Rio."
"Right," Williams said. He pulled some papers out of his jacket pocket and handed them to McGarrett. "I got a telex this morning from the Texas Secretary of State's office. Sunchase Financial Services--the company that owns Horizon Investments--is a wholly owned subsidiary of Mountain Management Company in Pikeville, Kentucky."
"Kentucky? This is starting to smell, Danno," McGarrett said, snapping his fingers several times. "An Hawaiian corporation owned by a Delaware Corporation owned by a Texas corporation owned by a Kentucky corporation? Keep on it until you find out who really owns New Hawaii Development."
"Right. And Duke said he would have his report on Daniel Hoffman for you this afternoon."
McGarrett sighed. "Okay, Danno, keep digging. Chin, you keep working the Hank Rio angle. We've got to find out where he was when his father was killed." He looked at his watch. "Meanwhile, I have to sub for the governor at a symposium. I'll be back this afternoon."
Chin Ho Kelly pulled his sedan into a no parking zone in front of the University of Hawaii Law School. By mainland standards, the three-year-old law school wasn't very impressive. The legislature had just appropriated funds for a new building; in the meantime, one hundred law students studied their profession in several World War II vintage bungalows on the edge of campus.
Kelly spotted a sign directing visitors to the criminal justice symposium and trotted toward the building. Ordinarily the news he had could wait until McGarrett got back to the office. But Kelly knew this case was different. The governor's neck was on the chopping block, and McGarrett's professional future was at stake. The news he had was worth interrupting the symposium for.
Inside the auditorium the panelists were seated around a large horseshoe-shaped table. The moderator, a law school professor, was walking freely inside the horseshoe, prodding the participants with thought-provoking questions. The audience, mostly law and graduate students, listened politely. Kelly waited until the moderator and the audience's attention was focussed on someone several seats away from McGarrett, then he quietly walked up behind him and tapped him on the shoulder. Together they went outside to talk.
"I didn't think this could wait, boss," Chin said. McGarrett nodded but didn't say anything, waiting for Chin to continue. "I checked with the airlines to see whether Hank Rio caught a round trip flight to Hawaii that would put him here when his father was killed."
"Not under his own name. So I checked his aliases, and I hit pay dirt." He opened his notebook. 'Richard Hector' left LaGuardia Airport at 4:30 p.m. Monday night and arrived here shortly before midnight. He departed on Wednesday afternoon."
McGarrett rubbed his chin thoughtfully. "That's almost too good to be true, Chin."
"I checked with the airline and found out that two of the stewardesses from the Monday flight were in town. One of them remembers the passenger named Hector because he made some lewd remarks to her when she helped him fasten his seatbelt."
"That sounds like Rio. Do you think she could pick him out of a lineup?"
"We'll find out this afternoon. Danny is going to pick him up. The stew is standing by for my call. And, NYPD called. They found some Pfeiffer handkerchiefs in Rio's apartment."
"That's great news, Chin."
Kelly chuckled. "I think NYPD was more excited by the marijuana and stolen credit cards they found than by the handkerchiefs."
McGarrett looked at his watch. "The symposium ends at 4:30. I want to question Rio again after the lineup." He sighed and looked back toward the auditorium. "Take care of things for me, okay, Chin?"
"Right, boss. We'll be ready for you when you get back."
"Don't lie to me, Hank," McGarrett growled, slamming his fist on his desk. The young Rio sat shaking in his chair in the Five-0 chief's office, his facade of defiance shattered. "We've got a witness who can place you on a jet to Hawaii the night before the murder." Despite his admonition to Rio not to lie, McGarrett wasn't above stretching the truth himself. The stewardess picked Rio out of the lineup but was far from certain about the identification. Rio "looks like" the man who made lewd comments to her on the plane she said, but she wasn't sure.
Rio squirmed in his seat. Sweat poured down his face and his eyes darted nervously from McGarrett to Kelly who was playing good cop to McGarrett's bad cop. "I don't know what you're talking about! I haven't been to Hawaii in four years."
McGarrett grabbed Rio by the shirt collar and shook him. "I'm not going to let the governor take the fall for you, Rio," he shouted. "I'm not--"
"Steve," Chin interrupted on cue, having played this scene many times in the past. "Steve, let him go." He pulled McGarrett's hands away from Rio and pushed him toward his desk. "Don't screw up the arrest, Boss, or this guy will walk on a technicality."
McGarrett tossed a hateful look at Kelly, then at Rio. He walked behind his desk. "Then you talk to him, Chin. I've got no time for his game."
"Keep him away from me," Rio said, his voice shaking. "He's crazy."
Kelly pulled a chair up next to Rio. "Look bruddah," he said softly, "the writing is on the wall. Your alibi is no good. You weren't at the 'Bottoms Up' Tuesday night. There were reservations in one of your aliases on a round trip flight to Honolulu that puts you here when your father was murdered. And a stewardess picked you out of the lineup this afternoon. You're cooked, bruddah."
"No, no, no, no, no," Rio said, terror washing over him as he recognized the tight box the Five-0 men had him in. "I wasn't on that flight. The airline is wrong. The stewardess is wrong. I was in New York."
"Then tell us where you were," Kelly said calmly. "We don't want to put an innocent man in jail for the rest of his life. If you've got an airtight alibi, we'll back off."
Rio looked at McGarrett who had been staring coldly at him since he took his seat. He looked back at Kelly. "I need a deal," he said finally.
"No deals!" McGarrett practically shouted from across the desk.
Kelly looked at Rio and shrugged. "He's the boss, Hank. He says no deals." He lowered his voice conspiratorially. "You tell me the truth, and I'll see what I can do."
Rio studied Kelly for a moment. "Okay, okay," he began. "I'll tell you where I was. I was in New Rochelle with a couple guys. We did a job. We knocked over a jewelry store."
McGarrett was so taken by surprise that he broke character. "You knocked over a jewelry store?"
"Yeah, man," Rio said, whining. "You gotta believe me, man. It was the biggest heist of my life. I wasn't no where near Hawaii."
McGarrett thought it over. Either Rio was telling the truth or he was doing a hell of an impression of an innocent man wrongly accused. Rio was strictly a small time hood with no history of violent crime. It was possible. But even Hank Rio was smart enough to cop to burglary if it would save him from a murder charge. "Okay, Rio, I'm gonna give you a chance to prove it. You go with Officer Kelly and tell him everything--and I mean everything--about that heist. If I even think you're lying, I'll burn you."
After Kelly left with Rio, McGarrett went out on the lanai to think. It had been almost three days since the murder and the governor was still the most promising suspect. If Hank Rio's story held up, it would be back to square one. He reached out, putting his hands on the railing several feet away, and leaned over. After a few moments, sensing someone watching him, he turned. Duke Lukela was standing in the doorway, holding some papers.
"Yeah, Duke," McGarrett said, sounding as dejected as he looked. "Whaddaya got?"
Duke walked out on the lanai and handed McGarrett the papers he was carrying. "My report on Daniel Hoffman, Steve. I couldn't find anything."
McGarrett looked at the top page. Daniel J. Hoffman, New York University, Columbia Law School. That explained the New York accent. Clerked for a third circuit judge, junior associate at a silk stocking wall street firm for three years and passed over for partner. Moved to Hawaii ten years ago and opened a small, but lucrative, general practice. Some success in business and investment. McGarrett scanned the list of companies on whose Boards of Trustees Hoffman served. Another mainland refugee, McGarrett thought, trading a big money, high stress life for a leisurely one in the islands. Nothing out of the ordinary. He folded the papers and put them in his inside jacket pocket.
"I also went through the debris the lab removed from the trash where we found the murder weapon," Duke said. He handed McGarrett a baggie. "There were three match books."
McGarrett examined the match books without opening the baggie. One of them was from the Double Dragon restaurant. It was ragged and dirty and all its matches had been used. Another was from a bar in Pearl City and was in even worse condition. A phone number had been written on the back. The third was from the Illikai Hotel and was in almost pristine condition. He looked at Duke with a faint smile on his lips. "Tends to corroborate the governor's story, doesn't it?"
"I thought so," Duke said, pleased that he had been able to give his boss some good news, no matter how slight.
McGarrett tossed the baggie back. "Okay, Duke, lock it up in the evidence safe." He looked at his watch. Quarter past six. Damn. He just barely had time to go home, take a quick shower, and pick up Karen Scholar. He walked back into his office and picked up the phone. No, he decided, he wouldn't cancel again. There wasn't anything he could do here. All he could do now was wait for something to break. He remembered his dream.
Three hours later, McGarrett was glad he hadn't cancelled his date with Karen Scholar. Their dinner at the Double Dragon followed by the first show at a little night club off the tourist beat that McGarrett was fond of, had been his first real break in weeks. And Karen had turned out to be a gem herself. He had been surprised to learn that she was not as young as he thought--at almost forty-eight he was beginning to think he shouldn't date women in their twenties anymore--and she was interested in many of the same things he was. He already considered the evening a success when he invited her back to his apartment for coffee.
"You have unusual taste in furnishings for an Annapolis grad," she said with a mischievous smile after surveying his apartment. She fingered the soft pastel fabric of his sofa. "Most of the men I know are into a sort of cowboy/motorcycle/football motif."
McGarrett chuckled, signalling her to sit, while he went into the kitchen to turn on the coffee maker. Mrs. Ishuro had already made it up for tomorrow morning. "Just ring knockers, or men in general?"
Karen paused and looked thoughtful for a moment before answering. "Men in general I guess."
"I'm not your typical man."
"I'm beginning to see that," she said. She pointed at a colorful watercolor on one of the walls. "That's a beautiful painting. Is the artist local?"
McGarrett laughed, setting a small tray with two cups of steaming hot coffee on the coffee table. He sat beside her and handed her her cup. "Very local," he said, smiling devilishly.
She studied his face for a moment, trying to read his eyes. "You're the artist?"
"My God, Steve," she said, putting down her coffee, standing, and walking to the wall to examine the painting more closely. "This is beautiful. I had no idea you were so talented."
McGarrett walked up behind her. "There are a lot of things you don't know about me...yet." Karen turned to face him. She was tall and he could smell her hair, her perfume. He put his arms around her and pulled her to him. He waited for her to tilt her head and when she did, he kissed her. She returned his passion enthusiastically, not timidly like most of the women he had dated recently. Maybe there was something to dating officers.
When their lips parted, she didn't look away shyly or demurely. She looked him right in the eye, a look that said she found him attractive, desirable even. But McGarrett was never one to jump into a physical relationship quickly, no matter how willing the woman. Taking her hand he lead her back to the sofa. They sat together, he with his arm around her. He turned off the lamp letting the full moon light the room. The ocean breeze swept through the screen door to the balcony, filling the room with the scent of the sea, a scent familiar and pleasing to them both.
"Has anyone ever told you you're an enigma?" Karen said after a few moments.
"I've been called worse," he said quietly.
Karen asked him about his art, and he told her, flattered by her interest. Painting was personal to him, and he enjoyed sharing it with someone who was truly interested. After a few minutes, the phone rang. He sighed, tempted to let it ring. But by the third ring the temptation had left. He picked up the handset on the end table.
"Hello," he said softly. Please let it be a wrong number, he thought.
"Steve?" he heard the familiar voice ask. "This is Danny. I finally heard back from Kentucky about Mountain Management Company. That county is hillbilly country and isn't computerized yet. That's why it took so long."
"What did you find out, Danno?"
"Mountain Management is a wholly owned subsidiary of Saddle River Investments, Inc., a New Jersey corporation. I've already telexed the Jersey State Department. Hope to have an answer by morning."
"Okay, Danno. Keep on top of it." He hung up the phone and returned his attention to Karen. "Where were we?"
"I believe I was telling you what a wonderful artist you are."
He laughed. "Okay. Now you tell me what you do in your spare time."
"Nothing requiring any talent," she said. "I like to ride horses. There's a stable I go to in Kaneohe twice a week to ride."
"English or western?"
"Western. I never could get used to the English saddle."
"Neither could I," he said. He pulled back her hair with his hand and considered kissing her again. "Somehow the western saddle seems--." He stopped, something suddenly sparking a memory he couldn't quite grasp. "Saddle," he said again. "Saddle River."
He disentangled himself from Karen and reached into his inside jacket pocket for Duke's report on Daniel Hoffman. He turned the pages quickly, scanning them for something. On the fourth page he found it, slapping the paper with his free hand. He stood.
"Come on, Karen. I'll take you home. I've got to go into the office."
I can think of better ways to spend Sunday mornings. Daniel Hoffman fidgeted imperceptibly in the cold metal folding chair. Next to him sat Rhonda Dobbins--Jake Rio's fiance--and her two young children. He tried to be appropriately supportive and remorseful, as befitting a funeral for a man who was supposed to be his best friend. Just a few more hours, he kept reminding himself, just a few more hours and he'd be free of that insufferable blowhard for good.
He sneaked a peak around to see who else was there. About three or four dozen mourners--some of them more mournful than others--were attending the outdoor memorial service. A few rows back and across the aisle sat Lieutenent Governor Waihee, looking appropriately somber and penitent. It had to weigh on the man, knowing that he could become governor at any moment. Hoffman stifled a chuckle. In today's political climate the old saying should be revised: the Lieutenent Governor is only a heart beat or conviction away from the state house.
Seated a few rows behind Waihee were Steve McGarrett and one of his assistants, the young one. Hoffman couldn't remember the name. He smirked inwardly at the ineptitude of the Five-0 team. The rest of those attending were members of the state legislature, there purely as a political duty. None of them considered Jake Rio a friend.
Hank Rio was no where to be seen.
Hoffman half listened as the Presbyterian minister droned on about Jake Rio's virtues, the few he had. He was on the verge of being lulled asleep when out of the corner of his eye he saw a large black sedan with dark tinted windows pull into the church parking lot. It parked and waited.
Finally the service ended. As the dutiful best friend of the deceased, he solemnly escorted the quasi-widow and her brood to the funeral home's limousine, planning to slip away unnoticed and avoid the obligatory small talk that followed such events. Before he reached his car, the doors to the mystery sedan opened and two menacing hulks pulled themselves out and jogged toward him.
"Please come with us, Mr. Hoffman," one of them said, taking his arm and not so gently pulling him toward the sedan.
"What do you want?" he demanded.
"We're not going to hurt you," the bruiser said with just enough menace in his voice and pressure in his grip to mean that they would hurt him if necessary.
"What do you want? Who are you?" He tried to pull away but was shoved into the back seat of the sedan before he could even yell for help. The two men climbed in, one on either side of him. Damn. Kidnapped a hundred feet from the head of the State Police.
"What do you want?" he asked again, this time his voice a little less demanding. "Who are you?"
"Relax, Mr. Hoffman," one of them said. "Enjoy the ride."
"Where are you taking me?"
"Our boss wants to see you."
"Your boss? Who the hell is your boss?" No answer. Better to play along, he decided. Save your breath. Find out who's on the other end of this. No use arguing with the hired help.
He tried to watch where the sedan was going, but he lost his bearings quickly. He didn't know Oahu very well. After about thirty minutes the sedan pulled into a gravel drive and headed down a steep driveway. In another minute or two they pulled up to a beach house. There were several other dark sedans parked nearby; he counted four other strong men strategically placed around the property. Lookouts, he decided. Lookouts for what?
His captors opened the door and directed him to get out. "Check him for wires," one of them ordered. The other man told Hoffman to remove his jacket and open his shirt. No wires. He redressed.
"In there," one of the thugs said. He entered the front door of the beach house and was met by another man who started to frisk him.
"Hey!" he cried. "They already checked me."
"Can't be too sure," the man growled. Then he grabbed Hoffman's arm and half dragged him to a sunny glass-enclosed atrium. The man pushed him into the room, perhaps with a little more force than necessary, and Hoffman nearly lost his footing. When he regained his balance he looked around the room.
Two more bodyguards--he supposed that was what they were--stood by the glass doors to the patio. He could feel their eyes following him as he walked deeper into the room. Then he noticed a man sitting on the white wicker sofa. He looked familiar, then recognition came to him.
"Governor Jameson?" he half whispered.
"Yes, Mr. Hoffman," Jameson said, smiling. "Welcome to my hideaway. Please have a seat."
He stumbled to a chair, stunned to find the governor at the end of this trip. "What is... I mean, who--"
"Shut up and listen," Jameson said. His voice had an edge to it. It was the sound of an angry man. "You screwed up big time, Dan. You didn't go through channels."
"What do you mean?" His voice cracked. He looked around nervously.
"You decided to freelance, Dan, and you didn't clear it with the front office."
Hoffman was puzzled. He tilted his head and tried to talk. "But, what, who--"
Jameson leaned forward, his eyes drilling into Hoffman. "I've been governor of this state for nearly seventeen years, Dan. You don't think I got this far without connections, do you?"
"Does the name 'Frank Fazi' sound familiar to you?"
Hoffman's eyes widened. "Frank Fazi?" He swallowed hard and could feel himself breaking out in a cold sweat. "How do you know Frank Fazi?"
Jameson laughed and shook his head. He tossed a glance at the two bodyguards as if to ask, "How dense can this guy be?" Jameson sighed. "Let me spell it out for you, Dan. We both work for the same organization. But you decided to freelance. What were you thinking, Dan? Make a big score and maybe you'd get promoted?"
Hoffman could barely speak. "Freelance? I don't know--"
Anger crossed Jameson's face. "Don't dig yourself in any deeper, Dan. I know all about New Hawaii Development Corporation. Damn it, why do you think I proposed the development at McKenzie State Park? We stood to make millions off that deal."
My God, Hoffman thought. He knows. "Governor, I don't know--"
"What made you think you had to kill Big Jake? He was just a harmless old windbag, nothing more than a thorn in our side. I would have gotten the bill through the legislature despite his opposition, just grease a few palms, twist a few arms. Now you've implicated me in a damned murder. Why didn't you stay out of it, Dan?" "
"But, Hank Rio. I set him up. He was supposed to take the fall." Hoffman could feel himself shaking now. If Frank is in this... Oh damn, if Frank is in this, I'm dead. "McGarrett was supposed to arrest Hank. I wanted to help. I wanted--"
"We've been trying for years to infiltrate Hawaii. But McGarrett!" Jameson shook his head. "That damned cop never missed a trick, not till now. We were this close," he held up his hand, thumb and index finger only an inch apart, "this close."
Hoffman looked at his feet. Getting rid of Rio was supposed to be his chance to show the big boys what he could do. He didn't want to be just a mob lawyer; he wanted to be a player. If he knocked off Jake Rio and greased the skids for the State Park deal he'd be in the gravy. At least, that was what he had thought. Now he was scared. He knew what Frank Fazi was capable of. Why hadn't Frank told him about Jameson? The only answer was that Frank didn't trust him.
"What do you want me to do?" he asked. "I'll do--"
"He doesn't get it," Jameson said to his bodyguards. He laughed. "We don't want you to do anything, Dan. You've done enough already." He signalled the bodyguards.
Hoffman backed away as the two hulks came toward him. "Wait. Please. Give McGarrett a chance. I set it up. Hank Rio doesn't have an alibi. I made sure of that. And I planted that handkerchief. McGarrett is smart. He'll figure it out." He dropped to his knees as the governor's henchmen grabbed him by either arm. "Please. Let me talk to Frank. I killed Rio for Frank, so the deal would go through. Let me talk to Frank."
The door to an adjoining room crashed open with such force that to Hoffman it sounded like a gunshot. He ducked and covered his head. But no bullet pierced his flesh. He looked up. A man was standing in the doorway.
"McGarrett?! What?" He was shaking hard but he managed to pull himself to his feet. His eyes darted nervously between McGarrett and the governor. "I don't--"
"That's all I need to hear, Hoffman." McGarrett jabbed an accusing finger at Hoffman. "You're going down, bruddah."
Hoffman's jaw went slack. Anger and resentment burned in his eyes as he looked at McGarrett. "You set me up! You bastard. You set me up!"
"You set yourself up, Hoffman," Steve said, his voice barely containing his rage. "You set yourself up as judge, jury, and executioner for Jake Rio and you almost took the governor down too."
Hoffman blinked several times, still stunned. He stood passively while Dan Williams handcuffed him and read him his rights. "How," he said finally, his voice shaky and weak, "how did you find out?"
"I have connections too, Hoffman," McGarrett said. "The F.B.I. has a whole file cabinet of dope on the Saddle River Investment Corporation and the Fazi gang. You revealed your membership on the Saddle River Board of Directors in your application to the state bar examiners. All I did was put two and two together."
"The perfect patsy. You were his father's lawyer. You knew about their relationship and about Hank's criminal record."
"He was in Hawaii--"
"You had some guys in New York include him in on a jewelry store heist so he wouldn't have an alibi."
Hoffman was silent. McGarrett was zeroing in for the kill and he knew it.
"You bought a round trip ticket to Hawaii for one of his aliases and sent someone who looks a lot like him on a free vacation. You killed Jake Rio and tried to frame his son. The governor was an innocent victim."
"Okay, okay. I know the story," he said softly, barely audible. "I didn't know the governor had been there. I didn't mean to hurt you," he said pleadingly, looking at Jameson as though asking for forgiveness. "I wanted Hank to take the blame."
McGarrett walked close to Hoffman and studied him, his face filled with contempt. "You were the man's lawyer. He trusted you. And you killed him."Hoffman hung his head and didn't answer. "One thing, Hoffman," McGarrett continued. Hoffman looked up. "The button. The collar button. If you weren't trying to frame the governor, why did you plant the button in Rio's hand?"
Hoffman shook his head. "I didn't. I didn't even know about the button until I read the papers. Jake was very meticulous. He probably picked it up and had it in his hand when I--" He couldn't finish.
McGarrett glared at him. He nodded to Williams. "Book him, Danno," he said firmly. "Murder One."