DIARY OF DANGER

Part Two

by Hilary Elliott

 

 Uttering a hoarse cry, Steve instinctively raised his arms towards the falling body; Danny’s torso thudded into him and the two men fell to the floor.  Steve’s left arm was trapped between them and he wriggled in an effort to free it, while his right hand slapped out the flames threatening the back of Danny’s shirt.  His fingers checked for a pulse in the neck – barely perceptible.

Gasping in the acrid air, Steve struggled to his knees and Danny’s body slipped backwards to the floor; a glance towards the wings showed no one was there.  Kneeling astride his friend, Steve slipped Danny’s bound hands over his neck and began to crawl slowly towards safety, dragging Danny beneath him.

 Steve tried to ignore the inferno behind him, though it was getting difficult as more of the theatre caught alight.  Some of it landed on his back and he paused to pull the cloth away.

 The door on to the stage swung open and Duke staggered forward.  Through the smoke he could just make out a shape on the stage.  Following him were two firemen carrying a hose, who proceeded to turn on the water and directed the jet towards the roof.

 The end of the lighting rig finally gave way and came down with a crash.  One end smashed through the stage, while the other end brought down wire, ropes and the scenery stored in the fly tower.  It was a mass of flames and it landed on the stage, narrowly missing Steve and Danny.

 Frantically Duke grabbed the arm of the nearest fireman, but he had already seen what had happened. The jet of water sprayed across the stage, the force of it knocking Steve over.  Duke dashed forward and helped Steve to his feet and between them they hauled Danny to safety.

 As they reached the door more firemen met them and two of them carried Danny out into the fresh air.  Chin was nervously pacing backwards and forwards in the car park, anxiously watching the stage door.  He ran over when he saw Duke and Steve appear and collapse against the outside wall. 

 The ambulance men moved into action, administering oxygen to the downed men. Chin fished in his pocket and produced his penknife, the one he used for cleaning his pipe.  Opening up the biggest blade, he sawed through he ropes binding Danny’s hands.  As he did so, he glanced at the unconscious policeman.   Danny’s face behind the oxygen mask was grey and his light brown hair was now black.  His trouser legs were charred and over everything were the oily deposits of smoke.  Chin moved out of the way as the ambulance men bustled round, lifting Danny onto a stretcher.

 “How is he?” asked Chin.

 “Breathing on his own, superficial burns.  He’s a lucky guy.  We’ll get him to Queens.”

 Chin nodded and as they wheeled Danny away he turned back to check on his boss and Duke, to find them both on their feet.  He moved over to them quickly, resting his hand on Steve’s shoulder.

 “How’s Danny?” whispered Steve, his voice hoarse.

 “They’re taking him to Queens,” replied Chin.  “You ought to go too.”

 Steve started to shake his head, but a medic interrupted.

 “We’re waiting for you sir,” he said.

 Steve glanced at Duke.

 “I’ll be okay Steve.  You go with Danny.”

 Steve nodded and followed the medic across the car park and stiffly climbed into the back of the ambulance.  The siren started up as the vehicle left the car park and headed back to Honolulu.  Chin turned to Duke and together they walked back to their car.  They stood and watched the fire crews working before Chin walked across to meet up with the fire Chief.

 “We need to know how it started Chief.  We suspect it may have been deliberate.”

 “Okay Officer Kelly, I’ll be in touch as soon as I can.”

 Chin nodded and returned to his car where Duke was waiting, slumped in the passenger seat.  Sliding behind the wheel, Chin grasped Duke’s shoulder.

 “I’m taking you to Queen’s too,” he announced.

 Duke didn’t argue, just nodded and wrapped his arms about himself as he started to cough.

Saturday night, late

 Steve quietly opened the door and slipped into the darkened room beyond.  He paused to let his eyes get accustomed to the dim light before glancing across at Danny.  An oxygen mask covered part of his face, but Bergman had assured Steve that it was only temporary until Danny recovered consciousness.  The blow he had received to the back of his head was the main reason for him being out for so long. 

The body on the bed let out a low moan and started to cough.  Steve crossed the room in a couple of strides and stopped by Danny’s side; he was staring wild-eyed into space.  Steve leant gently on the heaving shoulders.

 “Easy, Danno, easy.  You’re safe now.”

 Danny’s coughing eased and he managed to focus on the face above him.

 “Steve?” he croaked.

 Steve smiled as he sat on the edge of the bed.  He reached over and gently removed the oxygen mask.

 “Thanks,” whispered Danny.  “What happened to me?”

 Steve frowned slightly.

 “I don’t know what happened before we got there, but when we arrived at the theatre, it was ablaze.”

 He paused.

 “Go on,” urged Danny.

 “You were strung up like a side of bacon waiting to be smoked.”

 Danny turned a whiter shade of pale.

 “Strung up?”

 Steve nodded grimly.

 “Can you remember anything Danno?”

 Steve slid off the bed and pulled up a chair.  Settling himself at the bedside, he rested his hand on Danny’s arm, in a gesture of support.  Danny’s eyes were closed and his brow creased in concentration.  His right hand reached for the oxygen mask and he eased his laboured breathing with a couple of breaths before starting to speak, his eyes still closed.

 “Aggie called me; said there was a problem at the theatre and that she was worried.  I told her to call the police and she said she would, but could I get to the theatre too.”

 Danny paused and took in some more oxygen.  Steve sat quietly, trying to contain his impatience.  Painfully slowly, Danny related what he could remember up until the point he had been bludgeoned from behind.

 “I went to the theatre and went in at the stage door.  There was no one there and few lights were on.  I went through the auditorium to the office, but there was no one there either, so I made my way back to the stage.”

 Danny paused, took a couple more breaths and frowned.

 “I’m not sure what happened next Steve.  I saw Aggie; she was standing in the wings across the stage, looking worried.  She waved me over and I went, of course.  I thought I heard someone behind me, but before I could turn round, wham!  It’s given me one heck of a headache Steve.”

 Danny slowly raised his hand to touch the lump at the back of his head and grimaced in pain.  Steve winced in sympathy and squeezed the arm beneath his hand.

 “I know how you feel,” he said quietly.

 Danny turned his head and for the first time took a good look at his friend.  His gaze took in the grey tinge to the skin, and the torn and burnt shirt.

 “How did I get out of there?” Danny whispered.

 “That will keep for another day Danno,” said Steve getting to his feet.

 He looked down at his friend and smiled.

 “Rest easy aikane.  I’ll come by and see you tomorrow.”

 He leant forward and slipped the oxygen mask back over Danny’s face and was rewarded by a slight grin.  Steve straightened up and Danny’s eyes closed as he drifted off to sleep.  The door behind him squeaked open and Steve turned.  In the doorway stood Chin and Duke and Steve moved towards them. 

“How is he?” asked Chin softly.

“He says he’s got a headache.” 

Steve ushered them out ahead of him and lowered himself into a nearby chair.

 “How are you Duke?”

 “I’m okay Steve.  My hands will be sore for a few days, but that’s all.  I was lucky.”

 Steve turned his attention to Chin.

 “What’s the news on Aggie Weston?” he asked.

 “She’s still unconscious, but the doc thinks she’ll be okay.”  Chin grinned briefly.  “She’ll have a headache too, when she wakes up.”

 “What do you mean?”

 “She was unconscious because she’d been hit on the head.”

 Steve frowned as he rose to his feet and began pacing.  As he walked, his men looked at each other as they too noted the torn and burnt shirt covering Steve’s torso.  The backs of his pants legs were burnt in places too.  They heard a sharp intake of breath from him as he injudiciously attempted to click his fingers.  Chin stepped forward.

 “I think I should take you both home,” he said firmly.

 Steve turned and looked at the closed door to Danny’s room and a quiet sigh escaped him.

 “I guess you’re right Chin.  We can’t do anything else tonight.  Okay, let’s go.”  

Sunday  (Early morning, 4 a.m.)

 The nightmare caused Steve to wake suddenly.  He sat up in bed, gasping for air, sweat covering his naked body.  Eyes wide open, he slowly recovered his senses as he realised he was in his own bedroom.  Breathing deeply he rested his arms on his drawn up knees.  When his breathing had returned to normal, he pulled on his bathrobe and padded through to the kitchen for a drink.

 Glass of juice in hand, he wandered through to the lounge and leant against the frame of the big picture window.  He thought back to the nightmare that had seemed all to real.

 In his dream he hadn’t been able to get to Danno; something – or someone – had been holding him back.  At the thought, Steve shivered and pulled the robe closer round him, wincing as the cloth rubbed the burns and abrasions down his back.  Sipping his drink he relived the nightmare.  Himself, standing at the edge of the stage watching the flames edging towards his friend.  Danny hanging from the lighting rig, his legs alight, the flames slowly consuming him.

 Steve gasped for breath and with a hoarse cry spun round and dashed for the telephone.  He punched in numbers from memory and when HPD answered he issued terse instructions.

 “This is McGarrett.  I want an officer on duty at Queens, outside Dan Williams’ room.”

 “Sure thing Mr McGarrett.  I’ll send someone right away.”

 “Oh, and could you send a female officer to look after a girl named Weston, Aggie Weston.  Same hospital.”

 HPD assured Steve they would send someone and he hung up.  As he replaced the receiver, he wondered why he had acted like that.  Finishing his drink, he left the glass on the drainer and returned to the bedroom.  The sheets were a mess and Steve mused he’d obviously been tossing and turning for some time, struggling with an invisible enemy, before rousing himself.  There was blood on the bottom sheet, the result of some of his abrasions opening up.

 Steve shrugged off his bathrobe, easier done than his fears for Danny’s safety, and lay down.

 But sleep eluded him; he was just too worried so he got up again.  After a lukewarm shower and patting himself dry, Steve dressed in his loosest aloha shirt and pants.  His holster and gun he clipped onto his belt and, slipping his feet into loafers he left for the hospital.

Steve drove his car swiftly through the nearly deserted streets of the Hawaiian Sunday morning.  If someone had asked him why he was making the dash to the hospital, he couldn’t have given a reasonable explanation.  A vague unease had settled on him that he couldn’t shake off.  Rationally he knew that where his young friend was concerned, he could be over-protective, but in this instance, worry overtook reason.  I hope I’m wrong thought Steve, but I fear Danno’s life is still in danger.

 The sun was beginning to colour the sky as Steve pulled into the parking lot at the hospital.  He walked quickly through the nearly deserted corridors until he reached the upper floor where Danny was being looked after.  There was no one at the nurses’ station as he strode past to Danny’s room.  A glance along the corridor showed there was no one outside Danny’s door either.  Steve slowed and on impulse returned to the nurses’ station.  As he approached, a nurse arrived from the other direction.

 “Can I help you?” 

Steve extracted his wallet from his hip pocket, flipped it open to expose the 5-0 shield and announced himself in clipped tones.

 “Which room is Miss Weston in?” he asked.

 “First right, third door down.”

 Nodding his thanks, Steve spun on his heel and strode off in the direction indicated.  He frowned when he saw that corridor was empty too.  Pausing outside the third door along, Steve drew his gun but kept his arm by his side.  Grasping the handle, he turned it slowly and gently pushed the door open.  Stepping into the dimly lit room, he immediately espied the sleeping figure of Aggie Weston, illuminated by the bedside lamp.  As the door swung shut the jab in the back took him completely by surprise, as did the low voice.

 “I’m a police officer.  Stay where you are and raise your hands.”

 Steve slowly did as he was told, letting the gun dangle from his finger by the trigger guard.  The gun was removed from his hand, then the figure behind him stepped away and demanded he turn round.  Steve complied, but now he recognised the voice and was hard put to suppress the smile threatening the corners of his mouth.

 “Oh my gosh, Mr McGarrett!  I didn’t recognise you, in that shirt and all!” 

“May I lower my hands now Officer Wells?”

 “Oh sure.”

 Steve retrieved and holstered his gun and then opened the door.  With a jerk of his head, he indicated the policewoman should precede him into the corridor.  As soon as they were outside the room, Sandi Wells began speaking, her face flushed with embarrassment.

 “I am so sorry Mr McGarrett, I wasn’t expecting you, so when the door opened so slowly and this figure stepped into the room…”

 The rush of words slowed to a stop and Steve finally allowed his smile to break out.  He reached over and patted the young woman on the shoulder.

 “Don’t apologise for doing your job.  I just thought I’d look in on Miss Weston as I was here.  You go back inside.”

 “Thanks Mr McGarrett.”

 Sandi gave him her best smile as she returned to the room to resume her vigil.  Steve’s smile faded as he retraced his steps and headed for Danny’s room.  As he turned into the corridor the door to Danny’s room was just closing.  Steve approached cautiously, wary of having another gun jabbed into his ribs by an enthusiastic HPD officer.  Muffled sounds reached the corridor as he got to the door.  Pushing the door open, Steve stepped quickly into the room.  He sensed a movement in front of him and tried to sidestep away from the door but someone pushed it, hard.  The door trapped Steve against its frame, the handle pressing into the arm across his stomach, caught in the act of reaching for his gun.  Steve cried out in pain as the doorframe impressed itself against his sore back.  With a superhuman effort, he pushed back and managed to move the weight pressing against the door.  As he stumbled into the corridor, his knees gave way and he knelt on the floor, coughing and retching.

 In the periphery of his vision he saw a pair of feet, clad in sandals, move past his head and heard them run down the corridor.

 “Danno!”

With a strangled sob, Steve used the wall to help himself stand upright and staggered back into the room behind him.  His hand found the main light switch and his eyes narrowed against the resultant glare.

 “Steve?  What’s wrong?”

 Danny struggled into a sitting position, discarding his oxygen mask as he did so.

 “Someone was in here Danno.  Did you see or hear anything?”

 “No, not until you put the light on.”

 Still holding onto the open door, Steve rapidly glanced round.

 “What’s that behind the door Steve?”

 Danny made to get out of bed, but Steve motioned for him to stay where he was.  Leaning forward, Steve peered round the door, and then pushed it shut.  On the floor was a body, dressed in blue.

 “Danno, call the nurse,” demanded Steve, dropping to one knee and feeling for the carotid pulse.

 Danny did as he was asked.

 “Is he dead?”

 Steve shook his head.

 “No thank God, just unconscious.”

 Danny watched with concern as Steve slowly stood up.

 “Are you okay Steve?”

 Steve nodded and stood back as the door was pushed open to allow the nurse to enter.  He gestured to the prone body.

 “Look after him please.  Danno, sit tight.  I’ll be back soon.”

 Drawing his gun, Steve set off after the unknown assailant.  Steve headed rapidly for the stairs at the far end of the corridor and, going through the door, he stopped to listen.  Below him he heard the slap of leather on concrete; he ran down the stairs, hand on the banister to steady his rapid descent.  While still four flights away from the ground floor exit, Steve heard a door slam and instinct told him his quarry had eluded him, but he continued down to the end of the staircase.

 Sure enough, when Steve got out to the car park, it was deserted.  Holstering his gun, Steve retuned up the stairs to Danny’s room.  By the time he got there, he was gasping for breath and sank into an untidy heap in a chair by the bed.  Danny took one look at Steve and passed across the oxygen mask.

 “Here, I think you need this more than me at the moment.”

 Steve nodded his thanks and sucked the oxygen greedily into his sore lungs.  After a moment, he had regained the use of his vocal chords.

 “Thanks Danno.”

 Steve looked up at his friend.

 “You’re looking better,” he observed.

 Danny grinned back.

 “I feel better.  I’ll try and get the doctor to let me go home today.”

Steve nodded slowly.

 “Okay Danno, let me know when and I’ll bring you some fresh clothes and take you home.”

  

Sunday afternoon

 Danny settled himself on the large couch in Steve’s living room while Steve plated up a meal of cold mahi-mahi and salad for them both.  Danny had protested that he was all right to go home, but Steve was driving and insisted Danny take it easy.  The only way to make sure he did that was to put him where he could keep an eye on him.

 After the meal was finished and cleared away, Danny demanded to be told what Steve knew of the events after he, Danny, had been knocked unconscious.  Steve contemplated his mug of coffee for a moment and then began telling the story.  How he, Chin and Duke had gone to the theatre; of how they had got Aggie out of the burning building and finally how he had broken Danny’s fall and dragged him out.

 Danny had paled visibly while Steve had been speaking.  He sat in stunned silence for a moment and then slowly shook his head.

 “My God Steve, what sort of maniac are we dealing with?”

 “It has all the makings of a vendetta Danno,” replied Steve, stretching his legs out.   “But who is behind it and why were you targeted?”

 His fist thumped his knee in an expression of exasperation.

 “It could be directed at me,” said Danny slowly.

 Steve shook his head.

 “No way Danno,” he answered emphatically.  “No I don’t think this is about you.  Well, not originally anyway.  I’m sure that Seymour was the intended victim.  But I do wonder at that phone call you received.”

 “You mean from Aggie?”

 Steve nodded.

 “Why did she really want you to go to the theatre?”

 Danny managed a rueful grin.

 “I never found out.  I got hit from behind the moment I set foot on the stage, so I never even spoke to her.”

“If she called you to lure you to the theatre, that means she is involved with someone else who may be the murderer.”

 Steve rose to his feet and looked grimly at Danny.

 “C’mon Danno, I’ll take you home.  Tomorrow there are a lot of questions I want answers to.”

  Monday afternoon

 “Danno, we need to get a statement from Aggie Weston.  Find out from the hospital when she’s going to be released. “

 “Sure Steve.”

 Danny limped from the room to his office to make the call.  Just as he put the phone down, Duke and Chin returned.  The three men went through to the big office and Steve glanced up from his paperwork.  Like Danny, Duke should have been resting, but Steve had given up trying to persuade either of his men to stay home, so had set them to work.  Very carefully, he sat back in his chair as the others settled themselves.  Toying with a pencil, Steve spoke.

“Okay Chin, what do we know about the fire?”

 “No surprises there Steve.  It was arson for sure.  The fire chief can pinpoint the starting place at the back of the stage.  He said the scenery dock doors had been left open so that the fire would take hold quicker.”

 Steve nodded and turned to Duke.

 “What have you found out about the actors and the staff?”

 Duke opened the report he had brought with him.

 “I’ve been looking further into Seymour’s background.  He was born in Washington in 1920 and trained as a lawyer.   He was stationed here during the war and on being released went to New York.  He was discovered there and his acting career took off.

 “Married?”

 “Widower.  Seems he was a bit of a martinet and not particularly well liked by his company.”

 Danny spoke up for the first time.

 “Have you looked into Aggie’s background?”

 Chin replied to this.

“Until recently she lived with her mother and stepfather.  When her mother remarried, she took her stepfathers’ name.”

 “Who was her father?” asked Danny.

 Chin looked at Steve.

 “Let’s have the facts again Chin,” said Steve and went to the lanai doors to look out.

 Chin turned to Danny.

 “Aggie was born in 1948.  We discovered that Aggie’s mother married a man called Cameron, but not until just before the birth.  That marriage didn’t last long and in 1953 she married a man named Weston, who brought up the daughter as his own.  Both parents were killed in a house fire two years ago.”

 Steve turned from his lookout post.

 “Anything suspicious about that Chin?”

 Chin glanced at his notes before replying.

 “No Steve, it was found to be an accident.”

 “Do we have photographs and statements of everyone who was at the theatre at the time of the murder?”

 “All except Dan Weston’s,” answered Duke with a grin.

 Laughter greeted his remark as Steve crossed the room to his operations board.

 “I think we can pass on that one Duke,” he said.  “Let’s have the other photos up here.”

 There was a plan of the theatre and a layout of the backstage area.  Steve marked it up with the positions of the dressing rooms and where the body was found.  With Chin’s help, he marked rough positions of everyone who was in the theatre on the day of the poisoning.  He turned to Duke.

 “What did Che have to say about the chocolates?”

 “He reckoned they were home made and just put into the box so that people would think they had come from that shop.  We checked with the confectioner and he said they weren’t his style.” 

Chin finished putting up the photographs by placing a picture of Aggie next to Francis Seymour.  The four men stood back to study the plans and photos.  Danny moved so that he could get a better look at the woman who had lured him to the theatre.  His glance strayed over Seymour’s picture then snapped back again.

 “Steve!” 

“What is it Danno?”

 “Look!”

 Danny pointed, first to Seymour and then to Aggie.  Puzzled Steve looked from one picture to the other then his face cleared.

 “When did you say Seymour was in the islands Duke?”

 Duke checked his notes.

 “Between March ’44 to August ’47.  Why?”

 “And you said Aggie was born in ’48?” Steve asked Chin, who nodded.

“What’s the connection?” asked Duke curiously.

 “Seymour was Aggie’s father!” exclaimed Danny.  “With their photos side by side, you can see the resemblance.”

 “It certainly looks like it,” said Chin.

 Steve made his way back to his desk.

 “Danno, has Miss Weston been released from hospital yet?”

 “Yes Steve.”

 “Ask HPD to bring her in.  I’d like a chat with the lady.”

 Danny reached for the telephone,

 “Chin, Duke, I want you to trace the movements and whereabouts of David Cameron.”

 “The stage doorkeeper?” queried Chin.

 Steve nodded.

 “And when you find him, bring him in. I want to talk to him too. It could just be a coincidence that Mrs Weston was once married to a Cameron.  I want to know if he was once Aggie’s stepfather.” 

Steve returned to study the board as Chin and Duke left the room and Danny completed his call.

 “Officer Wells is with Aggie and she’ll bring her in.  Did I hear you say you thought that Cameron may have been her first stepfather?”

“Yeah, that’s right Danno.”

 Steve started pacing, thinking out loud.

 “If this Cameron is the same man who married Aggie’s mother, he may bear a grudge and want to hurt Aggie.”

 “But why would he want to kill Seymour?” asked Danny as he perched on the edge of the big desk.

 “Good question Danno and one I can’t answer.  We’ll just have to wait until we’ve spoken to both Miss Weston and Cameron.”

 A knock at the door interrupted him.

 “Come in.”

 Steve turned and watched the door open and the face of Governor Jameson peered into the room.  Danny voiced the surprise of both men in his exclamation

 “Governor!”

 Jameson entered and shook hands with both Steve and Danny.

“I am very glad to see you both,” he said fervently.  “I’d been hearing all sorts of dire reports and just had to come over and make sure you were alright.”

 Steve gestured for the Governor to take a seat on the couch and smiled.

  “Now, tell me what happened.”

 Danny took a seat in front of the desk as Steve gave a brief run down of the fire.  When he finished, he resumed his seat behind the desk.

 “Now you’re here sir, there is a question I’d like to ask.”

 “Go ahead.”

 “That morning, when you gave me that letter, you said you had invited the actors here.  Was this Seymour specifically?”

 “Yes,” replied Jameson.  “I invited him to bring a company over.  They were going to do an updated version of ‘Romeo and Juliet’.”

 “How did you know Seymour?”

 Jameson paused to gather his thoughts then looked up and faced Steve directly as he replied.

 “I met him during the war.  He was stationed here for a while and I kept in touch when he retuned to the mainland.  I wasn’t surprised when he became an actor and a successful one at that.”

 “Good was he?” asked Danny.

 Jameson smiled.

 “The critics seemed to think so,” he replied and turned back to Steve.

 “Do you have any idea why Seymour was killed Steve?”

 Steve nodded as he got to his feet.

 “I’m beginning to suspect someone has been carrying a grudge for the past thirty years Governor.  I don’t have all the facts as yet, just suspicions but” here Steve emphasised the word with a stab of his finger, “I think it’s to do with something that happened when Seymour was here after the war.” 

Another knock on the door announced the arrival of Sandi Wells with Aggie Weston.  Aggie entered the room first and looked round fearfully.  She spied Danny and rushed to him.

 “Oh Dan, you’re safe.”

 She burst into tears and to Danny’s embarrassment threw her arms around him.

 “I didn’t know they’d brought you in for questioning too.”

 Danny managed to free himself from her embrace and held her at arms length.  He felt sorry for her as he looked at her tear stained face.

 “Come and sit down Aggie.”

 He led her two steps to one of the chairs in front of Steve’s desk.

 “I’m not here for questioning.  I work here.  I’m a policeman.”

 Aggie’s legs gave way and she sank into the armchair like a deflated balloon.  She used her sleeve to wipe her eyes.

 “Miss Weston.”

 Steve spoke sharply to get her attention as he sat behind the desk to start the interview.  Aggie raised her face to look at the head of Five-0.  His face was stern, the eyes dark and forbidding.  She swallowed hard.  Steve saw he had her attention and continued. 

“My name is McGarrett.  We met once before when you were visiting Dan at the hospital.”

Aggie nodded.

 “I need to ask you some questions.”

 Again she nodded.

 “What can you tell me about the chocolates that were delivered to the theatre last week?”

“Not much,” was the subdued reply.  “They just appeared in the Green room.”

 “Do you know who put them there?”

 Aggie shook her head.

 “I presumed Dave had brought them in but I don’t know for sure.”

 “Dave?”

 “Dave Cameron, the stage door keeper.  He would have handled any deliveries.”

 “What time did they arrive?”

 “Mid-afternoon.  I went to the Green room just before the cast took a break and gave them to Seymour when he came in.  He looked at the card and then raised his eyebrows in surprise. Then he said something like  No name, I see.  Oh well, pass them round Aggie dear.  I love chocolate as well as the next man, but that size is just too much.”

 Steve tapped the desk.

 “So that’s how so many people got sick.”

 “Did you have any of the chocolates Aggie?” asked Danny quietly.

 She shook her head.

 “I couldn’t have any.  I’m allergic to chocolate.”

 Danny turned to Steve. 

“Perhaps that’s why chocolates were used.”

 Steve nodded and turned his attention to the woman in the chair opposite him.

 “When did you first hear of Francis Seymour?”

 “I’ve known about him for years.  My mother had a crush on him,” said Aggie disdainfully.  “I couldn’t understand what she saw in him.  She had quite a scrapbook of photos and cuttings of him and his plays.”

“Did you ever ask her why she liked him?” asked Steve.

 Aggie shrugged.

 “She said she just fancied him and what was wrong with that?  I didn’t like him.  Liked him even less when I met him.  He was a creep.”

 Steve started prowling around his desk.

 “Did you talk about Seymour and your dislike of him to anyone at the theatre?”

 Aggie gave up trying to follow Steve’s perambulations and stared at his vacant chair instead. 

“I may have mentioned it,” she replied eventually.

 Steve moved swiftly and sat on the desk and Aggie looked up, startled.

 “You may have mentioned it?” rasped Steve.

 He leant forward and Aggie shrank back in her chair.

 “Who did you mention it to?”

 Aggie shook her head.

 “You do realise that Seymour was killed because of you?”

 “No!”

 She leapt out of her chair and stood facing Steve, her hands clenched into fists.  He stood, towering over her.  When he spoke, his voice shook with anger.

 “You spoke to Cameron about your dislike of Seymour, didn’t you?  He decided to kill Seymour because you didn’t like him.  Why would he do that Miss Weston?  Why?”

 “I don’t know!  I didn’t ask him to do it.  If he killed Seymour, I didn’t know about it.”

 Aggie looked round, wide-eyed, but saw no sympathy in the faces of those around her.  Steve resumed his seat.

 “Sit down Miss Weston.”

 Steve spoke softly and she complied.

 “Did you confide in Cameron often?”

 “I suppose so.  He once told me I was like a daughter to him.”

She missed the look that passed between Steve and Danny.

 “Am I right in thinking that you liked Daniel Watson?”

 Aggie glanced shyly at Danny and nodded.  Steve ignored the glare he got from his young friend,

 “Did you tell Cameron this and the fact that your feelings were not reciprocated?”

 Aggie nodded again.

 “Now tell me why you wanted Dan to meet you at the theatre yesterday.”

 She shrugged and gave a big sigh.

“David asked me to get him there.  He reckoned Dan wouldn’t refuse to come if he thought I was in trouble.”

 “He got that right,” said Danny feelingly.

“Why did Cameron want him at the theatre” asked Steve.

 Aggie shook her head.

 “I’m sorry, I’ve no idea.”  Her voice was barely audible.

 Steve stood up and moved to the front of the desk.

 “Was anyone else was at the theatre Miss Weston?”

 Aggie looked up at him.

 “Just Dave and myself.”

 “Was it Dave Cameron who knocked you out?”

Her eyes began to fill with tears again and she nodded.  She looked across at Danny.

 “He crept up behind you in the wings and hit you and tied you up.”

 She began to sob.

 “I didn’t know he was going to do that and I tried to stop him.  I told him I was going for help, but he must have hit me too.  I woke up in the hospital.”

 She looked from Steve to Danny.

 “I didn’t want you to get hurt.  I’m so sorry.”

“Where’s Cameron now Miss Weston?”

“I don’t know.”

 “Okay Officer Wells,” said Steve.  “Would you take Miss Weston down to HPD and get a statement, then take her home.”

 Steve’s face and voice were grim.  Still sobbing, Aggie was led out of the office and the door closed behind them.

  

 Monday evening

 There was silence in the big office and Danny stared at the closed door for a moment before shaking himself out of his reverie.

 “What now Steve?”

 Steve had quite forgotten the Governor sitting quietly on the couch. The three men drifted to the lanai and stood contemplating the darkening sky.  Night had fallen while they had been busy inside but eventually Steve broke the silence.

 “Now?  I want to hear what Cameron has to say for himself.”

“Then I’ll leave you to it,” said Jameson. “I’m very glad to see you both safe and sound,” and with a nod, Jameson left them on the lanai.

Danny touched a pensive Steve on the arm to get his attention.

 “Did I say thank you for getting me out of the theatre?” he asked quietly.

 Steve affectionately squeezed the younger man’s shoulder.

 “No thanks are necessary Danno.  I’m just glad I was there.”

 They returned to the office and Steve switched the desk lamp on.

 “If you feel up to it, how about making a start on your report, while we wait for Chin and Duke to bring Cameron in?”

 Danny grinned.

“Yeah, the sooner I start, the sooner I get it finished.”

 Both men settled to paperwork but hadn’t got very far before the outer door was flung open and Chin returned.  He called to Danny to join him as he strode into the big office and Steve looked up.

 “What is it Chin?  Where’s Cameron?”

 “Cameron’s dead Steve.”

“What!”

 “Now we’ll never know if he murdered Seymour!” exclaimed Danny.

 Steve gestured for them to sit down and with a sigh said,

“Okay Chin, tell me what happened.”

 “Duke and I went to Cameron’s place, out near Pearl,” said Chin settling himself in a chair.  “There was no reply to our knocking, so we peered in at a window and saw him lying on the floor.  The front door didn’t give us any trouble.”

 Chin paused as he mentally relived the scene.

 “He’d shot himself.  I left Duke there to wait for Che and the meat wagon, but I thought you’d want this.”

 ’This’ was an envelope, slightly blood-stained.  Steve reached out and took it carefully between forefinger and thumb.

 “Where was it?” asked Danny curiously.

 “On the floor, by the body,” replied Chin.

 The two men watched as Steve carefully lifted the flap on the envelope and pulled out some sheets of paper.  From his vantage point on the edge of the desk, Danny could see they were covered in closely packed lines of handwriting.  Steve carefully unfolded the paper and found the beginning.  After a moment, he glanced up.

 “It’s a confession,” he said simply.  “Listen.”

 Steve flattened the paper out on the desk in front of him and tilted the lamp so that the light shone full across the desk.

 “To the police,” he read aloud.

 “This is to tell you that I killed Seymour and set fire to the theatre.  Aggie had nothing to do with it.  She didn’t know what I was doing.

 The next question is, why did I kill him?  Bet you’re asking yourself that.  I’m not sure I can explain my reasoning but I’ll try.

I was trying to help Aggie, trying to make her feel better.  She often confided in me.  She told me she didn’t like Seymour, that she hated him.  He was an arrogant bastard and I soon saw that nobody liked him.  He made Aggie’s life a misery with his demands so I thought I’d make him miserable and teach him a lesson.

 I’d trained as a confectioner and still had some of the moulds.  It didn’t take me long to make up a batch of chocolates with something extra in the filling to irritate the stomach.  I did have a slight pang of conscious when so many people started to get sick.  I knew Aggie couldn’t eat chocolate.  I hung around the corridors during the afternoon to see what would happen.  I saw him go into his dressing room with the box of chocolates and something made me follow him.  He was sitting on the couch, eating a chocolate.” 

 Steve paused, moved on to the second sheet and continued reading.

 “He looked shocked to see me and demanded to know what I was doing in his room.  So I told him about the chocolates.  Said I was waiting to see what happened to him.  His eyes nearly popped out of his head as he got to his feet. It was quite funny really.  Then a strange thing happened to me.  I suddenly saw him in a new light.  I shoved him in the chest and he fell back on to the couch.  I shoved my hands in my pockets, so that I wouldn’t hit him and felt my syringe case. (I’m diabetic.)

 Believe me when I say I don’t know exactly what happened next.  I became aware of an odd sort of gurgling noise and rattling and realised Seymour couldn’t breathe.  I was leaning over him, pinning him down and my syringe was in my hand.  I stood up and dropped it back in its case.  Seymour had stopped breathing.   I knew I should have got help but I didn’t really care.  He was dead.  I picked up the case and put it in my pocket and went to the door.  I didn’t hear anything and managed to get back to my office without any bother.

 Shortly afterwards, people began to get sick.  Aggie had left me a couple of chocolates but I didn’t eat them.  I watched the ambulances come and go and then Aggie came to me to say that the new hand that she fancied was ill and Seymour was dead.  She said she would go to the hospital to see her young man was all right.”

Steve glanced up at Danny and gave a brief grin as he moved on to the third page.

 “The next time I saw her she was still upset.  It seems her young man didn’t have the same feelings for her as she had for him.  I’d seen them together, when he returned to work.  I could see he had no feelings for Aggie and that made me mad.  Aggie’s a good girl, had a hard life and deserved better.  I couldn’t stand by and see her throw her life away on a stagehand.  I persuaded Aggie to get him to come to the theatre.  I said I would have a talk with him, get him to change his mind and take her out.  But when he got to the theatre, I just felt I had to teach him a lesson.  I crept up behind him when Aggie distracted him and hit him.  Aggie screamed and yelled at me, something along the lines of ‘what the hell did I think I was doing?’  I pushed her away.  ‘I’m going to get help’ she yelled at me and backed away.  She didn’t see the weight at the edge of the stage and tripped over it, hitting her head when she landed.

 If that young man is still alive, tell him I’m sorry.  I shouldn’t have meddled.  I strung him up and then set the fire.  Before I could get back to Aggie to get her out, it had got behind me. I panicked and ran out the back, but before I could go in the front again, I saw two cars race up.  I didn’t hang around but got away from there. I did go to the hospital to see Aggie and that young man, to apologise. I didn’t see Aggie and a policeman followed me into the other room.  We struggled briefly and I hit him then ran.  I hope he’s okay.  I came home and I wrote this.  I am ashamed of what I’ve done.  I’m going to write to Aggie too and then kill myself.”

 “It’s signed David Cameron,” finished Steve.

 He left the letter on the desk as he got to his feet.  He turned to the lanai and looked out across the darkened lawns.  Finally he turned back to the office.

 “Well there doesn’t seem to be anything else we can do tonight.  Chin, contact Duke and ask him if he can find the other letter Cameron mentioned. Then he can leave everything until the morning.  Post an officer at Cameron’s house and the lab boys can go over it tomorrow.”

 “Sure thing Steve.  I’ll see you both in the morning.”

 Steve’s nod of acknowledgement accompanied Dan’s “Good night.”

 As the door closed behind Chin, Steve and Danny exchanged glances.

 “Let’s call it a night Danno,” sighed Steve.  “You look as good as I feel.”

Danny stood up and switched off the desk lamp before the two men left the office.

   Tuesday morning

 When Steve arrived at the office the next morning, he found the second letter, unopened, on his desk.  He paused as he contemplated opening it, but his hand reached for the phone instead.  Punching in the number, he didn’t have to wait long for a reply.

 “Central, this is McGarrett.  Will you contact Officer Wells and ask her to bring Miss Weston to the 5-0 offices.  Yeah, soon as possible.  Thank you.”

 As he replaced the receiver the sounds of activity from the outer office reached his ears.  His door was pushed open and Duke and Danny entered.

 “Morning gentlemen.  How are you both this morning?” asked Steve with a smile.

 Both Danny and Duke confirmed that they were feeling better.

 “Good, that makes three of us.  Sit down while we wait for Miss Weston.”

 “Have you read the letter yet Steve?” Duke asked as he and Danny settled themselves into the armchairs in front of the desk.

 Steve shook his head as he started to pace.

 “No.  It’s addressed to Miss Weston, so I’ll let her read it first.”  With a slight twitch of his lips Steve continued.  “Then we’ll read it.”

 “Wonder what it says?” mused Danny.

Steve stopped behind his desk, a finger on the closed envelope.

 “Patience Danno, patience.  Where did you find this, Duke?”

 “He’d left it on a table, which had fallen over.  It was amongst some old newspapers.”

 Steve looked up sharply.

 “Newspapers?”

Duke nodded.

 With bits cut out of them.  Che will have to do his work, but I think he sent that letter to the Governor.”

 Steve tried to snap his fingers and his wince of pain didn’t go unnoticed.

 “It’s coming together at last.  I hope we’ll soon be able to wrap this one up.”

 Chin’s portly figure appeared in the doorway.

 “Lani says coffee’s ready,” he announced with a smile.

 Within a few minutes, the four men had returned to the big office with their coffee to await Aggie’s arrival.  Steve used the time to bring himself up to date on the other outstanding cases.  A knock at the door made him look up.

“Come in.”

 Sandi Wells opened the heavy door and ushered in the small figure of Aggie.  The men rose to their feet and Chin and Duke moved away from the desk as Danny stepped forward.  He held out his hand.

 “Come and sit down Aggie.”

 Aggie ignored his outstretched hand, but moved slowly to a chair in front of the desk and sat down.  She sat upright on the edge, clearly tense and tilted her head to look Steve straight in the eye.  Steve picked up the envelope and silently passed it to Danny, who gave it to Aggie.  She glanced at Danny as she took it.

 “What’s this?” she asked, puzzled at seeing her name on the front.

 Steve nodded to Danny to supply the answer.

 “We found it at Cameron’s home.”

 “Have you arrested him?”

 Aggie glared at Steve as she spoke.  He shook his head as he moved round the desk to sit in the adjoining chair.  He began to speak quietly.

“No, we haven’t arrested him.  I’m sorry to tell you that David Cameron took his own life yesterday.”

 For a moment there was silence in the room before Aggie gave a low moan and began to topple forward in a dead faint.  Steve and Danny moved as one to catch her before she hit the floor and carefully eased her back in the chair, her head resting on her knees.  Sandi dashed forward to help and took Steve’s place as he stood up.  Duke appeared at her side with some water and they waited in silence as Aggie slowly returned to her senses.  Sandi remained kneeling by her side as Aggie sat back, silent tears slowly rolling down her cheeks.  She accepted the water Duke handed her with a nod of thanks.  Gradually everyone settled down again.

 “Sorry,” Aggie’s voice was ragged.

 “No apology necessary.  You’ve had a big shock.”

 Steve had picked up the envelope from the floor and now handed it to Aggie. She shrank away from him with a shake of her head.

 “Don’t you want to read it?” Steve asked curiously.

 Aggie nodded and wiped her eyes with her hand.

 “Don’t think I can see very well at the moment.”

 “Would you mind if it was read aloud?”

 “No,” replied Aggie quietly.

Steve returned to his chair, but handed the envelope to Danny.  Startled, Danny took it, turning it over in his hands.

 “Read it Danno.”  Steve’s voice was firm.

 Danny tucked his finger under the flap, slit the envelope open and then pulled out two sheets of paper.  Taking a deep breath he began to read.

 My dearest Aggie, when you read this I’ll be out of your life forever.  This is going to be difficult for you to understand, but I‘ve been a part of your life for longer than you may have realised.

 I met your mother in 1947.  She was a lovely woman and I loved her.  We started going out and eventually she told me she was pregnant.  I took responsibility for the baby and we married the following year.

 Danny paused and glanced at Aggie who was listening to him with a look of shock on her face.  She shook her head.

 “I never knew,” she whispered.

 Danny continued reading.

 It didn’t last.  We were just two people thrown together and although I loved you dearly, your mother made it clear I wasn’t welcome and we eventually parted.  I went to the mainland and, I thought, out of your life. That is until I returned a few years ago and we ended up working at the same theatre.

Imagine my shock when I first saw you there.  You looked so like your mother I had no doubt who you were.  You didn’t know who I was, of course and I decided, rightly or wrongly, to keep it that way.  You gradually started confiding in me, looking on me as a father figure.  I started to treat you as the daughter I’d never had.  We got along real well didn’t we?  Then Francis Seymour arrived with his troupe and it was then I realised who your father was.  Seeing you both together, it was so obvious and then you told me how your mother had liked him.

You are Seymour’s daughter – there is no doubt in my mind.  I did a bit of investigating and found he had been on the island in 1947.  I reckon your mum met him then.  I doubt he even knew he had a daughter here and he died not knowing it too.  I admit I killed him in a fit of rage, because of the way he had made your life a misery.

I am so sorry my dearest that this letter will cause you pain.  I have killed one man and came very close to killing another all because I love you.  I very nearly caused your death too and I cannot forgive myself for that.  For once I’m thankful that the police arrived when they did.

 Goodbye dearest Aggie and may God look after you.

 Danny looked up.

 “It’s just signed David.”

 He folded the letter and put it back in the envelope: the only sound was Aggie crying quietly.  Danny went to her and put his arm around her shoulders.  Aggie turned to him and sobs wracked her body as she cried into his shoulder.  Steve got to his feet and gestured to Sandi to step forward from her position by the door.

“Take her home please and see if you can find someone, a friend, to stay with her.”

Sandi nodded and very gently took over from Danny, gently pulling the sobbing woman to her feet.  Aggie turned a tear stained face to Steve.

“What happens now?”

“If you mean will you be charged, the answer’s no.  Cameron has admitted everything and the facts fit his statement.  You’re free to go.”

Aggie turned away and caught sight of the boards at the side of the room.  She stopped and stared at the pictures of herself and Seymour, side by side.

 “We do look alike don’t we,” she murmured to no one in particular and turned away to allow Sandi to escort her out. 

The door closed behind them.

 Steve turned away and stepped to the lanai doors standing open.  He leant on the frame and looked out.

 “I’d like to see the autopsy and forensic reports when they’re ready Chin.”

 Sure thing Steve,” replied Chin and he and Duke went back to work. 

Steve suddenly swung round and paced back to the crime boards and started to remove the pins holding everything in place.

 “Anything else on this Steve?” asked Danny, moving to help him.

 Steve shook his head as he looked at his friend.

 No Danno,” he replied softly.  “Case closed.”

 PAU  

   

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