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Betty Kouba



It was King Kamahamaha week and things were going as planned.  Many of the smaller events of the week had come and gone without any major problems, only a few of the more minor problems that occur with public gatherings, i.e., pick-pockets, small injuries from being in large crowds, etc.


Steve McGarrett was going over the finalized security plans for the Governor for the day of the parade itself.  Steve McGarrett sat in his office thinking ‘last year at this time they were running around trying to figure out who the mystery person was going to be killed {Rest In Peace – Somebody}.  This year, thank heavens things are quite and going smoothly,’ Steve thought as he knocked on his desk because of the old saying ‘knock on wood.’  Steve laughed at his action of knocking on the wooden desk like a little schoolboy.


Dan Williams was at his desk doing the daily duty of having his fingers sliced and diced from all that paper work which had piled up from the last few cases he worked on.  He had his back to the panel of his office while he put yet another bandage on his finger from the latest of the paper cuts {this is for all of you that need Danno to be injured and a touch of revenge for the ‘Be Nice To Danno’ challenge}.


Kono Kulakaua was at the luncheon doing as Steve requested agreeing to this and not agreeing with that.  “Steve hates these things and always finds a reason to send someone else.”  Kono said to himself as he left the luncheon still hungry, so he headed for the nearest McDonalds.  He wanted a real man’s lunch.  A Big Mac, large fries and large soda were on his mind as he headed for the drive through window on the way back to the Palace.


Chin Ho Kelly had one of those rare days off and was playing with several of his children in the backyard, while his wife was preparing their lunch.


Ben Kokua was writing yet another parking ticket for the over-parked cars on Kalakaua Avenue.


Duke Lukela was at the academy teaching the latest class of cadets the proper procedures on of cleaning their service revolvers.


Jenny was typing up those deadly annual reviews for Steve on the expenses of the Five-O and why the department spent what it did as dictated by Steve earlier that morning.  Plus she had to finish up the personal review forms as well {from ‘Evaluation Time Challenge’}.


They were all frozen in time, as if someone put a spell on them.  It didn’t matter where any of the team members were, the effect was the same.  They did not move for almost a minute before passing out.  They were out cold for about thirty seconds before their minds started to clear.  Each member shook their heads to clear them and tried to figure out where they were.  They each looked around and said, “What happened?  How did I get here?  Where was I any way?”  They each passed it off as if it was a bad dream they remembered and they did not bother to mention it to each other.



On one of the oldest pineapple plantations on Oahu, a descendent of King Kamahamaha was working around the house doing little chores that he enjoyed while relaxing.  Kama was one of the last living relatives from King Kamahamaha mother’s side of the family.  He was a self-made millionaire and in his lifetime managed to bring the old plantation back to some of its earlier glory days.  His grandfather had lost a good deal of the family money on illegal gambling.  His father had died young trying to rebuild the old family homestead.


Kama was considered a man among men and was a naturally born leader.  He was fair and giving man.  Plus, he was also highly respected for his rebuilding of the family dynasty without the destruction of others.  For every dollar Kama made he gave something back to those around him, which built him a reputation of caring man.  He had given back to the land and his people.  Kama was a full-blooded Hawaiian and believed that Hawaii was for everyone but the land should be respected.


This year he had talked the Governor into having the King Kamahamaha week garden party at his plantation.  Now he was seeing to the finalization of those plans.  In fact, Kama didn’t want the State to pay for the party because he wanted to repay the State of Hawaii for giving him so much.  In his younger days when the plantation almost fell into bankruptcy he was given the time to find the means to keep it.  He knew the only reason he got the loans he did was because King Kamahamaha lived on this plantation before he ruled Hawaii and many of the descendents through the years lived in his plantation home.  His plantation held a historical importance to him and the State of Hawaii.


He was told that there was a certain amount of money in the party budget but what he had planned for the party was way beyond that budget.  He planned on donating the money paid him for the garden party to one the many charities in which he was on the board.


Kama never heard who came up behind him.  He had been busy working in his private indoor garden, picking up some dead leaves, when he was hit on the head and knocked out.  When Kama came to, his servant and companion was standing over him as he laid on the couch in the Queen’s study.  When Kama come to he looked around the room and noticed the painting of his great, great, great aunt was gone.  It was the only thing in room to be missing at first glance.


Kama was taken to the hospital, the ambulance attendant bandaged the injury to his head.  At the hospital he was examined and had x-rays taken of his head to make sure everything was fine.  When he was resting in his private room because the doctor wanted to keep him for observation over night, Steve McGarrett and Dan Williams walked into his room to discuss what had taken place at his home.


Steve knew Kama was a major supporter of the Five-O Unit and had helped on several occasions to balance the Unit’s budget with so-called mystery donations of money or needed equipment and supplies.  “Kama, it is good to see you again.”  Steve smiled.  “What happened to put you in here?”  Steve gestured with hand.


Kama took Steve and then Danny’s offered hands and welcomed them to his room.  “It’s good to see both of you.”


“It is good to see you too, Kama” Danny replied as the hand shake ended.


“What happened to put me here, I have no idea.”  Kama tried to sit up to his heads regret and fell back onto his pillows, “I was caring for my plants in Queen’s study and bent over to put the died leaves in the trash when something hit me in the back of my head.”  He looked at Steve then Danny, “I didn’t know there was anyone else in the room, and I didn’t hear any thing either.  I was going over the list of things to do before Saturday’s garden party for the Governor in my head.”


“Your mind was occupant with other thoughts and you heard nothing?”  Danny’s questioned because he knew Kama had good hearing, good enough to hear a pin drop across the room on carpeting.


“No Danny, I heard nothing because I felt secure in Queen’s study and was half meditating and half going over the garden party agenda.”


“You know, we have spoken of your lack of security at your plantation.  Today is a perfect example of why you need to put some kind of security into place there.”  Steve had talked on several occasions to Kama about the openness of his plantation house and that it needed some kinda security measures.


“I do have security in place Steve.  It has been in place for the years.  But I just don’t feel right about having bodyguards around me.  And as you know the plantation is large and very open and next to impossible to prevent anyone from come on it.”  Kama was starting to wonder if they found out what else had been taken from his home.  “Steve, the painting of my great, great, great Aunt Queen Lili’uokalani was missing from Queen’s study when I woke up, can you tell if there was anything else missing?”


“Your companion Kimo is going through the house now to see if there is anything missing but your home is large and it will take time.  The detail and photo inventory listing Kimo gave us a copy of is helping a great deal.  Kimo has been able to do it a lot faster with the aid of two HPD officers.”  Steve informed Kama.


“Yes, when I had my insurance policy updated, and the security system upgraded…” There was a look of a momentary surprise in Steve’s face that Kama saw.  “Yes Steve, I said upgraded.  I was never that much of a fool.  Your lectures to me, did persuade me to update and upgrade the security system and my various insurance policies.”


“I’m glad to know that your security has improved but will have to do something about improving it just a little more.”  Steve teased his friend.  He was glad that his lectures did some good but they did not prevent this friend from getting hurt.


“May be I do need to rethink a few things.  Since your team is going to be setting up security for the Governor for Saturday, perhaps Danny here, can make a few notes of some possible improvements I need to reconsider.”


Danny looked to Steve for approval before replying he would do it.  “Sure thing Kama.  I’ll make a list for you.  I’m heading over to your place after I leave here to do a reevaluation of a few things for Saturday.”  Danny smiled at Kama.


“Steve,” there was a touch of urgency to voice with next statement, “The painting that is missing, it is important to get it back.  It’s not your normal painting.  There is something special about it and the person or persons handling it will find that out.  You should be able to be find it easily because the painting is very will known on these Islands.”


“Yes, Queen Lili’uokalani, was painted November 3, 1850.  Queen Lili’uokalani had it hung in her bedroom until her death.  Then it was moved to your plantation per her request where it has hung until now.  It’s a full length portray of the Queen and her companion.”  Danny stated the facts from memory from his history classes as a youth.  Danny remembered seeing a picture of the painting in his Hawaiian history books.  He knew that she had been a beautiful woman who had been tall, slim, with beautifully long black hair and black eyes that sparkled, plus she had to be in her late twenties.  Danny recalled there was man that stood next to her but his face was not clearly visible, “Kama can I ask you a question about the painting?”


“Why is the man’s face not clear in the painting?”


“Yes, how did you know?”


“Common question from anyone who looks at the portrait.  Legend has it that the artist started to paint the face but died before he could complete it.  My great, great, great aunt would not allow any other artist to complete the portrait because she believe it would bring her bad luck.”  Kama looked at Danny, “They say if you stare at the painting long enough you come to believe you are the man standing next to her because no one knows who the man was. Then again, it is only a legend.”  Kama thought to himself, ‘it is no legend it was the truth and the thief who stole the painting will pay for it with his life.  The Queen doesn’t like her painting touched or moved by the unworthy.’  Kama also knew, ‘that anyone touching the painting would be blessed or cursed by the Queen, just as the artist was cursed when he was painting the portrait.’  Kama knew the truth about this because the Queen blessed him years ago when he touched her face in respect of her position in life.




Three days later, on a Friday afternoon, the portrait of Queen Lili’uokalani was in Steve’s office.  All of the Five-O team along with a few HPD officers had something to do with the recovery of the painting because the Governor had made it a top priority order.


The man that stole the painting was discovered dead from a knife wound with a knife sticking out of his back, the second mornings after the portrait was stolen.  The thief was covered in wet paint.  The mystery is how did the man get paint all over him when there was no paint to be found in the room.  In addition, how could he have bleed to death from a knife wound in his room with no puddle of blood under the body large enough for the amount of blood he lost.  This was now one of many unsolved mysteries associated of the portrait of Queen Lili’uokalani.


Steve looked at the portrait and remembered Tuesday evening after the painting was stolen and the rare visit from the Governor in his office.  Governor Jameson told him, “That portrait must be recovered and recovered quickly.  It is the most important thing that you have to do Steve.”


Steve didn’t understand the insistence from the Governor when he made the request.  Steve had noticed something unusual in the Governor actions and attitude that evening.  Steve thought the strangest thing was the fact that the Governor came to his office.  The Governor very seldom came to his office to make any kinda request.  Normal procedure would have been a command performance in the Governor’s office.  These facts were what made Steve push that extra mile to get the painting found.


What Steve didn’t know was that Governor Jameson was afraid for his future because he had touched the portrait’s frame years before when he was a young attorney.  He had just started working for the law firm when his assignment was to handle some legal matters at the Kama’s plantation.  That was his first major assignment with the law firm that he worked for.  Jameson was to draw up some legal papers for Kama’s grandmother before her death.  After touching the frame of the portrait things starting going right for him.  He had to work for what he got but everything he touched seemed to go his way.  Now that portrait was missing and the Governor was afraid the blessing from the Queen portrait put upon him might turn into a curse.


Steve was going over the lab reports that contained some amazing facts that could not be right.  The paint on the clothing of the thief was wet and yet it was from 1850.  The note about the time of death was over a week, which was impossible since the painting was only taken three days ago.


Now the painting was leaned against the wall of Steve’s office, as he looked it once again.  Steve would have sworn he saw movement in it.  He had to be over tired to image seeing movement in the portrait.  Steve got up to get a fresh cup of coffee and call his men into the office for the morning debriefing.


One by one everyone came into McGarrett’s office to discuss the current caseload and the recovery of the Queen’s portrait.  At first there was small talk about the conclusion of various cases Five-O was working.  Then Ben the newest addition to work for the team was being congratulated for doing a good job for his first assignment with the team.


They were discussing the mystery of how the paint from 1850 got on the murdered thief.  In addition, they tried to draw assumptions as to why they could not figure out what the murder weapon was.  The thief died of a knife wound but no known modern day knife could have made the wound that the thief incurred.  They also figure a reason as to how the body had died seven days before the portrait was stolen.




Who will be next?


Who will write the encounter with Queen Lili’uokalani with:


     Steve McGarrett

     Dan Williams

     Kono Kulakaua

     Chin Ho Kelly

     Ben Kokua

     Duke Lukela

     Governor Jameson when he was young

     Jenny Sherman

     The Thief that took the Portrait

     Kama {The owner of the Portrait}


     Or if you have a mind, solve the mystery of painter himself and how he died.








Original content © 2000-2001
Betty's Book Me Danno
Originally Posted December 12, 2000