Maui Girl

These stories from Donna Austin come from her rich Maui history and heritage.

13 November 2006

Chapter 4: Tony is Followed

Tony skipped a little faster toward home, wondering what Rose, the girl of his dreams was doing now. Just as his thoughts reached the happy day of their wedding, he rounded the bend to Camp B in Punene. Rows and rows of unpainted simple houses lined the dirt roads. Farther back he could see the irrigation canals for the cane fields, glittering in the sun. Naked children were playing along the banks, trying to cool off with splashes of water. A bare footed Chinese man, wearing a pointed hat, walked by, carrying a pole across his shoulders with a bucket hanging from each end. “Peanuts for sale! Two Cents a bag!” he sang out.
Tony turned into the third house on the second street. No one was home yet. Adelina must be visiting one of her friends. Tony did not see his follower surreptitiously slip into the shadows of some nearby mango trees, nor did he realize how intently he was being watched and how glad the onlooker was to see that Tony was all alone.
Tony looked around the tiny house he had just entered. The living room, kitchen, dining room and family room and Tony’s bedroom all consolidated into this one front room. Two tiny rooms on the left were his sister Adelina’s and his father’s bedrooms. The outhouse and bath house were combined in a separate building 50 feet in back. This was called in Portuguese the casinha or little house.
Just as Tony started out the back door to the casinha, he heard the knock. “That couldn’t be Adelina”, he thought, “because she has a key. And it can’t be father because he doesn’t get off work until 6:00 p.m.” His first feeling was alarm that there may have been an accident!
Rushing unthinkingly to the door, he opened it quickly without first looking to see who it was. All Tony could later remember was a flurry of color, a knife, a gold earring and then a curtain of black nothingness.
When Adelina and Manuel, Tony’s father came home, they found him lying by the front door unconscious. Adelina ran to the pump for water, noticing that the house had been ransacked.
Manuel began chaffing Tony’s hands and saying, “Wake up Tony! Are you alive? Are you alright?” pleaded his father worriedly. He splashed the water Adelina gave him on Tony’s face.
Tony groaned, “Oh my head. Ow! What happened?” No one knew. Nor did they know that at this time Tony’s attacker was staking out the boys rendezvous for tomorrow!
Manuel Souza searched the house and yard and out house thoroughly. Seeing that all was clear, he went to report to the camp constable. Even after a thorough search of “Camp B, no stranger was found.
“All that seems to be missing is some food, a couple of blankets, and the $2, I had saved for clothes and soap. Thank God my Tony is safe and alive. You had better stay home tomorrow and rest,” admonished Tony’s father.

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