My first Hawaii story.

February 3rd, 2012 15:53 by Albert Tucher

It started on a beach outside Hilo.

On a weekday morning about ten years ago I had the beach almost to myself. Almost, because a group of five young men were sprawled on the sand about fifty feet away from me, smoking pakalolo (marijuana). They weren't doing anything overt, but I had filed them away in my "keep an eye" folder.

From the direction of Hilo came a young woman in a coordinated hiking outfit. That and her blond hair made me think German or Scandinavian. I think most women would have detoured around the young men, but she walked right through their territory.

It raised an interesting question. If they viewed her actions as provocative and decided to respond, who was there to intervene? No one but me.

Fortunately, I did not face the test. The young men let her pass, but what if they hadn't? The scenario had a story in it, and I decided to give the story to Detective Errol Coutinho of the Hawaii County Police. In two of my unpublished novels I send Diana Andrews to the Big Island, where she meets Coutinho. They don't get along, but I find him congenial company. This is the first story featuring him that I have managed to get published.