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Submitted by Steven ODell on 9 July 2007 - 12:53am.

Chapter 4

Ron and Denise entered the precinct office and approached the front desk. The officer on duty was involved in a phone call and raised his hand to signal that they wait until he was finished. “This is Officer Tanaka of the Honolulu police. Do you have a Ronald and Denise Jameson registered at your hotel? Okay, I’ll wait.”

Ron started to speak. Again the hand was raised, this time accompanied by a stern look that was meant to tell Ron he had missed the point on the previous occasion.

A third time Ron tried. “I can save you the effort of finding Ronald Jameson.”

“Oh, yeah?” He now had the officer’s attention. His demeanor clearly indicated his skepticism, but he asked, “And just how can you do that?”

“Well, you see, I am Ronald Jameson.”

The phone was hung up immediately without so much as a ‘goodbye and thank you.’

The officer smiled and said, “Okay, you win this round. You did save me some work. I guess you’ve been told we’d like to see you?”

“Yes, I was told. This is my wife, Denise. She was there when all this happened and she can verify my story.”

“I’ll bet she can. You’re on your honeymoon, aren’t you?” His manner was one of disbelief.

Denise now chimed in without waiting for invitation, “Look, I know you have to be a bit jaded in this line of work, but did it ever occur to you, Officer Tanaka, that just maybe it could be the truth sometimes?” She was firm in word and expression and took the man by surprise. He sized her up silently for a moment before proceeding. “Alright…we’ll find out soon enough, I guess. Come this way and I’ll have you answer some questions for Officer Pulé.”

Tanaka stepped around the desk and led them down the hall to a small room where he told them to wait. A few moments later a middle aged Hawaiian officer in plain clothes appeared at the door. He smiled congenially, introduced himself as Pulé and shook hands with each of them. “Do you mind if I have your wife wait in another room for a few minutes, Mr. Jameson?”

Ron knew the reason and had no worries. “No problem.” Turning then to Denise, who was rising from her chair to leave, he said simply, “See you in a few minutes.” She squeezed his hand and was led from the room. In a moment Officer Pulé returned and closed the door, then took his place across from Ron at the small table.

“We’re sorry to inconvenience you on your honeymoon, Mr. Jameson, but I’m certain you understand the gravity of the situation.”

“Of course, Officer Pulé.”

“We appreciate your wanting to cooperate. That speaks very highly of you and your bride. I just need to ask you a few questions so that I can verify details given by your friends back on the mainland. It shouldn’t take too long and then you can be on your way.” Pulé was calm and friendly. There was no implied threat or distrust portrayed in his voice or in his conduct.

“I’ll be happy to help. I have nothing to hide.”

“Good, good. Glad to hear it.” He produced a pocket-sized recorder and a pad of paper and pen. “Hope you don’t mind me taking notes. My memory just isn’t what it used to be, you know.”

He smiled cheerfully as he said it, but Ron knew it had nothing to do with memory problems on the part of Pulé. However, the officer’s bed-side manner was amiable and Ron was anxious to get this over with as quickly as possible and get on with his life.

“Okay…let’s just start at the beginning, shall we? What was the cause of this beef that you and Mr. Randall had between you?”

Ron related how he had been in the diner to witness the abuse that Denise had been subjected to and that he had felt obligated to step in and protect the ladies. For each question Pulé asked, Ron had a concise and truthful answer, giving them without hesitation as required. Then came the most direct of all the questions-“Did you intend to murder Ted Randall?”

Ron couldn’t help but bristle at the question. It was abrupt and accusatory, but he was again direct and truthful, answering immediately. “Officer, I know it is your job to ask me such questions and I would never begrudge a man for doing his job to his utmost best, but I want you to listen closely the first time-what I did was not murder. It was in defense of Denise Payton’s life that I shot Ted Randall. I had repeatedly attempted to help her avoid him and he repeatedly attempted to harm her…and me, I might add. In the end it was plain to anyone that he was insane, armed and dangerous. He intended to murder us, so he left me no choice but to take preventive measures. Certainly you can comprehend that.”

“What I think has no bearing, Mr. Jameson. That will all be decided by others, but I do appreciate your candor, I assure you.”

Decided by others? Ron knew that it could mean that the authorities on the mainland would decide the end result, depending on how they felt about what Pulé would conclude. It could also mean that there was to be an inquest on the mainland regardless of the outcome of Pulé’s investigation. Ron sat resolute and firm, looking his questioner directly in the eye. “The situation demands no less than complete candor, Officer Pulé.”

“Well spoken. I think that will be all for now. You understand that I will need to question Mrs. Jameson now?”

“I wouldn’t have it any other way.” Ron knew Pulé could sense the change in his mood, but he as genuinely perturbed at the need to go through this indignity after all that they had been through in the last month.

“Good, if you’ll just wait in the lobby, then. I will try to be as quick as I can. Thank you, Mr. Jameson. I really am sorry for the inconvenience.” Pulé turned off the tape recorder and again offered his hand to Ron, who relaxed noticeably at the man’s sincerity.

The door opened and the same man who had led her to the room earlier greeted Denise cordially.

“Mrs. Jameson, I’m sorry to keep you waiting. Might I get you anything to drink?”

Denise asked for a soda and Pulé graciously went to get it. She thanked him politely and nervously took a sip after she opened it.

“You appear tense, Mrs. Jameson. I assure you there is nothing to fear if you tell the truth.”

“And I assure you I will tell you nothing but the truth, Officer Pulé.”

Though nervous, she was confident in her bearing. Pulé was inclined to believe her and he sensed that under the right circumstances she was a woman not to be trifled with. He trusted and instinctively respected her. “Fine. That will save us both a lot of time. I’ll need to record our conversation for the record if you don’t mind. I did the same with your husband.”

For the next half hour Denise answered virtually the same questions Ron had been asked. At the end of the questioning, now fully relaxed, she was stunned to hear, “Why did your husband murder Ted Randall?”

Denise came to her feet before she even knew she had done so and Pulé flinched noticeably. The intensity of her fiery stare made him uncomfortable.
“Sir, how dare you ask me such a question? You’ve heard my explanation of the whole thing and you ask me this…this monstrous…. What do you think we did, lure him into the woods, miles from anywhere and then just shoot him in cold blood? You have some nerve, mister.”

“I think that will be enough, Mrs. Jameson.”

“Yes, I think that will be quite enough, Officer Pulé. Am I free to go?” She did not back off an inch.

Yes, but I’d like to know where you are staying, so we can keep in touch, should I have any more questions.”

“You’ll need to talk to my husband about that. I’m all out of cooperation for now.”

Denise reached across the table and punched the button on the recorder, then turned without waiting to be invited to do so and left the room to join her husband. There would be no more questions today. Officer Pulé took a deep breath and let it escape slowly. He, too, was glad that the questioning was over.

“Can you imagine his nerve asking me a question like that? I could have strangled him right then and there. What a jerk!”

“Denise, calm down. You’re scaring the other pedestrians.” It was true-they were attracting a lot of attention and she was extremely animated as she related the even to him.

“I don’t care. He was a real twit to say such a thing to me.” Her face was red from the anger that was boiling within.

Ron chuckled to himself. It was difficult to be angry himself when she was being so entertaining.

“It isn’t funny, Ronald Jameson. You weren’t there! You didn’t hear it!”

“Actually, dear, I did hear it. He asked me the same question.”

“AGH!” She stopped in her tracks and planted her hands firmly on her hips, staring at him in disbelief. “What a bozo!”

“Ron couldn’t help but laugh aloud at her choice of terminology. “Who? Him or me?”

“Him, you dope! Who do you think?”

“Honey, I know it is a worn cliché, but you really are beautiful when you are angry. Very, very sexy.”

All she could do was throw her hands in the air and shake her head. “Men! I don’t think I’ll ever understand them. Not for as long a I live.”

“Well, Mrs. Jameson, let’s go get a bite to eat and I will try to fill you in on the complex inner workings of men in general, okay?”

“You can try, but I think you’ll fail miserably.”

“Oh, really, dear woman? And why is that?”

“Because you’ll be trying to explain rationally the most irrational creature on the face of the earth, that’s why.” Her temperament had softened considerably and she smiled reluctantly. She loved to tease and be teased and even in the heat of battle she gave in to the urge.

“Well, that is a risk I will have to take, won’t I?” The pace they took was now more leisurely than before and they eventually entered a small sidewalk diner along the way.

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