"Opium smugglers hide in Molokai." Honolulu Police Detective Chang Ah Peng raised his voice over the boat's motor taking them toward Kaunala'a Bay. "They use people's fear of Hansen's disease."
Watson gripped the rail, nodding; it was hard to tell if the poor man shuddered from the vessel's movements or the conversation topic. "Not… nearly as horrific and contagious as we've been led to believe from its depiction in the Bible."
"Or by reading 'The Blanched Soldier,' Doctor." Detective Chang smiled.
"Oh good Lord, that one." Watson's dismay was not false modesty. "Needed the money in a hurry. Regretted it ever after – the letters I got from angry medical men! Almost as bad as the herpetologists."
Sherlock Holmes smiled at his friend's bravado. Seasickness and breaking up drug rings on the world's most famous leper colony was not exactly what most people imagined when they visualized a visit to the Hawai'ian islands. But then, most Englishfolk would stare in bewilderment at the small, scarred, serious police detective with a Chinese surname and a coiled bullwhip at his side and wonder why he spoke so well and didn't quote Confucius. "Cheer up, Watson. Once we've aided Detective Chang, we can get you something tropical with coconut and pineapple in it."
Watson groaned. "Right now all I want is a good British beer!"