Arch Patton

Down In the Valley
Chapter 13

By James Strauss


Arch took a seat next to Virginia who acted like he wasn’t there, staring at her upraised menu, as if it offered something other than common island fare. Ahi and Matisse sat across from them with General DeWare holding court at one end.

“Did we really come in here to eat at this hour?” Arch asked Virginia, ignoring his own menu but allowing the waitress to pour him a cup of coffee. The waitress went on to fill all of their upturned cups without asking if anyone else wanted coffee. An ancient rock and roll song popular on Oahu in the sixties but heard almost nowhere else blared out softly from the kitchen: “Pearly shells, on the ocean, shining in the sun, covering up the shore…”