Arch Patton

DOWN IN THE VALLEY

Chapter 14

By James Strauss

 

Matisse drove the Bonneville with less than his usual abandon. The Sunday afternoon traffic on Kam Highway was simply overwhelming and there was no place to pass, illegally or otherwise, along the entire length of the two-lane highway. Despite the traffic, Matisse chattered away about Climb Aloha, a store near St. Louis High School on the Leeward side of the island. The drawback in getting supplies from the place was twofold, as far as Arch was concerned. Some of the things they’d have to have for the climb would not be available in any shop on Oahu, period. And if they were, the prices would totally blow out the one credit card any of them had. But it was a moot point since the place, extolled as the greatest climbing store in the world by Matisse, wasn’t open until one in the afternoon of the following day. The climb would have to be started long before that hour or they might be trapped on the side of the mountain for the night. Matisse appeared to be a bit out of shape and Arch had his damaged hand. There was only one place they were likely to get what they needed.