A man (Paul Shenar) drives out to a cane field pulling over when he spots a station wagon down a hill. Meanwhile, a field worker (Reggie Ho) watches what the first man is up to. The man goes to the station wagon noticing a bunch of vials and equipment. He continues into the field finding another man (Bruce Wilson) poking around and asks why he's there. The first man is the plantation manager while the second man is an entomologist named Weatherby with the Australian Scientific Mission studying pest control. Dr. Weatherby has found a parasite in the field and is about to report it to the Experimental Station; the manager tells him he'll handle before hitting Weatherby over the head with a rock! The worker sees it all happen.
McGarrett and the mobile crime laboratory van show up at the scene next to another cane field. Danno briefs on Dr. Weatherby: "a prominent entomologist. Consultant to Australian cane growers and a professor at Queensland University". He was in Hawaii for an inspection trip and the rest of the party flew back yesterday. Danno also says the motive wasn't robbery because his wallet with money and identification was found on the body and the station wagon was rented. McGarrett wants Danno to contact Queensland University to find out why Weatherby stayed behind and if he knew anyone in Hawaii.
A secretary (Keo Hughes) leads Chadwick into an office where two men are meeting. The first man (Richard Kiley) tells the second man (Robert Witthans) to go back to his hotel for now. Chadwick tells the first man about confronting Dr. Weatherby in the cane field "where the larvae colony's planted" and Dr. Weatherby was going to report it and he killed him. The first man is not happy with this turn of events but is satisfied Chadwick moved the body 15 miles from the plantation and no one saw him kill Dr. Weatherby. The man sends Chadwick on his way to his afternoon meeting with Mrs. Holbrook (Carol Vogel) syncing their stories that Chadwick never told him about Dr. Weatherby and to make sure her "commitment is firm".
Chadwick drives out to the Holbrook plantation where he meets with Mrs. Holbrook. As they walk to the house, she laments about not wanting to sell but she feels she doesn't have much of a choice. Her husband died leaving a bunch of debt and the sugar market is unstable causing "business to go downhill so fast in such a short time". At the end of the day, the plantation doesn't have much equity and Mr. Vadney's offer gives a chance. She reluctantly agrees to accept it.
McGarrett, Danno and Duke (Herman Wedemeyer) search Dr. Weatherby's hotel room finding very few items. McGarrett doesn't like it: where are the notebooks and equipment? The front desk doesn't have anything of Dr. Weatherby's in a luggage hold either. McGarrett sends Danno to Customs to see if Dr. Weatherby entered the country with anything. Chin walks in reporting Dr. Weatherby rented the station wagon at 10:00 a.m. yesterday from "Aloha Car Rental, Waikiki". McGarrett tells him to make sure the rental agency gets it back after the laboratory is finished. The phone rings with Duke answering: it's Che (Harry Endo) briefing the soil samples on Dr. Weatherby's shoes is typical of plantation soil. However, there's something else in the soil: a sugar pest not fitting the profiles of anything in Hawaii. Che would like to send the samples to the Entomology Lab at the Experiment Station to Dr. Maitland (Josie Over), McGarrett agrees.
In McGarrett's office, Danno has returned from Customs: Dr. Weatherby checked through with a full agricultural kit, a kit not found with him. McGarrett points out, it was Dr. Weatherby's first visit to Hawaii yet he's found dead with his skull smashed, he wasn't robbed and yet there is no kit. Danno wonders if it was random, something Dr. Weatherby walked into. McGarrett doesn't think so and believes it comes down to the missing kit: the killer knew what Dr. Weatherby was and knew the kit's importance. The motive is thin for "a harmless bug watcher". McGarrett wants Dr. Weatherby's pictured circulated to every plantation in order to figure out who saw him in the last 24 hours and maybe even fix a location of where he was killed. The phone rings: it's Dr. Maitland with news.
McGarrett shows up at the Experiment Station where Dr. Maitland briefs him on what she found: "a sugar cane borer moth. A militant variety". She explains it was found on Mauritius about two years ago and has wiped out the last two sugar can crops. There is no effective pesticide and no natural enemies. It didn't migrate and was imported but probably not by Dr. Weatherby as the incubation would be wrong if he had, even by accident. The borer moth could destroy every stalk of cane in a field and possibly spread to others. Dr. Maitland estimates they have three days before the larvae mature and the only way to rid them is to burn them out. McGarrett realizes the only person who knew where the larvae is located, it dead.
Vadney, the second man in the office earlier, arrives at the Holbrook plantation to meet with Mrs. Holbrook. Mrs. Holbrook knows Vadney represents a group of investors and she would like to know something about them. Vadney lists them off: Henry WiIson, a car deaIer; Jim Forest, a toy manufacturer and HaI SenIy, a restaurant owner. They are all from the mainland, "weII-off. RespectabIe". She then asks about the workers, many who know nothing else. Vadney answers they'll all stay on, the investors are interested in being able to say they own a sugar plantation as a status symbol as well as run it as a business. There is one peculiar piece to the offer: no specific selling price. Rather it is a "conditional sales contract" due to the plantation's size, the fact that is has been in the same family for several generations, a team of mutually agreed up on experts with appraise the plantation to include the amount of cane-producing land. Mrs. Holbrook signs on the dotted line no less than four times.
Shortly afterward, Chadwick shows the first man he met earlier the bulletin from the Experimental Station: the larvae have been reported but the colony location is unknown. The man wants to know how the Experimental Station discovered their existence and sends Chadwick to talk to Dr. Maitland but warns him to watch what he says: no more mistakes are allowed!
Chadwick pays Dr. Maitland a visit about the bulletin. She wants to be more encouraging but all she can tell him is that Dr. Weatherby picked up the larvae somewhere on the islands. She also tells him the only chance they have is to pinpoint where the infestation is to remove it. The problem with insecticide, if there were one available, would require dusting 250,000 acres of cane. There is no biological defense and it will take years to establish one. Chadwick thanks her for her time and information before making a hasty exit.
McGarrett drives to the Holbrook plantation to talk to Mrs. Holbrook: Kate, a friend of his. He shows her Dr. Weatherby's photo hoping she had seen him but no luck. McGarrett tells her about the borer moth found on his boots and it may have gotten him killed. As they talk, Kate realizes she can't go through with the sale until she knows about the larvae for sure. This is news to McGarrett as he asks who the buyer is: Vadney representing a group form the mainland. She goes on to say her manager Chadwick found them. McGarrett says there were rumors going around she was going to sell to Sam Patton but she would burn the place first before selling to him. They both agree he's a crook but the law hasn't been able to nail him yet. "What he reaIIy does is expIoit IoophoIes in the Iaw and then deface the Iand". McGarrett leaves the photo with Kate to show her employees and if anyone saw him, to call McGarrett right away. She agrees before riding off to the house. Before McGarrett drives off, Danno patches through telling him he and Chin found a service station where Dr. Weatherby stopped for gas between 11:00 a.m. and noon yesterday. McGarrett would like a more specific time if possible.
Chadwick visits a construction site where the plantation worker who saw him with Dr. Weatherby wants to go on a ride with Chadwick. He explains Five-O wants to know if anyone saw anything the day Dr. Weatherby was killed but rather than go to them, he wants money from Chadwick to keep quiet: blackmail! Chadwick tells him to get in the car and they drive off.
Later, the worker is found in a ditch dead: Juan Gomez. HPD calls it in as McGarrett briefs Five-O and three HPD officers on Dr. Weatherby's known movements on the day he was killed. They know for certain he was killed in one spot then moved and time of death was around 3:30 p.m. McGarrett concentrates their efforts in a triangle shaped area to questions field workers to find anyone who might have seen Dr. Weatherby. Chin briefs the HPD officers on what areas they'll cover. As McGarrett, Danno and Duke walk away, Danno laments about the lack of motive with McGarrett suddenly realizing it's looking at him in the face. He proposes Dr. Weatherby was killed to prevent him from reporting his findings because there is something more valuable at stake: the land where the cane is grown. If there were to be a crop failure, the land value would be cut in half, at least. There are several plantations within the perimeter but only one for sale: "Koolau," the Holbrook plantation.
Doc Bergman (Al Eben) briefs Chin about the dead worker: "his name is Gomez" who worked at Koolau Plantation. Doc suspects drowning as the cause of death but there's also a head wound but it is unknown if he got it before or after death. Doc will be able to tell after the autopsy.
Danno walks into McGarrett's office with the file on Warren Chadwick: he's a land speculator but sucks at it. He recently paid off $100,000 to Island Security Trust Company and just in time: they were about to throw him into bankruptcy. Danno says it was paid in cash and McGarrett wants to know where Chadwick got it. Chin walks in with news about Gomez: another Koolau connection. McGarrett wants Chadwick brought in for an informal chat. Danno and Chin leave as Duke walks in with news on Vadney. San Francisco PD is running him through their computer and will contact Five-O later in the day. Duke briefs Vadney made several phone calls to Sam Patton. McGarrett isn't surprised.
Chadwick walks out of a building, stopped by Danno and Chin telling him McGarrett wants to talk to him and he asks why. Danno answers, "I'm afraid he didn't confide in us". They lead him to the Five-O car to drive him to the Palace.
In McGarrett's office, he asks Chadwick up front where he came up with the cash to pay off the bank loan. Chadwick is less than cooperative, refusing to answer leading McGarrett to wonder why he doesn't want to answer. Chadwick then claims he cashed some bearer bonds he had in a safety deposit box at Oahu National two days before the loan was due. McGarrett then asks if Chadwick has any business dealings with Sam Patton prompting Chadwick to become immediately defensive. McGarrett explains they are investigating a murder and thus far, every clue leads to the Koolau Plantation. Chadwick refuses to answer telling McGarrett to have a subpoena next time. After he leaves, McGarrett tells Danno he believes Chadwick is guilty and Sam Patton is "up to elbows" in the situation. Danno offers to check the bank as McGarrett agrees, wanting all the bases covered.
Chadwick goes to visit the first man who plans on building a $30 million resort. He knows Chadwick just left Five-O and Chadwick says McGarrett wanted to know where he got the money to pay off his loan. He shares what he told McGarrett but the man doesn't like any of it because the bonds can be traced back to him. Chadwick leaves for the plantation office and the man calls "Nick Kahana".
AS Chadwick leaves a building stuffing paperwork into an envelope, he gets into his car and leaves only to have a hoodlum (Francis Yoshida) climb out of the back seat! He holds a gun to Chadwick forcing him to drive as a second car follows. They drive to a middle of nowhere quarry where they stop at the top. Chadwick wants to call Patton but a second goon hits him in such way as to knock him out. The goon puts the car into gear and it rolls off the cliff! The two guys turn and walk away.
Danno walks into McGarrett's office with a telex from San Francisco PD about Vadney. "Two arrests. One for fraud, the other forgery. Both cases dismissed for lack of evidence". There is no information on the investors he represents leading McGarrett to suspect Patton may be the real person behind the buy. Danno wonders if they could make Vadney talk as McGarrett thinks of a way to find out how much he really knows, making a call to Kate.
Vadney arrives at Kate's house where she asks if he's heard about the borer moth. Vadney has and the investors are still interested in the purchase even though the fields would have to be appraised at a lower value. However, the investors are looking into the possibility of using the land in other ways and there is no way Kate can dissuade him, "a bargain is a bargain". She calls him a fink before kicking him out. After Vadney leaves, she walks to McGarrett who overheard the entire conversation! He leaves to try to catch the whole mess: radioing Danno to pick up Vadney!
Vadney drives along as Danno and Duke pursue in two separate cars. Danno cuts him off, hauling him into McGarrett's office! McGarrett lays it out for Vadney: he could be "charged with two counts of complicity in murder". Vadney swears he knows nothing about the murders and admits he misrepresented who was buying the plantation because it was the only way Kate would sell. He claims to not know who is behind it and McGarrett needs to ask Chadwick. Jenny (Peggy Ryan) buzzes in with a call from Chin: he's at the Malahani quarry where Chadwick's car was found at the bottom of a 100-foot cliff with Chadwick inside! The news hits the room like a hammer: Vadney tells McGarrett the only people who knew exactly where the larvae colony is, are Chadwick and Patton. Patton brought the borer in from Australia flying them on his private plane. McGarrett tells Duke to take Vadney to the DA and to tell Manicote he's ready to make a statement. Danno sees an obvious problem: Patton won't readily say where the colony is located. McGarrett tries something with the help of Dr. Maitland.
In Patton's office, his secretary enters with a news article about the sugar cane crop being safe! Patton leaves telling his secretary he'll be back in an hour.
McGarrett and Danno drive ahead of Patton with an HPD helicopter keeping an eye on them with Chin's help. Chin radios McGarrett Patton's position and a description of the car. McGarrett turns off the main road as Chin keeps an eye and McGarrett radios Duke who is at Koolau Plantation ready to move to eradicate the borer moth. McGarrett stops the car on a side road in a cane field allowing Patton to pass them. Patton drives to the spot where the colony was put to double-check it when he hears McGarrett and Danno pull up. After Patton takes off, they stop to inspect the colony radioing Duke the location so the workers can move in to burn them out. McGarrett then radios HPD to block the access roads as the chase is on. HPD moves in closing the net ever tighter as the workers begin burning the infested cane. Patton doubles back crashing his car into a burning patch and rolling it onto its side! McGarrett and Danno rush in to pull Patton out dumping him onto the ground! All three are a mess, "charred around the edges" but Patton will be charged with murder one, two counts. McGarrett also guesses there was nothing wrong with the plantation financially as Kate gains renewed confidence in running the place by herself.
This plot summary Copyright Bobbi Baker ©2020. No reproduction of any kind without permission.
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