The Black Widow Strikes Again
A "Short" Story

by R. A. Cabral

When Manuel Cabral arrived home from work, he was extremely hungry after a long day at Western Pipe and Steel. The stocky man had just unzipped his jacket when his wife Emma met him at the threshold and asked him to run over to the grocers to buy a loaf of bread. Rather than quarrel again with the woman, he turned and exited. He zipped the coat to his throat and returned to the blustery, dark skies outside, and began the journey to Rampoldi Grocer.

Cabral’s house lay on the western outskirts of Richmond, California, where Bush Street abruptly dead ends at the long stretch of Santa Fe Railroad right-of-way that cuts a north-south swath up through neighboring San Pablo. As the man tromped across the grounds, muddied by nearly one inch of rain the night before, he recalled someone once telling him it was a distance of “three football fields” across the railyard to the store. A native of Santa Maria, of the Azores Islands, the Portuguese man didn’t know a football field from a cow pasture. The railroad tracks ran on an elevated embankment and the only means across the yard was through the viaduct, a pass underneath the train trestle, which was sloppier than the field. All these inconveniences of distance and muck truly were trivial, the immigrant reminded himself. In this first week of 1922, he felt blessed: he had a good paying job, a home and a family, and the sting of that police call for spousal abuse on New Year’s Eve had receded almost entirely from his memory.

At Rampoldi Grocers, Cabral purchased the ten-cent loaf of bread for his wife and bought a nickel cigar for himself to commemorate the Feast of the Epiphany, celebrated every January 6th by Catholics around the world. As Cabral closed the shop door behind him the bell clanged in the darkness. He considered lighting the cigar here on Duboce Street, then decided he would enjoy it more in front of the fireplace after supper. He zipped the jacket up to his throat to keep out the 25-mile-an-hour southwesterly winds and started on the return trip. Once he crossed the paved road, he trod carefully on the dark, slippery path leading home.

Passing through the viaduct, Cabral was startled by a man who stepped from behind a metal girder supporting the trestle. The highwayman, dressed in dark clothing with a black mask covering his face, demanded money. The 30-year old laborer told the robber he had none. The footpad knew it was a lie as he had been lying in wait for Cabral to return from the store.

“Hand it over,” the highwayman demanded more forcefully, shoving the handgun at him in mid-air. The Portuguese thought he recognized something about the man’s movements like he could have been a close relative or friend. His thought was interrupted by the sound of the trigger clicking, indicating the gun misfired. Capitalizing on his chance to escape, Cabral dropped the bread and began to run, but his feet slipped. The robber fired again and this time the bullet fell into the chamber just as Cabral skirted around the attacker. The Portuguese heard the loud bang and felt the bullet tear through his abdomen, forcing an involuntary gasp. But he didn’t stop. While fleeing, Cabral heard the armament’s violent roar repeat in succession and felt two more shells lodge in his lower back. He staggered along the muddy footpath, wounded and alone in the blackness. When he didn’t hear the gun anymore, and discerned the footpad was not following, he slowed to a trot. His breath labored, he now realized the length of even one football field was an interminably long distance, farther than any uninterrupted stretch of land on the hilly, volcanic island he once called home.

When he finally reached Bush Street, the pain nearly dropped Cabral to the cold pavement. But he recovered and trudged on, praying to Jesus to help him reach his home. The Savior obliged. For as Manuel Cabral staggered onto his front yard, he yelled “Emma! Eu fui tiro…” before collapsing. He hoped his voice would penetrate the noise inside from Manuel Junior’s truck tires rolling along the wooden floor and the burning wood crackling in the fireplace.

Emma Cabral heard the cry. As she rushed from the opened door the interior illumination revealed her injured husband on the ground. “Manel!” she yelled, as she knelt beside her husband’s body. “Manel, what happened?” She felt the sticky blood on the back of his jacket. “Who shot you?”

“Call the police,” he said through a raspy gurgle deep in his throat. “It was Rounder.”

“Our brother-in-law—why would he shoot you?” she asked.

“Go. Go now,” he said, shoving her away as he flipped over on his side. “The police.”

As he lay in the front yard, enduring severe stabbing pains in his stomach and back, he heard the cellophane from the cigar wrapper crinkling inside his jacket pocket. As he pondered his predicament, he wondered if he had stopped to light the cigar outside the store, and offered up the prayer to honor Jesus on his feast day, then perhaps the Good Lord may have spared him this misery. Or maybe the footpad would have given up and gone home to get out of this cold.

Cabral sensed a shadow moving on the porch. He looked up to see if his wife was coming. Instead, his five-year-old son had come out on the porch and was watching from behind one of the wooden pillars, too reticent to approach. Emma rushed through the front doorway and flung herself to the ground. Gently she moved Cabral’s head on her lap. “They’re coming. The police. And they are bringing a doctor. Hold on, Manel, they are coming.”

“Good, good,” Manuel Cabral said weakly.

Those were the Azorean man’s last words. He died early the next morning at the hospital.

~ ~ ~

Startled by the man at my desk, I blurted out, “Chief—what’re you doin’, reading my story?” As a relative newcomer to the Richmond Police Department, I wished my voice hadn’t carried so throughout the station, as it must have sounded like an accusation of our head officer.

Bill Wood, Chief of Police, released the stapled, three-sheets of papers on the folder at my desk. “Yeah, and quite a story it is, too,” he said with a wan smile. He dropped his boots to the floor, rose and waved me into my open chair and stood back. “Alls I asked you to do. Doc, was write up my notes. Not pen a story for the Saturday Evening Post for chrissake. We need to focus on this-here case; it’s lightnin’ in a bottle.” He stood next to the desk, hands buried in his khakis.

I swiveled in my chair to face the native North Carolinian. “I did, Chief. The case summary’s there.” I flipped open the file, pulled out the report on Manuel Cabral’s murder and handed it to him.

“You got it all it down there?” He slapped the document with the backs of his fingers.

Now the kid’s sayin’ the wife and her brother concocted the robbery as a ruse to have the boy take out Mr. Cabral

“Yep. The Heuer kid confessed to the killing, handed over the murder weapon—the .38 pistol—even led us to where he stashed the spent cartridges and hid his muddy shoes. Showed us where he attacked the man at the railyard viaduct. Plus, there’s the motive—Cabral, a known wife abuser, accused the high school boy of being in love with his wife, and chased Henry Heuer from the house, cursing him the whole way.” I handed him the file and he tucked the report inside the folder. Chief Wood then motioned for me to follow.

Inside his office, he set the file down on his desk and gestured for me to close the door behind. Shut tight, I immediately I smelled years of cigar smoke permeating the room. When I turned around Wood was dragging both hands slowly down his long-drawn face, accentuating his Bloodhound wrinkles. Only 51, and slightly graying, this murder added years to William H. Wood’s bearing.

“Been a new development,” he drawled. I scooted my chair closer to his desk.

“Heuer’s old man hired a defense attorney, Pierce and Carlson over there on MacDonald Street,” he shared. “Now the kid’s sayin’ the wife and her brother concocted the robbery as a ruse to have the boy take out Mr. Cabral. Supposedly—he says—in exchange for Emma Cabral’s promise to run off with him—or marry the boy—after he graduates from high school.” He shook his head in diminished movements, like a top that’s run out of spin.

“Holy shit.” My spittle reached the desk, creating two splotches on the folder.

“D-A Tinning’s called Mrs. Cabral to Martinez for questioning, since that’s where the murder trial’s gonna be held. And they’ve already begun interviewing her. Might even arrest her. Now Rhimney, you’d better get over there. I need you to be my eyes and ears on this.”

“Right away, Chief.” I started to scoop the file from his desk, but he snatched it away. He removed my story and handed it to me separately. “Bes’ leave the fiction at your desk, Dalton,” he said wisely. As I unlatched the door, he cleared his throat. “Why folks call you ‘Doc’ anyways? You’re not licensed to practice medicine, are ya?”

I shook my head to affirm I had never studied the medical sciences. “Kids in school, took my initials, D-R, and came up with the abbreviation for doctor.” Chief Wood nodded—mystery solved. “Better that than being teased every day over my full name—Dalton Rhimney.” He nodded more aggressively as I exited the office.

I locked the story inside my desk drawer and walked over to the train station.

~ ~ ~

Shortly after its founding in 1905 the city of Richmond, California flourished in the new century. Occupying the prime peninsula that extends into eastern San Francisco Bay, Richmond enjoys six miles of deep water harbors along its coastline, which was central to attracting several of the country’s largest manufacturing and transportation companies. At the turn of the century, the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway company made Richmond its Western terminus. The Southern Pacific Railroad Company soon followed and now runs eighty-one trains daily. Along came Standard Oil, building its new waterfront refinery with 3,000 workers. Western Pipe and Steel Works manufactures and ships parts across the United States, helping to fuel the industrial revolution. And the Giant Powder Company, the country’s largest producer of gunpowder and dynamite, carved out a community in north Richmond first known as Nitro and now called Giant, California.

The S-P railway is the only way to travel to Martinez, otherwise you’re looking at a ninety-minute drive over all them hills between here and the Carquinez Straight. We left the station at 9:45 that morning and as we rode over the Hilltop and through Pinole Valley, I ruminated on how Martinez ever became Contra Costa’s county seat. There’s fewer than 4,000 folks living there now, and the only person of any national repute to come out of that tiny town was John Muir, the naturalist. And he died in 1914.

Twenty minutes out, I decided to get down to cases.

In the early morning following the tragedy we received a call from Joseph Cabral, older brother of the murder victim, who swore out an arrest for Henry Heuer. Myself and another officer rushed over to Heuer’s cracker barrel of a cottage where the youth readily confessed to the crime with little coaxing. The sandy-haired sophomore from Richmond Union High School laid it out for us like a Sunday picnic. He admitted he acted alone. The good news was it led to the release of Cabral’s brother-in-law, Antonio “Rounder” Moitoza, who had been taken into custody just after the shooting. On the train I contemplated this mystery: What could motivate a seventeen-year-old to commit homicide? Was it retribution for the vitriol heaped on him at Manuel Cabral’s house, or infatuation with the man’s wife? Sounds like it could have been a combination. Now, two weeks after the murder of Manuel Cabral, Heuer had changed his story dramatically. I mean that in the literal sense.

~ ~ ~

Inside the Martinez Hotel, I bumped into Mr. Tinning, who escorted me up the stairs to Mrs. Cabral’s hotel room. “She has no one to watch her boy, so we sprung for a suite.” He explained he had debriefed her early this morning and found no evidence of her involvement in the conspiracy, as posited by Heuer, the murderer. This afternoon’s meeting primarily had been arranged to permit the newspaper reporters to interview her. Also, this would be my first glimpse of the woman, as another officer had been called to the Cabral house the night of the murder.

Emma Cabral
© Oakland Tribune 1922

Seeing Emma Cabral inside the hotel room, I surmised it wasn’t physical beauty that drove the lad to murder. Her facial features were pleasant, even handsome, but not beauteous. Then again, I don’t go in for that Spanish Castilian look: black hair framing a white face with stark brows arching above dark brown, almond-shaped eyes. She had a rounded nose and thin lips. Plus, she wore the proverbial mourning wear: dress, shawl, shoes and lace veil all devoid of color. No, I sensed it was something inside this 24-year-old Portuguese woman that could have inspired the young man’s passion.

From my reading of the file I had learned Mrs. Cabral was a first-generation American. By contrast, her husband Manuel and his brother Joseph were classic immigrants: uneducated, unsophisticated, hard-working laborers who each night thanked God for showing them the way from the small island of Santa Maria, Azores to the Golden State of California. Emma’s father Antonio Andrada also immigrated from the Azores, but a different island, Faial. Her mother’s side—the Aguiar’s—also came from Faial, but did so more than three decades ago. Consequently, they were long-time members of Contra Costa County society and their children were Americanized.

Inside the hotel suite, I found Mrs. Cabral sitting in a plush chair with her five-year-old son, Manuel Jr., standing nearby. The young lad’s eyes darted around the room at the two reporters from the Oakland Tribune and San Francisco Chronicle sitting on the settee, while district attorney A. B. Tinning stood by the fireplace and I perched on a footstool. Surely, Emma Cabral would be extremely guarded during this afternoon’s interview, for she had to know one slip of the tongue could result in her arrest. And unlike Henry Heuer, who is under age, Mrs. Cabral could face the death penalty.

The woman opened the interview by stating unequivocally “I did not kill my husband, nor did I have any notice of Henry’s plan to take his life. I would have been a dog to have sent Manuel to a death like that. Had I wanted to get rid of my husband, I would have divorced him.” Several times she denied having visited Heuer’s cabin, admitting she went there once to borrow a dollar. “I was only there a little while and I did not make love to the boy. He came to our house many times but that was to play with my brother, ‘Tonio.” She paused and stifled her sniffles with a white handkerchief. “Heuer alone is responsible for my husband’s death,” she said, wiping her nose, “and he killed him because of his hatred for Manuel.” She reached out and clasped her son’s hand in hers.

The Chronicle reporter spoke up. “Heuer claimed your husband cursed him and threw him out of your house. Was that the day after this past Christmas?”

“Yes, that day.”

“Heuer also said he committed the act because your husband took out his anger on you, is that right?” asked the same reporter.

“Henry knew, as I guess everybody knew, that my husband beat me. But I never particularly told him about it.” Emma Cabral stared at the floor as she spoke. “Once or twice he came on to me and I told him he was foolish to talk that way. Around that time, he said, ‘I will never permit anyone to be unkind to you.’ It was then I knew he was fond of me.”

The Tribune reporter asked “A few days after that you swore out a complaint against your husband for spousal abuse, isn’t that right, Mrs. Cabral?”

Quietly, she replied, “Yes, that’s true, but I dropped the complaint before New Year’s Day.”

Seeing an opening I jumped in. “On the way to the hospital your husband told our officer he believed the attacker was Antonio Moitoza, your brother-in-law. He was married to your sister, correct?” She nodded. “Apparently Moitoza and Manuel had an argument the week prior.” Another nod. “You know what it was about?” She shook her head this time. “Seems your husband, the deceased—I’m sorry to say—was pretty hot headed, am I right?” Emma Cabral’s glare suggested she wished I had been the one surprised that night at the viaduct. As if by merely mentioning her husband’s personality flaw, I had somehow cast aspersions on her character.

Thankfully, the Chronicle reporter changed the subject. “How long have you known Henry Heuer, Mrs. Cabral?”

“Three months, roughly,” she said stowing her kerchief. “We met through my younger brother, who brought him over to our house. Henry often came over to play ball with ‘Tonio.”

“Do you know the whereabouts of your brother?” the Oakland reporter asked. “I’m sure you know he’s wanted by the police.”

“No, I haven’t heard from him since that day,” she said softly into her lap.

The Chronicle reporter then addressed the elephant in the room by summarizing Heuer’s recent claims that Emma Cabral and Tony Andrada had conspired with Heuer to arrange the murder. The boy told police the two of them chastised Manuel Cabral for his boorish behavior toward his wife, and that they planted the idea that he should be “done away with.”

“What do you think I am, to send my husband to a death like that,” she answered angrily. “I am innocent and I knew nothing of Henry’s plans to kill Manuel.” She sniffled again while clutching the boy to her side. “And I do not intend to suffer for a crime that I did not commit.”

If she was lying, it was a convincing performance, I noted before closing my notebook.

~ ~ ~

The next day Chief Wood decided to send me back to Martinez. “District Attorney Tinning,” Chief Wood said, “isn’t buyin’ that conspiracy angle involving Mrs. Cabral and her brother Tony Andrada; at least he doesn’t think he can make it stick. Although they’ll still be key witnesses for the prosecution.” Chief wanted me to check if there was anything more to the story we may have missed.

“It just don’t make sense why a 17-year old boy would commit murder all by hisself over a few harsh words. Now that Mrs. Cabral can speak freely, we may get to the bottom of this squirrely matter,” Chief Wood said. “Go over there and be nice to the woman, see if you can get on her good side.” His arched brows suggested that I should read between the lines.

“You mean. . . get friendly with the woman.”

Yeeaahhhess.” His slow southern drawl seemed to stretch that simple word into three syllables. “If you get the chance, might even move in nice and close whilst talkin’ to her. Mebbe . . . your knee touches hers, or you might happen to rub shoulders with the woman, that sorta thing.” I’d never heard the Chief talk this way in my eight weeks on the force.

“Just see if you can’t get anything more with a personal visit, away from all them reporters and the damn D-A loomin’ over her shoulder.”

~ ~ ~

When I arrived at the hotel, I found Mrs. Cabral flitting about her room. She was finishing packing and preparing to return home later that evening. Had I known that I could have saved myself the trip and interviewed her in Richmond. Nonetheless, she welcomed me kindly, as if we had never exchanged cross words or angry looks that other time. “Manny,” she called to her 5-year old son, “go into the bedroom to play with your firetruck. And close the door behind you.”

When the door latched, she invited me to sit. I deferred and Mrs. Cabral took the same plush hotel chair she sat in yesterday. Remembering the Chief’s message, I realized my chivalrous gesture left me with one alternative: the settee near the window. “This must have been a trying ordeal for you, a young widow with a small child,” I said with an empathetic tone while nodding toward the bedroom door. “Have your parents been able to assist in this trying time?”

“Both of my parents died two years ago,” she said with a transient half-smile. “I do, however, have my brothers and sisters.”

Which reminded me that younger brother Tony had just been picked up by Richmond Police on the charge of vagrancy. Rather than pay the $500 bail Tony had accepted the one-month sentence in jail. What working stiff could afford that on twenty-four dollars a week? So, he should not be seen again until the trial, which is slated to start March 21st. I truly believed Andrada had been brought in on a flimsy charge so someone else at the station could work on him for his side of the truth, just as I was dispatched here to Mrs. Cabral’s hotel room.

“Where did you meet Manuel Cabral?” I began.

“At a Portuguese festa in San Pablo, where my family lived,” she answered. “He came with his brother, José, whom we knew already. We were married a few months later in March 1917.”

“And what did he do at Western Pipe and Steel? Manuel, I mean.”

“He was riveting,” she said. Her eyes grew wide and she quickly amended her answer, “I meant to say he was a rivet-er,” she crooned, emphasizing the suffix to ensure I understood the correction. We laughed at the accidental word play. “Riveting, he was not.” Her laughter burbled like a Siskiyou stream over polished stones.

I allowed the laughter to subside before following with this question. “You have mentioned that he was physically abusive.” I waited for her to nod, for I had learned from our previous encounter that she frequently responded with such non-verbal gestures. “Was it just that one time when you filed the complaint?”

“Many times he beat me,” she said. “And other times, his words were just as cruel. That’s one reason why I enjoyed having my brothers visit us frequently, for their presence in our house gave me some protection.

“And when Henry began coming around, he made the party even more fun. He’s very friendly.” Her eyes glistened as she seemed to delight in recalling fond moments with the high school lad. Then realizing that her last statement may be misconstrued, a dark cloud infused her expression. As if the concession Heuer was not a natural-born killer compelled her to abruptly amend the comment. “That’s what is so puzzling about Henry’s statements that I and ‘Tonio may have wanted him to kill Manuel.” She paused and waited for our eyes to lock. “Such a dreadfully strange idea.”

Then she scooted to the edge of her chair, reached over, and with her fingertips just barely touching my left knee, said softly, “You understand my concern, don’t you, Mr. Rhimney?”

Once again, I looked up and our eyes met. I experienced a sudden surge of energy flow through my body. My leg twitched involuntarily, prompting a smile from Mrs. Cabral.

“Uh, yes. . . I believe I do.” She rose from the chair and grabbed a pack of smokes from the table between us. She offered me one, lighted the two weeds and handed me one of the lit cigarettes. Mrs. Cabral walked behind the settee and inhaled deeply. I turned around just in time to watch her bluish-gray smoke stream toward the violet-patterned curtains that framed the large hotel window.

“I sometimes wonder how it came to this,” she said, drawing in another long puff. She turned and looked back at me on the settee. “You know?”

“Um. . . can’t say that I do, Mrs. Cabral.”

“. . . Emma,” she said demurely as she sat beside me on the settee. Our knees touched. “Please. Call me Emma. . .”

“Emma. . .” I nodded and cleared my throat. “Now on the day of your husband’s murder, you testified that you and Mr. Heuer went for a walk and ended up at a local grocer across the tracks.” I glanced down at my notebook. “Rampoldi’s Grocery, I believe it was, and while there you purchased one loaf of bread, but not before. . .”

Emma Cabral suddenly stood erect. She clasped her arms across her chest, rolled her eyes and said in a voice that could have reached the upper balcony of the Parkway Theatre, “The loaf of bread, again!” I looked up, alarmed. How quickly her mood had shifted. Spreading her arms she added, “Yes, yes, I decided not to buy the other loaf of bread. Is that a crime?”

I found myself a trifle flustered. “No, no, of course it isn’t. It’s only germane since your husband went to the same grocers later that night. To buy a loaf of bread.”

“Yes, when I returned home that afternoon, I realized my mistake. I thought we had a loaf in the larder, but I misjudged!” she said, tamping out the cigarette in the ash tray on the table. “And since Manuel ate bread with every meal—always big chunks with each sitting—if we ever ran out of bread he would threaten me or beat me.” Her momentary pause drew my attention. And in a softer voice she added, “To be sure that didn’t happen I asked him to go to the store.”

Emma Cabral then slowly knelt before me on the carpet, as if she was about to pray. Instead, she stared into my eyes. “You believe me, Mr. Rhimney, don’t you?” Instead of facing her dark penetrating eyes, I peered down at the carpet, searching for an appropriate answer. She craned her head to the side, trying to reestablish eye contact. “Mr. Rhimney?”

I motioned for her to join me by patting the pink settee cushion.

“Mr. Rhimney. Do you believe me?” She wouldn’t budge until she had heard the answer.

“Call me Dalton, please,” I said softly before rejoining her gaze. “Yes, I believe you.”

With that she rose from the carpet and shortly afterward the interview was over.

~ ~ ~

The following morning before my rear hit the chair Chief Wood whistled for me to come in his office. I knew what he wanted; it was the same reason I got less than three hours sleep.

“Well, did you get anything from her?” he asked, as I sat in the hardwood chair across from his desk. I mulled over the question, not wanting to make eye contact with him. “Stop chewin’ on your cud, Goddamnit, and tell me what happened,” he barked. “Did she admit to it or not?” He stared at me strangely, as if a bug-eyed, green-skinned Martian sat across from him, filing his nails. “I got the Goddamn D-A breathin’ down my neck, Doc. Do you have somethin’ or not?”

“Chief, either that woman is as pure as the driven snow, or she’s the best damn actor in the Bay Area. No, I didn’t get anything out of her. And not for lack of tryin’.”

“Well, did you use them techniques and go knee-to-knee or shoulder-to-shoulder with her?” I think it was the sardonic smile on my face that prompted him to pound his desk. “Goddamnit, Doc, what’n’hell are you grinnin’ at?”

“Yes, Chief.” I stood up, walked around the corner of his desk and sat on the edge.  “I was knee-to-knee and shoulder-to-shoulder with her briefly, but it wasn’t my doins. It was her idea. She came up and sat real close to me on the sofa, if you want to know the damn truth. She said she had nothin’ to do with her husband’s murder. . .”

“And you believed her?”

I exhaled loudly. “Yes, I believed her.”

He flipped a pencil in the air and caught it. “Well, then she played you, Doc. Played you like a damn Stradivarius in the key of gee.” He emphasized the last word so I wouldn’t miss the cynical humor. “Mebbe police work jus’ ain’t for you, Doc.” He tossed the pencil on the desk and let it roll. “Mebbe you’re just destined to be a story writer.”

I didn’t need to be told the tongue-lashing was over. I walked outside and took a long stroll around City Hall. I stopped in the San Pablo Café for a cup of coffee. While there, I was hit with an inspiration to delve further into the Cabral-Andrada-Aguiar family histories.

When I was escorted inside the back room of the Hall of Records my eyes watered and my nose began to run thanks to the musty old documents. The first item I discovered was the birth record of Manuel Cabral, Jr., born June 16, 1917. I recalled Emma said she was married around that same time, so I checked the date of their union: March 10, 1917—three months prior to the boy’s birth. Looks like Emma and Manuel Cabral had an old-fashioned shotgun wedding. This fact wouldn’t alter the case in any way, but it shed some light on their marriage.

Throughout the month of February, right up until the trial began March 21st, Henry Heuer’s most consistent visitors in county jail were the alienists (or psychiatrists) called in by the defense attorneys to probe the boy’s mental state. This indicated Wilbur Pierce and T. M. Carlson were preparing an insanity plea. How else to proceed? The young man had already given us his full confession, including the weapon and motive on the morning following Manuel Cabral’s murder.

~ ~ ~

© Martinez Historical Society

Inside the Martinez courtroom, when judge A. B. McKenzie called the trial to order, there were a couple of available seats if you were willing to squeeze between the Aguiars, Andradas and Moitozas who had driven up from San Pablo and Richmond, plus the mothers from Martinez with their small children, along with interested parties across the straight from Benicia. In all, it appeared to be an even mix of women and men.

District Attorney Archibald B. Tinning, who had more than a month to prepare his case, appeared calm and confident during his opening argument. He had every reason to feel that way: he was a local boy who grew up in the hometown of his mother’s family, the Porters. His father William S. Tinning (formerly of New York) was a prominent attorney who held the county district attorney post prior to Archibald, and served as president of the Bank of Martinez. Tinning assured the jury the case was clear cut: Henry Heuer had confessed to the murder. Most importantly, he noted, the youth had begun preparations to kill Cabral at least one week in advance, laying the groundwork for premeditation. Defense attorney Wilbur Pierce, a willowy tall redhead, revealed his hand by focusing not on whether young Heuer had committed the terrible act, but offered speculation as to the reasons that could have clouded the youth’s judgment in the murder of Manuel Cabral. Among those in attendance were two notable alienists: J. W. Robertson of Livermore and G.W. Ogden of Napa State Hospital to judge Heuer’s mental state.

Mrs. Emma Cabral was one of the first prosecution witnesses. As she walked up to the stand with Manuel Jr. in hand, she was dressed in the same black mourning attire worn that January day in the hotel room before reporters. She took her seat and placed the boy on her lap, where he sat for the first minutes of the interrogation. Prosecutor Tinning established that Emma Cabral had a consistent and more personal relationship with Henry Heuer than she first let on. Tinning forcefully extracted from Mrs. Cabral the following admissions: Heuer was a frequent guest at her home; she made more than one visit to Henry’s home on California Street—where neither of the parents were there to chaperone; she had exchanged rings with Heuer, given him a package of handkerchiefs, and on the day of her husband’s funeral accepted a necklace as a gift from Henry Heuer.

Under Tinning’s aggressive questioning, Mrs. Cabral openly wept on the stand and the judge finally suggested her son should return to his seat in the audience. Next, she became energized, responding rapid fire like a “Tommy Gun,” or nervously tapping the mahogany wood railing of the witness stand. She firmly denied talking in advance with Heuer about “doing away with my husband.” Throughout, Emma Cabral maintained her innocence in her husband’s tragedy.

The next witness was the accused’s father, 41-year old Bruno Heuer. Of medium height and build, blue eyes and sandy brown hair, the senior Heuer very much resembled his only child. A native of Missouri, Mr. Heuer attested he had been employed around the Richmond area all his adult life: first as a tank builder for Standard Oil and presently as a “traveling man” for the Santa Fe Railway Company.

Under questioning by the prosecution Bruno Heuer admitted he gave his son a .38 pistol for protection during those times when he could not be home with him. When shown the murder weapon, the man confirmed it was the same gun he gave his son.

Defense attorney Pierce took over and altered the mood in the courtroom with his slow, methodical approach. Pierce established that the Heuer cottage on California Street, just one block from the Richmond Union High School, was not the primary family residence. Mr. Heuer revealed he and his wife lived in a home in Kensington, an exclusive community in the Berkeley Hills. Henry was allowed to “remain by himself in the family cottage until he finished school.” That explained why Mrs. Cabral and the youth were unchaperoned during her visit or visits to his home. The somber proceedings enjoyed one lighthearted moment when Mr. Heuer admitted that he was being forced to sell the residence in Richmond to pay his son’s legal bills. After which defense attorney Pierce said, “My apologies for causing you any financial hardship.”

Under the defense attorney’s guidance, Bruno Heuer related that as a young boy Henry suffered several physical accidents, including falling from a horse and being hit in the head by a baseball. The jury was left to deduce these produced deleterious and lasting mental effects.

Next, to establish a defense of “hereditary insanity,” Pierce drew several surprising admissions from the senior Heuer, who stated that both he and his father were naturally and consistently “intemperate”; that paralysis ran through his family; and he confessed to various other past problems. Among these were a youthful disease, alcoholism from the age of seventeen, and one event during his wife’s pregnancy when he came home drunk and threatened to kill her and take his own life. His voice choking and tears flowing down his cheeks, Bruno Heuer testified, “I am the responsible party here, Mr. Pierce. It was I alone who brought this upon the boy (Henry).” Women in the courtroom openly sobbed over Mr. Heuer’s confession, which ended a two-hour late morning session.

After lunch the tears resumed when the boy’s mother Rose Heuer followed her husband to the witness chair. The short, plump brunette, who openly wept at times, corroborated her husband’s testimony. Mr. Pierce drew one additional salient fact from the woman. He grabbed the .38 pistol and asked “Mrs. Heuer, is this the gun your husband used to threaten you while you were pregnant with Henry in 1905—this same weapon used to murder Manuel Cabral?” The pointed question drew an audible gasp from the audience. The woman broke down sobbing; her only response a fragile but affirmative head bob. Mr. Pierce instructed the courtroom reporter, “Please note for the record the witness answered ‘yes’.”

~ ~ ~

The following morning, Friday March 24th, defense attorney Wilbur Pierce read an eight-page typewritten confession of Henry Heuer, the one taken by our department in mid-January. Judge McKenzie instructed Pierce not to read the portion related to “alleged intimacy” between Heuer and Emma Cabral, but noted it would be included in the transcript provided to the jury.

Next came the highly anticipated grilling by Mr. Tinning of the accused, Henry Heuer. Under oath the high school sophomore confirmed many of the sordid details in his confession and freely admitted he was part of a conspiracy, but with one exception: the lad claimed Mrs. Emma Cabral masterminded the plot to kill her husband. He related an anecdote that he claimed Emma shared with him where “she had once pushed a boy in a pond and killed him.” At which point the audience again erupted, prompting the gavel from Judge McKenzie. Heuer fiercely maintained that Mrs. Cabral on several occasions suggested her husband should be “made away with.” Heuer reiterated the plan was to send the victim to the store to buy a loaf of bread, which permitted Henry to lie in wait by the railroad trestle.

When Tinning elicited Heuer’s admission he had made his mask one week before the murder and bought the gun shells three days in advance, the attorney had laid the groundwork for “premeditation” while undermining the anticipated “temporary insanity” defense. The district attorney’s final question summarized the case. “Mister Heuer, why did you kill Manuel Cabral?”

Henry Heuer glanced out the courtroom window, and seeing cherry blossoms marking the first sign of spring, stated with open honesty, “I didn’t like the fact he abused his wife. I loved Emma too much, I guess.”

~ ~ ~

As the trial adjourned for the weekend, I returned home. At Chief Wood’s request, I came in Saturday morning to brief him on the week-long developments. When I arrived, I saw a stack of newspapers on his desk, primarily the Oakland Tribune and San Francisco Chronicle. Both papers had plastered the story under banner headlines on an almost daily basis. Chief Wood thumped the stack of papers with his flat hand. “I presume you’ve been following all this coverage.” I nodded. “Got anything to add?”

“They covered it pretty much as it happened. Big crowds in the courtroom, too, Chief.” I thought some local flavor might impress, but it only served to rile him more.

Bill Wood leaned back in his chair and set his boots atop the stack of papers. He rubbed the gray stubble on his chin. Then shoving his right hand at me in the shape of a gun, he asked “Ya figure Tinning’ll get a conviction? Based on what you’ve heard so far.”

Prognostication not being one of my strong suits, I needed to tread carefully in my response, for William Wood was cut from the same cloth as the “Don’t Tread On Me” crowd. “Hard to predict, Chief,” I told him. “On Monday, the defense is calling a slew of alienists, who are gonna toss out all sorts of psychological reasons why Heuer wasn’t in his right mind when he pulled the trigger. All depends on how well Pierce layers that on the jury.”

Chief Wood’s shoes hit the floor with a hollow thump. “Gonna make him out to be a Goddamn mama’s boy who didn’t know right from wrong, all because that Svengali Emma Cabral cooed in his ear, ‘Only thing keepin’ us apart, Henry, is my mean ol’ husband’.” The Chief’s eyes narrowed. “Who just happened to go to work ever’ day to put a roof over their heads and food on the table,” he brayed. “Includin’ the Goddamn bread.”

~ ~ ~

Since work-related matters had already taken a chunk of my morning, I decided to follow a lead that had bugged me from the start. Henry Heuer’s testimony in court served to refresh my memory. The youth vividly recalled the time he and Emma visited Rampoldi Grocer the morning of the murder. He testified that after Emma picked up two loaves of bread she “shoved one back on the shelf,” saying she could always send Manuel back to the store if they needed more. No one in the initial investigation bothered to talk to the store owner—at least on the record. I decided to look into it, and meandered over to Duboce Street where Manuel Cabral purchased that now infamous loaf of bread.

Mr. Rampoldi appeared to be the classic Italian immigrant market owner: plump, balding and sporting a long “moosestash.” He was friendly and forthcoming when I explained why I was there. Our interview was interrupted as he greeted customers, monitored the clerk working the cash register and fetched items from the shelves upon request. Surprisingly, when I got to the meat of the matter, the store owner seemed to remember the incident quite well, despite the lag of some eighty days.

“Oh, I knew Misses Cabral very good,” Rampoldi said. “She would come in here, two, sometimes three times a week for the milk and the bread and vegetables. So, I couldn’t help but notice when she came in that day with that boy.” Rampoldi recalled Henry Heuer’s physical details down pat.

“They stood over there in the bread aisle, talking, and it got louder, until I thought they were having an argument. So, I walk over and when I come around the corner, I see Misses Cabral holding one loaf and putting the other back on the shelf. And I say, ‘Usually you buy two loaves, Misses Cabral, only one today?’ But she holds up one bag and tells me ‘I think I have another back home. But If I need more I can always send my husband back for it.’ They leave the store with the groceries. And I think nothing more.”

Rampoldi had just confirmed Henry Heuer’s testimony, which implicated Emma Cabral in the conspiracy. Except the D-A never obtained an affidavit from the store owner, and the arrest of Cabral’s wife had been put on the shelf for lack of evidence.

The following morning after church I took the first train to Martinez on the hunch Mrs. Cabral remained there over the weekend. After checking in to the hotel and dropping off my bag, the front desk attendant confirmed she had stayed over. I climbed to the second floor and  knocked on her door. But there was no answer.

I ate an early dinner at a tiny diner on Main Street and then returned to the hotel where I waited in the lobby with a clear view of the front doors and the Saturday Evening Post in my lap. Finally, Mrs. Cabral walked in with her son Manuel Jr. in hand and a man beside her. When I called out her name she waved. As she approached, I noticed she no longer was dressed entirely in mourning wear. Instead, her black blouse featured a dainty, alabaster white collar buttoned at the neck. She explained she and her brother had taken the boy out walking by the marina. Tony Andrada was in town to testify when the trial resumed tomorrow.

“Mrs. Cabral, there is something I need to speak with you about,” I told her. “Privately.”

“Oh, yes,” she said. “Come up to my room in ten minutes.” She rejoined her brother and together they climbed the staircase on opposite sides of the boy, holding his hands. I allowed her an additional five minutes before knocking on her door. When she escorted me inside I noticed it was quiet. I inquired about her son’s whereabouts and learned Mrs. Cabral had sent him off to his uncle’s room. “He so loves Antonio, more so than any others in my family,” she said. “’Tonio is such a fun-loving spirit.”

I noticed the top button of her blouse had been loosened. Almost simultaneously a scent of lavender spiraled through the room and then I realized it was the woman’s perfume.

“Would you like something to drink?” she asked. She hovered at the table that stood between the plush chair and settee. “I have some lovely Madeira wine.”

“No, thank you.”

“You are staring deep into my eyes, and through my eyes you may reach into the depths of my soul.”

She gestured for me to sit down, and seeing the single chair was available I took it. When Mrs. Cabral settled on the settee by the window, she said with a demure smile, “I knew you would be coming tonight.”

The comment struck a discordant note which I chose to ignore. “Mrs. Cabral, I visited with Mr. Rampoldi, the grocer, yesterday.”

“Yes. That’s why I knew you’d look me up this evening,” she said, pouring herself a glass of wine.

“Mr. Rampoldi called you?”

“Oh, no. I telephoned him this afternoon to let him know I am still arranging to pay our bill at his store. I’m ashamed to say we still owe seventeen dollars. And it was then he informed me you came by the store and had a talk with him.”

“Then you know what we discussed,” I said.

“Why, yes. You asked him about the bread. Always the bread,” she said with a charming lilt.

I rose from my chair. “I think I will have some of that wine.” I stood there, awkwardly waiting, as she poured the Madeira to the rim. “Thank you,” I said, carefully taking the glass stem from her hand to avoid spilling on the carpet. I sipped from the glass, and slowly lowered myself back into the chair.

“Good wine, yes?”

“Very good,” I granted. “Now, Mrs. Cabral. . .”

“. . . Emma, please. We are not going to go through this all over again.” I found the tone and resonance of her voice soothing.

I forged ahead with my questions. “Emma, I must be honest with you. . . I believe Mr. Rampoldi’s account supports Henry’s allegation that you conspired with him. Mr. Rampoldi saw you replace the loaf of bread on the shelf after overhearing your argument with the boy.”

“I see,” she said, looking down at the pea green carpet with what I took to be a contrite expression. “And did he also tell you that I purchased a loaf of the good French bread that afternoon?” She confidently swirled the wine in the glass while balancing the stem atop her left knee, which was crossed over her other leg. This sophisticated pose belied her rural Portuguese roots. Then again, this woman was Americanized.

“Yes, he mentioned you purchased the French loaf. But Emma, I believe you fail to see the point. The act of shoving the other loaf back on the shelf and then later that evening sending your husband out to purchase the same loaf you rejected, suggests this was your plan all along to set up Manuel by the railway trestle.”

Emma Cabral stood and set her glass on the table. I wasn’t sure what to expect—perhaps another angry outburst in reaction to the bread scenario. Instead, she gestured with her left hand for my glass. I handed it to her and she placed my glass on the table next to hers.

“Come on—up, up,” she said, demanding that I rise. I stood in front of the chair. She reached out with both arms in my direction. “Now, take my hands.” She saw my hesitation, and with a slight tilt of her head said, “Dalton, please. Stand with me.”

I played along by allowing her to take my two hands in hers. The inside of her fingers was smooth like the four marble columns supporting the courthouse. “Now, I want you to look into my eyes,” she said, her voice soft and alluring. She smiled warmly. “Don’t be afraid. Just look.” I did so and almost from the moment my eyes focused on hers I found myself staring into the most luxuriant shade of dark brown eyes I had ever viewed in a woman. A peculiar feeling of warmth and sedation swept over me. Immediately, I began to relax and forget about why I had come to speak with her. “You are now starting to feel what I feel,” she crooned in a sultry, low voice. “You are staring deep into my eyes, and through my eyes you may reach into the depths of my soul.” She smiled once more, as if we were sharing the discovery of a seaside hideaway. “I am allowing you to peer directly into my very soul, Dalton.”

She spoke my name with the mellifluence of warm ocean breezes. I suddenly felt myself transported to a tropical island, with intermittent surf roaring in the background. Her comforting eyes dispelled the notion that evil could ever reside inside this woman. And as I felt myself drawn under the transom, through the doorway and into her bedroom, I found myself lying beside her on the warm sands, with the ocean waves reverberating in the background. And I fell under the transcendent spell of this tropical paradise.

~ ~ ~

On Monday morning the trial resumed and the defense team, led by Wilbur Pierce, invited three character witnesses to testify to the positive attributes of the high school sophomore. Chief among them was Richmond Union High principal D.X. Tucker, who noted Heuer had been a model student, a fine athlete and the color bearer of the school cadets.

Then Pierce called a series of five doctors and alienists to the stand to respond to a 2,500-word hypothetical statement he read aloud in court. The essay posed the central question whether a youth—who had been exposed to alcoholism, endured paralysis and inherited mental illness— could appreciate the enormity of a crime of this kind or even understand the punishment inflicted against the victim.

Each of the witnesses agreed that Heuer’s mental capacity was not sufficient to distinguish between right or wrong; that he did not know he was violating the rights of others; and he did not have the mental capacity to know or appreciate the consequences of his act. The alienists painted Emma Cabral as Heuer’s “goddess,” whom he could not conceive of doing a wrongful act, a person whom he worshipped and revered, and whose desires Heuer placed above all else. Doctor O.D. Hamlin of Oakland testified “The boy was under a strong stimulation for several weeks. If he had been told of the gravity of his crime beforehand, he would have stopped. Being a psychopath he is easily led, especially by this individual who stimulated his desire.” While all five psychiatrists agreed that Heuer displayed signs of being a psychopath, under cross-examination Doctor Hamlin and another alienist denied the youth was clinically insane at the time of the murder. Which meant three of them believed he could have been.

~ ~ ~

Two days later, on Wednesday March 28th, the attorneys presented closing arguments, providing the courtroom with one last bit of drama. During his closing statement defense attorney Pierce worked himself into such a frenzy that he collapsed into his chair and could not continue. He was carted out and taken to a nursing station in the courthouse, where he was later revived. One wonders whether this was courtroom theatre or a true reflection of the strain of the murder case. His associate Mr. Carlson finished the defense’s closing argument.

Around two o’clock in the afternoon, Judge McKenzie issued instructions to the jury and sent them out to begin deliberations. When they broke for a late supper, we learned they were still deadlocked. Around midnight, the judge sent a messenger to ask if the jury was close to reaching a verdict. Informed that they were still disunified, he ordered them to reconvene in the morning.

Finally, after twenty hours of deliberation, at 10:45 a.m., jury foreman Fred I. Craven of Richmond announced the verdict: “not guilty.” Mrs. Heuer rushed to hug her son with tears in her eyes, as Mr. Heuer joined in the tearful celebration. Henry Heuer was once again a free man.

I watched a stoic Emma Cabral lead her son out of the courtroom. I wished to have a final word with her, but when I finally pushed through the crowd and reached the hallway she was nowhere in sight. Presumably, she had headed home directly with the hope of putting the tragedy behind her and her family. There, I also overheard foreman Craven tell reporters it had taken the jury eight ballots to reach the verdict.

My eye then was drawn to the Heuer family walking into the judge’s office. Curious, I followed. The main door was opened and so I entered the outer office. The family had gathered inside the judge’s private chambers, but through the door I overheard a portion of their conversation. Judge McKenzie asked what plans Mr. Heuer had for his son. Bruno Heuer said he intended to temporarily move the family to San Francisco where they could be near his work at the Santa Fe Railway. The judge then strongly suggested Mr. Heuer should send his son back east or possibly out of the country to avoid vengeful parties, which are common in cases of this type. When the family rose to vacate the judge’s chambers, I quickly left the room.

I picked up my bag and walked to the train station. Once inside the terminal I searched for Emma Cabral, but no luck. Apparently, she was taking a later train back to Richmond.

~ ~ ~

The day following the acquittal, Henry Heuer was quoted in the papers he had no intention of marrying Emma Cabral. Likely, neither wanted to see the other again for a good long time.

Also, a jury member confided they acquitted the youth because “. . . he didn’t know what he was doing. He doesn’t know the difference between right and wrong.” The alienists had succeeded.

Over the next two weeks, my routine at the police station returned to normal: we responded to an occasional robbery or marital dispute and I even became embroiled in the theft of a paper boy’s collection money by a group of high school bullies. Typical small town violations.

Then three weeks to the day following Heuer’s acquittal, we received notice of an explosion at a Richmond household. A Mrs. C. E. Pierce reported she had just lit a fire and sat down in her chair when a loud explosion rocked the family fireplace, destroying furniture and shattering the plate glass window. Fortunately, she flinched at the sound, otherwise that block of wood that shot through the family room may have decapitated her instead of just grazing her cheek. We later determined that three pieces of “spiked” timber—that is, wood that had been hollowed out and filled with explosive powder—had been tossed on the Pierce’s wood pile in the backyard. Then came the next bombshell: we found that the injured party was the mother of Heuer’s defense attorney, Wilbur Pierce. The news altered our investigation as we began probing a “vendetta” crime in the trial’s aftermath. “Everyone in town knows where I live,” said Mr. Pierce, admitting shock over the incident, while adding he had no known enemies. His parents, who reside ten blocks from their son, only recently had relocated to Richmond from their home near Woodland, California.

News of the explosion at the Pierce home soon dovetailed with another oddity. Police Sergeant O’Malley in San Francisco called to alert me that earlier in the week his department investigated the disappearance of a night watchman from the Santa Fe Railyards near China Basin. I asked why he was notifying Richmond police, and Sergeant O’Malley explained the watchman reportedly was “a dead ringer” for Henry Heuer. I then recalled Bruno Heuer had moved his family to San Francisco to be closer to his workplace. Suddenly the Cabral vendetta theory seemed to be running on two convergent tracks.

While our explosive experts continued to delve into the Pierce home bombing, I took the ferry to San Francisco to meet investigators near the Santa Fe Railyard. There I learned from Officer Ron Johnson that around nine o’clock the evening of Monday, April 17th Louis Murphy, a night watchman for the Santa Fe Railway, had been reported missing. Murphy’s duty, I was told, took him near where the Heuer family was known to be residing at the time.

Johnson then added another, deeper layer to the mystery.

San Francisco police also learned that the week prior to the watchman’s disappearance special officers of the Santa Fe Railroad reportedly had persuaded Henry Heuer to don a cap and coat like those worn by Murphy, and encouraged the youth to walk along the waterfront during darkness. Friends and relatives of Murphy who witnessed the demonstration said they found it alarming, especially since Heuer indeed bore a strong resemblance in height, posture and “walking gait” to that of Murphy, a man in his forties.

“Sounds like a set-up to me,” I told Johnson. “Should be simple to prove.”

“I agree,” he replied. “Just one problem.”

“What’s that?”

“Two days ago, Henry Heuer shipped out as a seaman on the Standard Oil tanker H. M. Storey, bound for England. Wanted to forget the whole tragedy,” Johnson’s roll of the eyes signaled his cynicism. “And when I tried to reach the father the railroad company told me Bruno Heuer and his wife had received numerous death threats and they, too, have gone into hiding—possibly overseas.”

I left my number with Johnson and asked him to call if he discovered anything new.

He did, two days later. The San Francisco P.D. had fished Murphy’s body out of San Francisco Bay around Pier 46 near China Basin. In the ensuing weeks, we interviewed the Cabral family and friends who lived in the Richmond area. Each one claimed an alibi and could not be tied to the Pierce home bombing nor the watchman’s abduction. As summer heated up our leads grew cold. I figured with the additional time in my personal schedule I could finally finish my story, regardless of the loose ends. So I worked on it throughout the summer.

When I cracked open the Sunday paper on July 23rd, I read two items of notable interest. Two days before, on Friday, Henry Heuer had returned from his voyage at sea on the same oil tanker. And yesterday the Tribune reported that Emma Cabral had married again, this time to Alvin A. Dewey, three years her junior. Her first husband Manuel Cabral had been dead all of six months. After a little digging, I soon learned that Mr. Dewey was employed at the Giant Powder Company—the world’s largest producer of gunpowder and dynamite. Seemed a fitting end to a story which proved the adage “truth is stranger than fiction.”

After polishing the story, I tried pedaling it to several of the national weekly magazines but without any luck. So, I locked it my desk drawer at work and forgot about it.

~ ~ ~

Three years later, in the fall of 1927, Chief Wood found me hovering over a newspaper splayed across my desk. I figured he was about to chastise me for reading the funny papers.

“Still got that story of yours inside the drawer?” he asked with a crooked smile.

“Yeah. Why?”

“Might want to rewrite that ending after you read this.”

Chief laid in front of me a police report about a male intruder who had barged into a local home, accosted the wife and was twice shot in the leg by the husband. The intruder was Mert Kern, 40. The couple were Alvin Dewey and his wife, the former Emma Cabral.

Turned out, one week earlier Kern had knocked on the Dewey front door saying he had come to visit his friend, Alvin. When Emma told the man her husband wasn’t home, Kert barged in and began groping the woman, telling her Mister Dewey was not who he had come to see. Trapped in an unwanted embrace, Emma persuaded the man to leave on the promise she would oblige him at a later date. When Kert arrived yesterday at the appointed time, he walked in with love making on his mind. Alvin Dewey, however, was waiting in a closet, and when the man accosted Mrs. Dewey a second time, the husband shot Kert and arranged for his arrest.

“The Black Widow strikes again,” Chief Wood said shaking his head.

The next day a female Tribune reporter rendered the valiant Alvin Dewey as the “blond young husband with that incorrigible boyish smile” who saved the day. Conversely, she painted Emma Dewey as a modern-day Helen of Troy ensnared in a second violent love triangle. Asked to recall her experience five years ago, Emma declined to relive the murder of Manuel Cabral. When asked if her memory had faltered, she replied “I can’t help remembering—everyone remembers!”

The reporter ended the story by quoting the anguished woman as saying: “I don’t know why a thing like this had to happen to me again.”

If given another opportunity, alone, I believe I could make Emma understand.

The End

This is a work of Historical Fiction and as such it melds historical facts gleaned from newspapers, census data, city directories, maps and other ephemera with fictional accounts to create a unified story.  
Our thanks to Bay Area genealogist Eric Edgar, who contributed valued research and counsel to this story.

To contact the author, email: Rick@CabralsCreative.com

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