Michael G. Malaghan
Special to The Hawai‘i Herald

Editor’s note: We continue Michael G. Malaghan’s serialized historical novel, “Picture Bride — A Family Saga,” based on the Japanese immigrant experience. Malaghan’s trilogy takes readers from turn-of-the-20th-century-Japan to Hawai‘i in the picture bride era; the Islands during World War II, highlighted by the exploits of the Nisei soldiers; and beyond.

The novel, which is now available as a printed softcover book, opens with 12-year-old Haru-chan, fleeing her home in Amakusa, Kyüshü, for Hiroshima, where she becomes the picture bride of a Buddhist priest in Hawai‘i.

Author Michael Malaghan is a retired businessman who divides his time between Hawai‘i, Georgia and Japan.

Chapter 123


By Andy Pafko

Joe Kahahawai, one of the notorious assailants of a Navy wife, was shot dead this morning after confessing that he and his savage gang raped Thalia Massie. The distressed husband and two Navy friends, using a forged document requiring Kahahawai to be driven to the judge at another location, picked him up outside the courthouse. They then took him to Mrs. Grace Fortescue’s East Manoa Drive cottage, where they interrogated him until, according to Mrs. Fortescue, he confessed to assaulting her daughter as charged and was then accidently shot.

After a few paragraphs suggesting that those on the hung jury were the real killers of Kahahawai and defending the honor of “that poor girl and her mother seeking justice,” Pafko addressed the Mainland’s call for martial law.

The attempt to interject racial warfare into this incident is deplorable. This incident is not racial. There will be no need for martial law.

Not a word of sympathy for the murdered victim. He was a rapist, after all. It was an honor killing and biblically justified.

Haru put down the newspaper with Pafko’s version of the abduction and killing. She looked at the slumped shoulders of her reporter son.

“A man is murdered, and the haole newspapers call it ‘honor,’” Taka said in a subdued voice. “I give up, Mama. I’m quitting the Hochi. Lincoln or no Lincoln, I think Hiromi had it right from the start.”

“Give up? Quit? People count on you to give them a voice, Taka. America will get this right. You know that police already have Joe’s killers in custody.”

“Arrested, Okäsan, but not in police custody. I called Mr. Makino before I came over. He told me that they are being held in unlocked quarters on a ship at Pearl. Our local jails are not safe enough for Navy murderers.”

“Still, they have to go to trial.”

“Not if the Navy has anything to do with it,” Taka said with a defeatist shake of his head.

“This is still a land of laws. Believe that, Taka. You are a journalist. You need to tell . . .”

“I am a student who is falling behind in his classes, thanks to all my column writing.”

* * *

At that moment, Admiral Stirling was sitting across from Lawrence Judd in the governor’s office.

“A horrible thing,” said the admiral, half-heartedly. “This has gotten way out hand. Still, it’s what happens when a court won’t deliver a just verdict. Men do what they have done since time immemorial. An eye for an eye.” He paused, and then added, “Grace Fortescue deserves special consideration.”

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