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, Florida and Japan.

Chapter 86

While Haru and Rev. Adams were inspecting her camp, Sam stood in Wellington Carter’s mahogany-paneled office. Photographs of his paniolo winning rodeo contests lined the walls. The giant photograph behind Carter’s desk showed Ikua Purdy, Eben “Rawhide Ben” Low and Archie Kaaua sitting on their steeds in Cheyenne, Wyoming, with a roaring crowd acknowledging their victory in the 1908 World Rodeo Competition. The dimly lit room with small windows, catching only patches of the streaming sun, stank of stale cigar smoke. Sam held his shoulders back, but could not hold his eyes steady on the big man.

“I don’t think I have ever asked you for a favor, Mr. Carter. And if this were just about me, I would not be here.”

“Must be mighty important, Sam. You’re not the complaining type.” A sly smile crinkled his eyes. “I saw Kame yesterday. Am I right in thinking that her belly has swollen?”

Sam grinned and stood a little taller. “Yes, sir. We are hoping for an April birth.” He paused, his face returned to its sober expression. “The American Legion told me we couldn’t march tomorrow in the Washington Day parade.” He balled his fists. “They say we are not Americans, not loyal to the American flag.”

“It’s this strike, Sam — a nasty business, bringing out the worst in people on both sides.” He ran a hand through his blond hair streaked with grey and then narrowed his eyes. “Sam, tell your boys to clean their boots. They will be marching.”

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