Snow Falling on Cedars Chapter 26
Alvin Hooks questions Hatsue. He asks her why she didn't tell anyone the happy news about getting the land back. She says that once they heard Carl had died, they didn't know what would happen with the land. Hooks demands to know why she did not immediately come forward and explain what happened the night of Carl's death (Kabuo had helped him with his dead battery), and when she has no real answer, he confidently instructs her to step down. She protests that they had no time to tell anyone what happened, and though she does not say it, she implies that she knows the legal system is racist and that she and Kabuo wanted to implicate themselves as little as possible.
Nels calls an expert gill-netter as a witness. The man testifies that it would be impossible to tie up one's boat to another person's boat, as Kabuo had done with Carl, without both people agreeing to it. That is, Kabuo could not have sneaked up on Carl that night and climbed onto his boat. Carl's dead battery is difficult to explain, says the witness--most fisherman have a spare they can use. Alvin Hooks cross-examines the witness, and gradually gets him to admit that the following scenario is possible: Kabuo lied to Carl, telling Carl his engine was dead. Carl tied his boat to Kabuo's in order to help him, and Kabuo hit him in the head with his fishing gaff. Though the witness does not think this is likely, he agrees could have happened.