Snow Falling on Cedars Chapter 9
Etta Heine is testifying for Alvin Hooks. She remembers that Zenhichi Miyamoto had come to try to buy her husband's land. Carl Sr. had considered the offer. Etta didn't want to sell to "Japs," but that didn't matter to Carl. He said the Miyamotos were good people and that he and Etta could use the money. He sold the land to the Miyamotos even though, under the Alien Land Act, immigrants were not allowed to own land. Etta takes pains to point out that the Miyamotos never owned the land--and that she never approved of her husband's "selling" it to them. She remembers how when the Japanese townspeople were ordered to go to internment camps within eight days, Zenhichi came to the Heine house to talk with Carl about his payments. Etta was angry--she didn't want "Japs" working her land anyway, and she felt they were going to cheat her and Carl. Zenhichi offered them his savings, and asked them to pick his strawberries while he was gone and sell them. He hoped that the profit would cover what he owed in payments on the land. He and is family had two more payments to make on the land--about two hundred fifty dollars. Etta tried to take the money, but Carl refused it: he could not take it from Zenhichi when Zenhichi and his family were about to go to the internment camps with nothing. Etta remembers that later that day her son came home with a fishing rod given to him by Kabuo, and she ordered him to take it back, because the Miyamoto family owed them money and she didn't want things to get mixed up. Carl was hurt, but he took it back, Etta says. Etta tells Alvin Hooks that the Miyamotos didn't meet their payments--very simple. She sold the land to Ole Jurgensen and sent the Miyamotos back their equity money. She believes that because the Miyamotos wanted the land back, Kabuo murdered her son.