Chapter One “The Coburn Mystery” Original Draft [1988]

By June Morrall

The year is 1919

Suddenly Sarah had seconds thoughts about her attorney John McNab’s advice. With Wally’s future welfare on her mind, she walked across the road to Carl Littlefield’s home. He had worked for her millionaire husband and she now asked him to call a certain lawyer in San Francisco and ask him to come to Pescadero immediately.

Why didn’t Sarah use her own telephone?

She was afraid to make a call from her own home because all calls went through the local village operator, who, it was rumored, often listened in on Sarah’s line.

Later that evening Sarah’s neighbors, the blacksmith Manual Goularte, and his son, Frank, a ladies’ man, who wore a glass “diamond” ring and favored white straw hats, sat on their porch directly across from the Coburn house. Although electric lights had not yet reached Pescadero, and it was dark, the Goulartes said they watched Sarah lock her front door for the night. They waved a friendly goodnight and she waved back for the last time.


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