Chapter Two: “The Coburn Mystery” Original Draft [1988]

Prohibition was good to Pescadero.

Along with the profitable–but illegal– business of rumrunning, dairying and lumbering prospered. But it wasn’t just the bounty of Prohibition that made life sweeter.

Since about 1914-5, Pescadero had its own county supervisor, 38-year-old Dr. Clarence Victor Thompson–and he represented the town well, bringing in new jobs his constituents would not otherwise have.

He was very good-looking, and the kind of leader who attracted friends who agreed with him.

But Dr. Thompson had his share of non-supporters in the tiny village, folks who eyed his dealings with suspicion. His home was an elegant, large two-story house, the former residence of the rich Chandler family, early pioneers in the area. It stood around the corner from the Coburn’s place.

Dr. Thompson both lived and worked in his home, calling it a “hospital,” but locals said they saw few patients there.


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