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The case went before Municipal Court Judge Elton C. Lawless within forty-eight hours--on Emmett's 22nd birthday. His honor reluctantly dismissed the case before anything got started, at the urging of Deputy District Attorney Arthur Schaffer, who said, "Further investigation indicates that the charges of creating a public nuisance should be dismissed in the interests of justice." The further investigation he mentioned was some cocktail conversation he had with the defendants before eating lunch with them. This penal code 370, which they were charged with violating, had been chosen by the park station cops as the main weapon in their declared war of harassment against the Haight Street people, and the puppet quintet was happy to be cut loose. They were in a good mood when they walked out of Lawless's courtroom, and their loudness attracted Bob Cambell, a newspaper photographer who was assigned to cover the municipal court building, which was quiet with the inactivity of a dull afternoon. He got the story from the deputy D.A. and asked the five defendants if they would stand on the outside steps for a photo. They did without thinking anything of it.

The next morning, Emmett walked down his block for a newspaper and a cup of coffee. On the corner there was a sealed container that unlatched a Chronicle when it was fed a dime. He dropped his ten cents into the slot, opened the lid, and what he saw made him lift out two copies instead of one. On the front page was a five-by-seven picture of him and the others, outside the court building after their release the day before. The photo was headlined, "In the Clear" and captioned with their names and a brief synopsis of who they were and what had gone down. He was referred to as an actor, but thankfully there was no mention of the Diggers or even the Mime Troupe. The photo captured each of them striking a pose: La Mortadella was shown with his pinky and forefinger raised in the sign of the cornuto or the cuckold; Slim Minnaux was leaping with arms-stretched, fists-clenched ecstasy; the Hun had his thumb jammed up into an imaginary asshole, and his face was pinched like .someone who just smelled a load of shit; Butcher Brooks was dressed in someone else's style and leaning forward in a stiff, fraternity stance, Emmett, still wearing his army boots, with a scarf knotted around his neck, an IRA cap flopping on his head, and a cigarette loosely hanging from the corner of his smile, was one step upstage from his pals, staring out at the reader from above the middle finger and index finger of his right hand, raised in the sign of a backwards [end page 253]


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