Sections Above and Below This Page:

"Possession of what? Grass? Coke? What?"

"Meat. Possession of a fucking piece of meat!" And everyone laughed.

But this one wasn't a fun bust. The Armour meat company, as well as a couple of others, had been reporting frequent thefts~to the police, and he was going to be in real trouble if someone could place him at the scene of any other grabs. He sweated a little, but he could hardly keep his eyes open or his mind on the problem. This was his first day off in nearly three months and he just crashed on one of the bunks until his bond was posted the next day.

There didn't seem to be any witnesses to any of the other heists, or at least they weren't coming forward, but the company still wanted to prosecute him to the full extent of the law and set an example of him in the newspapers. Fortunately, his attorney, a strong man named Richard Wertheimer, who studied law after becoming crippled as a longshoreman, was able to talk with a few of the company's directors and make a deal. Emmett was to make restitution for the one hundred pounds of round steak and they would ask the court to reduce the complaint to simple petty theft and to grant clemency. At the preliminary hearing, Dick Wertheimer spoke with the judge in chambers, and when the court was in session continued his plea from the floor, asking that his honor understand that "the boy wasn't stealing the meat for himself or to sell for cash but he did it to divide among the poor and hungry, disenfranchised, young people who've been crowding into the Haight-Ashbury . . ."

Judge Joseph G. Kennedy was presiding and his response to that argument was, "Well, son, even Robin Hood had to pay his dues. Six months . . ."--and he hesitated long enough for Emmett to mutter, "Shit!" for having copped a plea--". . . suspended. And six months probation." With the stipulation that he reimburse the Armour people before the completion of that probation.

A week later, Hairy Henry and Chocolate George were in the same courtroom with Brian Rohan, the attorney Emmett had asked to defend the two. As soon as the court was called into session, the prosecution dismissed the charges for lack of evidence, and Rohan flipped out because Henry had already spent weeks in jail, and Rohan had put in long hours preparing for the defense. Why had the D.A.'s office waited until now to drop the charges? Why hadn't they notified him and his clients sooner? But there was nothing to be done. When he stormed out of the courtroom into the hallway, he ran smack into one of the arrestin~ officers, a punk-faced bastard [end page 262]


Creative Commons License
The Digger Archives is licensed under a Creative Commons
Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Cite As: The Digger Archives ( / CC BY-NC-SA 4.0