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when she brushed by the homemade birthday cake resting on a patio table, and one of the lighted candles fell against her dress, setting it aflame. Her mother turned when she heard Suzanne's screams, and seeing her child about to become immolated by her burning dress, ran for the garden hose, and dowsed the flames with sprays of cold water--the worst thing she could have done because as soon as the cold water came in contact with the child's scorched flesh, it instantly scarred her hips, thighs, and waist.

Because of this scarred portion of her otherwise beautiful body, Natural Suzanne developed a fear of ever being seen without clothing, which made certain activities like swimming and lovemaking impossible for her to enjoy. But when she met Emmett, he was fortunately able to get her to overcome that fear that kept her locked away from the joys of a full life. It was easy.

The first time he returned with her to his Fell Street pad to make love, she said "No," and he asked "Why?" and she replied that she'd been scarred by fire as a child and she was certain he wouldn't want to see the scars because they were ugly. Emmett didn't say anything. He just quietly undressed her in the pale light of a small, broken Tiffany lamp, and when he finished and was standing naked himself, he slowly examined the broad solid lines of Natural Suzanne's South Sea Island girl-like body with its small, round, firm breasts and perfectly shaped brown nipples, and he asked, "What scars?" Then they made sweet love, with him slipping in and out and all over her silky flesh--made satin-smooth by the surplus oils that were transferred to the rest of her body from the patches of slick, dead skin that had no use for nutrients. That night Natural Suzanne began to make up for what she might have missed, and, from then on, she's done whatever she pleased with her body, even gone swimming in a film star's Hollywood pool surrounded by starlets. Whenever anyone asks her how she came to get those scars, Natural Suzanne always answers, "What scars?" and goes on living her life the way people are supposed to.

Emmett arrived in San Francisco on the second Sunday of April with Natural Suzanne, and the two of them moved into a makeshift guest room in the rear of the Webster Street storefront leased by Butcher Brooks and his old lady, Flame. The next day the United States Supreme Court denied a thirty-seven-year-old black Californian's plea for commutation, and Ronald Reagan gave the nigger to his voters as a gift for their electing him governor of the state. Two days later, on April 12, 1967, Aaron C. Mitchell became the [end page 362]


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