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Free Study Guide-Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson-Book Notes
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When Kabuo returns to San Piedro, he visits Etta Heine to ask about the land. She told him she sold it, and he’d have to talk to Ole Jurgensen who now owns the land. Kabuo replies that Ole told him that he knew nothing about the arrangement between the Heines and Miyamotos. She replies that she couldn’t tell Ole about an illegal agreement that would mess up the sale. She hasn’t done anything wrong she says. Kabuo replies that she hasn’t done anything illegal, but wrong is a different matter. She closes the door on Kabuo.

Etta relates that they never spoke to each other again but that from that point on he always gave her dirty looks. He was never sociable. She told Carl Jr. and he agreed to “keep and eye on him.” The families were enemies. Carl Jr. and Kabuo, though they had once been friends and grown up together, were now enemies she says. She agrees that “family feud” would be an accurate characterization of the relationship between the two families.

In his cross-examination, Nels Gudmundsson has Etta confirm she made a $2500 profit when she sold the land to Ole Jorgensen instead of selling it to the Miyamotos.

Ole Jurgensen testifies that he bought the land from Etta clear and free. During the sale, he asked about the Miyamoto house on the land and told her he knew the Miyamotos had been sold 7 acres. Etta says they didn’t make the payments so she repossessed it. The Miyamotos have no claim on it. Jurgensen then says that Kabuo was very angry and told him Etta Heine robbed him of the land. Kabuo wanted to buy back the 7 acres, but at the time, Jorgensen didn’t want to sell it. Kabuo told him that one day he would get it back.

After suffering a stroke, Jurgensen decides to sell farm. Carl Heine asks to buy it. Carl admits to Ole that fishing didn’t suit him. Ole realizes that is hard for Carl to admit. They make arrangements for Carl to buy the land.

Later that same day, Kabuo came to buy the land. But it was too late; Ole had agreed to sell it to Carl. Ole testifies that the politeness left Kabuo’s face, he stiffened, and anger entered Kabuo’s voice. Learning that Kabuo wanted to buy the land, Carl talked with Ole the next day. Ole told Carl how Kabuo reacted.


Etta Heine and Ole Jurgensen testify that Kabuo was angry when he was unable to repurchase the 7 acres of land he coveted. We again get a sense of fixation with how Kabuo, like his father, reacts to bad news. Etta and Ole distinctly remember Kabuo’s facial expression. This face, that does not look like there own faces, becomes unreadable. This lack of expression is foreign to them and produces another physical layer of distance between the two cultures.

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Free Study Guide-Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson-Book Summary


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