Summary and Analysis Chapter 19


During the second day of the trial, the prosecution brings in experts who testify about the type of blood found on the gaff and about Kabuo's experience with kendo. Dr. Whitman, a hematologist, testifies that the blood found on the gaff was human and B-positive. Carl Heine's blood type is B-positive, but Kabuo Miyamoto's is not. The doctor also testifies that the blood type is extremely rare for Caucasians. Under cross-examination, the doctor admits that he doesn't know how the blood got on the handle and does agree that it is more likely to have come from the hand than from the head of Carl Heine. He also is forced to admit that a larger percentage of Japanese males are B-positive than Caucasians.

After local fishermen testify that a fisherman does not board another man's boat unless it is an emergency, Sergeant Maples from the Army testifies. Sergeant Maples trained men in hand-to-hand combat and remembered Kabuo Miyamoto. In fact, Kabuo had taught Sergeant Maples the art of kendo, and Sergeant Maples testifies that Kabuo could indeed defeat a man who was larger than himself, especially if Kabuo's opponent had no kendo training.

The narrative moves quickly through Chapter 19, as quickly as the prosecution is moving through its case. Evidence against Kabuo is mounting, though it is not damning, yet. The pacing of Guterson's narrative increases because the trial is nearing its climax, and the prosecution is presenting a convincing case.


hematology the study of blood and its diseases.

topography the physical features of a region.

backing net off his drum turning the metal cylinder around which the net is wound.

lead line the weighted bottom of a gill net.

cork line a float on the top of a gill net that keeps the net on the surface of the water.

Purple Heart a military decoration of honor for those wounded in action against the enemy.

European Theater the European location where World War II took place.

culling cutting and collecting.

froe a cleaving tool for splitting staves.

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