“Okay, so Mrs. Mendoza can you tell me everthing that happened that day?”
“Si, I mean, what?”
“Yes, Mrs. Mendoza if I’m to help you in court and properly represent you then I have to know all the facts.”
The old and deeply sun tanned woman named Mrs. Mendoza had been distracted looking around the room. So when she brought her tired head up to the man sitting across the desk from her, she felt shy and intimidated. Why not, he was tall even sitting down and his full head of coarse dark hair needed to be trimmed. He was lean but not skinny and had the kind of completion that made it hard to guess where his ancestors came from. Yet all of that did not matter to her as long as she could look into this man’s eyes, the window to the soul. She looked into the green eyes of this one and it made her nod her head. He was special, she just knew it.
Now she looked at him as a señorita would; no ring or ghost of a ring meant he wasn’t married. She also knew he was not the kind of man who would bow down his head to anyone. But, what was most interesting to her was the big smile that seemed to wrap itself around his face and shine down on her.
“Mrs. Mendoza, are you with me?”
“Si”, the woman answered, “I am.”
According to your statement, you worked for two weeks at the Meyer Farm and Mr. Meyer said you destroyed property. That is the reason why he didn’t pay you for your work.”
“No, it is not true. All I did was step between the flower beds. That is all. How was I going to plant the flowers? I am small, but not that small.”
“Well, I’m going to talk to Mr. Meyer first before we take him to court. Sometimes the honey method works with the right persuasion behind it. I’ll see what I have to do first.”
“Okay, she answered and went back to looking at the framed diplomas on the wall. “What is this one for?”
He looked up from his notebook, drew in a sigh and said, “It says I graduated from a school not too far from here. It’s called Burr and Burton, my high school.”
“It’s my one and only first you could say. I had a convincing way of debating that took first place. It seems that is my strong suit.”
“What of this one?”
“It’s my law degree.”
“Is this suit a strong one too?”
“Let’s just say I wasn’t at the top of my class,” he looked the framed degree over, “that piece of paper reminds me, I didn’t give up.”
When she pointed to two men shaking hands, one still a boy and the other seemed to be looking rather sadly down at him. Behind them was a large house with beautifully manicured grounds and a rolling hill side.
He answered before she asked, “Well, the boy on the left is my grandfather, his name is Linkhorn Jackson. But, everyone calls him Link.”
Who is the other man, he has sadness in his eyes. Maybe he has seen too much, no?”
“I don’t really know about that. The photo is very old. I never met the man, but he is Robert Todd Lincoln. My grandfather was hired to work and much later became the head caretaker at his estate Hildene.” That picture is when my grandfather first started working there.”
“Okay,” Mrs. Mendoza said and got up nodded her head and left the tiny one room law office. She truly felt her problems were in the hands of the right man. She just knew it.
The thirty-three year old lawyer with the big smile finished the last of his notes and closed the door of his law practice. The hand painted shingle rattled and he looked up at the name. He often wondered why his father had given it to him. The playground taunts and snickering that went with it hurt but he refused to show it all through his school years. If that were not enough, the higher expectations from his law professors at college were always a sore spot with him. Yet all this disappeared when he came home. Papa Link was never to tired to listen to him. Ever since his father and mother died in a rail road accident at twenty five years old his grandfather took him in and raised him like a son on the Hildene Estate. Even the other workers there felt like his family and that made him strong. But, friendships at school seemed to be made by breeding, stature, and the money that made it happen. All of this came down to one thing, he was just another hand working on a rich man’s estate.
He read the sign aloud,” A. Jackson attorney at law”.
He stepped off the porch and fired up his trusty scooter. It wasn’t much but got great gas mileage and was fair enough payment from a client who couldn’t afford to pay in cash.