Part Three of the LZB Synopsis

Part Three, Scene one, Page 35, mid-autumn, 1888

Lailah is living with the family. David works as the milk wagon driver for the Zepeda dairy.

A typical Saturday evening at the Zepeda Rancho (a fandango) is depicted. David, a well tutored musician, plays classical and folk guitar. The guests and the workers dance and feast. Lailah is revealed to have a beautiful singing voice. She sings a song she learned from a New Orleans neighbor, “À la claire fontaine. The last line is: Il y a longtemps que je t’aime, jamais je ne t’oublierai. John translates the line to a mesmerized Charles.


Part Three, Scene Two, Page 36, November, 1888

On a fine Saturday, Danny, Charles, and Lailah go for a hike. The rancho foreman, Mateo, discovers the half-eaten carcass of a calf and some mountain lion tracks. Tobias rides back to get his rifle and John. They ride out with John sent to head off the hikers. He finds them and the puma. At a very long range he kills the puma just a few yards in front of the hikers. John is revealed to be the best match shooter in the county, but he hates killing animals.


Part Three, Scene Three, Page 39, November, 1888

At that Saturday night’s fandango, Danny, Charles, and Lailah discuss John’s shooting ability. The boys claim he was born that way because he was conceived the night Deputy Ash tried to kill Tobias. Lailah tells them that’s just a ghost story and that she could tell them some scary ones about New Orleans. Sarah overhears her telling about the time a drunk in an alley tried to molest her and how she defended herself. Sarah gives thanks to the Lord that Lailah lives with the family now.


Part Three, Scene Four, November, 1888

John announces he has been accepted to attend the UC at Berkeley. Miss Louie and he discuss why he didn’t apply to Harvard. He reveals that he didn’t want to be that far away from home, and that he can’t bear the thought of missing her.


Part Three, Scene Five, Page 45, December, 1888

A few days before Christmas, Lailah and the boys helped their abuelito set up the nativity scene. David and Sarah talk. She tells him for the good of Lailah he should write to his father – they haven’t communicated in fourteen years. David is doubtful. He and Miss Louie talk. He invites her to listen to a piano recital rehearsal at the Lobero.


Part Three, Scene Six, Page 45, Last days of December, 1888

For Christmas, Tobias receives an English style riding saddle, and Lailah, riding boots and a split skirt for riding. They try out their presents and Lailah on Aztec Night is faster than before. They want a re-match with the Colonel. Sarah mentions that she’ll be talking to him when she and the Colonel discuss their plans for building a hotel.

David and Miss Louie go into town for the piano recital rehearsal.

The boys and Lailah go to the beach so Lailah can learn to shoot a rifle. John leaves them there to ride into town to attend the rehearsal and escort David and Miss Louie back.


Part Three, Scene Seven, Last days of December, 1888

POV change. Same day, same hour, now in town at the Sheriff’s office. He’s noticed a public drunk, Woody (Forrest Bedford), and sets Deputy Silkiset to keep an eye on him. Woody, in front of the Lobero, sees David and Miss Louie about to drive away. Followed by the deputy, Woody stalks them and outside of town, begins to threaten the two with his pistol. Suddenly his gun hand is shot. David and Miss Louie escape, and the deputy tells Woody he didn’t see his assailant.


Part Three, Scene Eight, Page 49, Last days of December, 1888

POV The sheriff and the deputy. They discuss who shot Woody and though they think they know who it was, they agree it would benefit no one to voice their suspicions. That evening Deputy Silkiset goes to the rancho and tells David and Miss Louie as much. They just want to forget the whole ugly incident.

POV switches to those at the rancho. Danny, Lailah, and Charles are discussing the incident. They each suspect it was John but swear they’d never tell anyone. Miss Louie has a private conversation with John telling him that whoever shot Woody in the hand saved two innocent people and that person should be thanked. He confesses to Miss Louie that while, yes it was him, he never meant to hit his hand, he’d aimed at Woody’s heart.


Part Three, Scene Nine, Last week of December, 1888

Miss Louie drives John to the church so he can confess. His family shadows him. Miss Louie and Father Quinn talk about John. Father Quinn quips that John is one of the Marianist Family. But Miss Louie thinks he does adore the Virgin Mary.

Click here to go to Parts Four and Five of the synopsis