Early Maderans seemed to be always a bit puzzled by the goings-on across the tracks in its Chinatown. Like most Californians, they did not entirely trust what they did not understand, and one episode emanating from the Chinese area of town did nothing to dispel the mystery.
In the summer of 1906, Shorty the slop man was taken to the cleaners. He claimed to have paid out a good deal of hard-earned cash and received nothing in return.
Now, Shorty just happened to be a prosperous resident of Madera’s Chinatown. His real name was Lum Hing, and he gathered swill on which he fattened his hogs, making a respectable profit from his pork in the process.
Also living in Madera’s Chinatown was Leong Ah Bow, the widow of Yee Chung. In 1902, Mr. Chung died, leaving a wife and seven children. Shorty, being an old friend of Mr. Chung, began to call on the family, ostensibly to see that they were not in want of any of the necessities of life. This was the beginning of Shorty’s problem...