by Marvin Arnold

Maria Lopez - Mexican girl, age twenty-two, enters the country illegally to find work. Tall, slender, olive skin very attractive. Speaks poor English with an accent, but improves. Arrogant, cocky and likeable. Strong femininity and motherly instincts. Pygmalion character, blossoms as story progresses.

Jason Richardson - Handsome, tall, slender. In late thirties. From wealthy family. Inherited father's mortgage and investment business which he now runs. Dresses in three-piece business suits. Aware that his marriage to Elaine is troubled. Has learned to care for her over the years and refuses to consider divorce. His easy going manner keeps the marriage going. Restores old sports cars as a hobby and as an escape.

Elaine Richardson - Married to Jason since college. Worked her way through college, never since. No children. Attractive blonde. Worries her youth is fading. Impressed with her position in society due to her marriage to Jason. Flaunts it to friends at the country club and the health spa. Can be very difficult to get along with at times and has an explosive personality.

Brian Carson - Muscle-builder in mid twenties. Employed at health spa where Elaine works out. Good looking, but more in love with himself than any woman he ever met.

Baca Garcia - Farm labor boss. Ruthless and dishonest man. Heavy set, not real tall. Dark thinning hair. Greasy looking appearance with one or two day old beard growth.

Lieutenant Detective Ward - Large man. Wears gray narrow-brimmed Stetson and tan full-length London Fog raincoat. Smokes or chews on a cigar. Quiet with a strong sense of justice. Always gets his man. Character type is similar to the detective in "Electra Glide in Blue" or the hit man in "Charlie Verick."

Jamie McGuire - Young, nice looking boy about age nine. From white trash background. Has no parents. Lives with his Aunt Candy in a rundown frame house. Needs a haircut and clothes are secondhand. Mother deceased and he never knew his father.

Harold Bond - An attorney. Long time friend and business associate of Jason. A confidant and close friend of Jason's deceased father. Jason depends heavily on him for financial and personal advice. College professor appearance. White hair and mustache. Wears a wrinkled wool sports jacket and smokes a pipe.

Candy McGuire - Jamie's mother's sister. Middle-aged barmaid who is a recovering addict. She lapses back into addiction. Works as a street walker and prostitute to support her alcohol and drug addiction. Is often arrested or out all night leaving Jamie alone to take care of himself.

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