Chapter 4 Summary

Norma offers Eddie a soda and sandwiches when he arrives at her place, and the two sit by the pool and kiss. In the midst of their passion, Norma tells Eddie that he is a lot like his dead cousin, Jesus, and adds, “You know that Angel did it, don’t you?” Eddie is taken aback by this revelation. At first he cannot believe the gangster would be capable of such a thing. Norma insists that the rumor is “all around.” People are saying that Jesus had been angry because Angel sold a car they had stolen together and refused to share the profits; this resulted in an argument that ended with Jesus’s fatal stabbing. Eddie is still not quite convinced that Norma is telling the truth, but he knows Angel is ruthless and is carrying a gun. With a rising sense of paranoia, he imagines that Angel is coming after him; he keeps to the shadows as he returns to his apartment.

The next day, Eddie is sitting on his sofa when a sharply dressed soldier appears at his door. It is Jose Dominguez, “a friend...[he] used to sniff glue with” who has found his way out of the barrio by joining the Marines. Jose is about to be deployed to an unknown destination. He is on leave now, and Eddie cannot believe he would use his liberty to “come back to this hole.” The two friends decide to go to a restaurant to get some breakfast. They receive “first-rate service” because Jose looks so handsome in his uniform. As they sit at the table, a shirtless “black dude” comes in, trying to sell some onions. Jose magnanimously agrees to buy some when they are finished with their meal; the man will wait for them outside.

Jose ends up buying three sacks of onions. When they are loading them in his car, Eddie looks up and spots Mr. Stiles’s Toyota pickup parked across the street. Shocked, he utters a sharp exclamation, and when he explains about the truck to his friend, Jose says, “Let’s go get it.” Eddie is more cautious, however, and decides to go...

(The entire section is 621 words.)