Chapter 23 Summary

Chapter 23 describes the "black gloom" that is hanging over Mack and the boys back at the Palace Flophouse. Mack's face is still covered with blood, a result of the beating he took when Doc lost his temper after seeing the destruction that occurred at Western Biological following the disastrous party. As penance for his sins, and as a reminder of his deeds, Mack refuses to wash his face. Instead, he takes directly to his bed and stays there for the remainder of the day. Hurting worse than his broken mouth is his broken spirit; he feels he can do nothing right, no matter how good his intentions may be.

The other boys, while not physically injured, feel the weight of their crimes as well. Hughie and Jones decide to go to...

(The entire section is 823 words.)