Part Three, Chapters 6-8: Summary and Analysis
Sam Brady: Sal’s cousin in Denver
Janett: Frankie’s thirteen year-old daughter
Shotgun woman: a neighbor of Frankie’s
College boys: Sal and Dean’s passengers in the travel-bureau limousine
Ed Wall: an old friend of Dean’s who lives on a ranch in Sterling, Colorado
Sitting in a restaurant in downtown Denver, Sal and Dean get into a nasty argument because Sal thinks Dean is making fun of him for being five years older than Dean. Dean leaves, very upset, and Sal feels guilty for yelling at him. When Dean comes back in, he tells Sal he was crying.
In Denver they stay with an Okie woman named Frankie and her children. Sal had met her in Denver when he was there two weeks earlier. Dean goes with Frankie to help her buy a car; he urges her to grab a car he thinks is a good deal, but she can’t make up her mind and he gets angry.
While in Denver this time, Dean is determined to find his father. He asks around for him, but no one knows where he is, or if he’s even in Denver anymore. Dean sets up a meeting with his cousin, Sam Brady. When Dean was younger, Sam had been his hero. They meet Sam in a bar and Dean realizes that Sam has changed. Now he won’t even take a drink. He tells Dean that the family wants nothing more to do with Dean or his father. They drive around, chatting for a while, then Sam drops Sal and Dean off at a street carnival and quickly drives away.
Sal and Dean wander around the carnival. Dean becomes entranced by a beautiful midget. He follows her all over, but doesn’t have the nerve to talk to her. Later they return to Frankie’s where they play records and Dean stares at Frankie’s thirteen year-old daughter, Janet.
The next day, Dean tries to arrange for another travel-bureau car to take them to New York. When Dean returns, he and Sal start drinking a quart of bourbon. Dean wanders outside, then returns to announce that a neighbor of Frankie’s is coming after him with a shotgun. The neighbor has seen Dean talking to her teenage daughter. The girl’s mother shows up with a shotgun and a gang of teenage boys. She threatens Dean, but Sal manages to calm her down. She promises to shoot Dean if he bothers her daughter anymore.
Frankie joins in the drinking and they call a cab to take them to a local roadhouse bar. As soon as they get there, Dean leaves and steals a car from the parking lot, then returns with another car he’s stolen downtown. The police show up when the roadhouse car is reported missing, but Dean steals another car from the parking lot right in front of them, then returns with a different car again. Dean is having a great time stealing cars, but Sal gets very nervous. He takes a cab home with Frankie and Dean follows them in yet another stolen auto, blowing his horn and making a scene. They all return to Frankie’s and hide the car on a desolate country road, then walk back to Frankie’s house. Sal falls asleep, musing over the fact that everything has turned into a “horrible mess.”
In the morning, Dean tells Sal the last car he stole was a detective’s car. Now they are really in trouble. They quickly pack their bags and head downtown, anxious to get out of the city. At the travel bureau they arrange to drive a Cadillac limousine for a wealthy man who wants it delivered to his home in Chicago. Dean immediately takes off with the car to pick up a waitress just met. He returns in a half-hour, claiming that he made love to the waitress in the back seat.
Sal and Dean leave Denver in the Cadillac with two college boys as passengers. on the way out of town, Dean drives at 110 miles per hour and breaks the speedometer of the limousine. Dean decides to stop at his friend Ed Wall’s ranch in Sterling, Colorado. They turn off the highway and speed down a dirt road where they get stuck in a muddy ditch. A farmer pulls them out with his tractor; the car still runs, but the front fender has been crushed.
They arrive at Ed Wall’s place and meet Ed’s father who is chasing...
(The entire section is 1,294 words.)