By December, John and Lorraine were going over to the Pigman’s house every day after school. Lorraine would lie to her mother to explain why she was not at home, telling her that she was going to a school club meeting or that she had missed the bus. Lorraine’s mother was paranoid that her daughter would be victimized by men, whom she unilaterally believed were “only after one thing.” Lorraine was irritated and demoralized by her mother’s constant badgering, but she was more patient when she realized that her mother’s distrust of men most likely stemmed from her experience of being abandoned by her own husband.
Lorraine had given her mother the stockings that the Pigman had bought for her; she said that she paid for them by saving her bus and lunch money for a few days. Although her mother was suspicious and questioned her repeatedly to catch her in a lie, Lorraine could tell that she appreciated the gift.
All in all, it was a relief for both John and Lorraine to be able to spend a little time each day in the comfortable, accepting atmosphere provided by Mr. Pignati. Things were going very well until one snowy evening in January, when the Pigman had just returned from the zoo.
John and Lorraine found Mr. Pignati very depressed when they arrived at his house. Apparently, Bobo had seemed sick that day and would not eat; the Pigman lamented that his beloved baboon was getting old. Lorraine tried to lift his spirits by serving him a glass of wine and bringing out a plate of candy. John, who was watching television, grabbed a piece of candy and popped it in his mouth, and Lorraine went over to turn down the TV, telling John that now would be a good time to tell the Pigman something they had decided to share with him.
John and Lorraine told Mr. Pignati that they were not really charity workers as they had pretended to be when they first met him. They explained that it had just been a game, and they apologized for lying. John and Lorraine told Mr. Pignati that they could not lie to him anymore because they now liked him more than anyone else they knew.
The Pigman received their admission silently, and after a while he broke down and told them a secret of his own. Crying broken heartedly, he spoke about the things that he loved most about his wife Conchetta, and then he admitted that she was dead. Lorraine sat beside the old man and took his hand, and John offered the simple words, “We’re sorry.” There was nothing else to be said.
The sad mood was broken when Lorraine, not knowing what to do, offered another piece of candy to John. He took one and asked what kind they were. When she informed him that they were chocolate-covered ants, he leaped up and raced over to the kitchen sink, which made everyone laugh. When he came back into the room, the Pigman passed around paper and pencils and played a psychological game with them. When the game was finished, John, who had put on his roller skates, started skating around the house; Lorraine and Mr. Pignati were quickly inspired to join him. The skaters became raucous, chasing each other all around the house and up and down the stairs. Everyone was howling with laughter until the Pigman suddenly stopped, his face “redder than a beet.” The old man had been halfway up the staircase but seemed to be unable to get his breath. Reaching his hand out to Lorraine as he gasped “like a fish out of water,” the Pigman collapsed and tumbled to the bottom of the stairs.