Chapter 11 Summary

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John recognized immediately that the Pigman was having a heart attack, and he called the police. An ambulance arrived with two attendants and “an old lady doctor,” who efficiently placed the Pigman on a stretcher and wheeled him away. Mr. Pignati appeared to be breathing easily, and John did not think that he was going to die.

John and Lorraine identified themselves as the Pigman’s children when the police questioned them. They had removed the skates from the old man’s feet before the authorities arrived, and John explained that Mr. Pignati had been out all day and had also been shoveling snow. After looking around the house, the policemen finally left. John and Lorraine found the keys to the house in the kitchen and locked up. After taking a walk in the cemetery, they went home.

The next day, the two young people cut school and took the bus to visit Mr. Pignati at the hospital, bringing a bunch of gladiolas Lorraine had gathered at the cemetery. They found Mr. Pignati sitting up in bed with “a great big grin on his face,” looking “better than ever.” When John and Lorraine told him that they had been forced to masquerade as his children to get in to visit him, he looked ecstatic.

John and Lorraine told the Pigman that they had locked up his house the night before and offered him his keys. Mr. Pignati, however, told them to keep them, in case they might want to go there and watch some television or something while he was gone. Lorraine was hesitant to take him up on his suggestion, but John happily overruled her and took the keys back. The Pigman asked John and Lorraine to visit Bobo for him while he was in the hospital, and he gave them specific instructions on the treats the baboon preferred.

Lorraine blames John for everything that happened from that point on, and John concedes that she might be right. At first things were fine; John and Lorraine went over to the Pigman’s house after school as usual, and Lorraine decided to make some spaghetti while John watched television. After awhile, John got bored and went upstairs to explore. He went into the Pigman’s closet and tried on a very old-fashioned jacket; intrigued by the way he looked, he added a red and blue flowered tie and drew a moustache on his face with a makeup pencil. When he went back downstairs, he found that Lorraine had set the table nicely, with two candles burning in the center. Lorraine was mesmerized by John’s transformation; she asked him to watch the sauce cooking on the stove and went upstairs herself.

Lorraine returned after a long time, dressed elaborately in a white dress “with two million ruffles and a neckline that was the lowest she’d ever worn...and makeup and high heels and an ostrich feather in her hair.” John, stunned by her beauty, chased her back up the stairs with a facetious growl. John cornered Lorraine in the bedroom, declaring drolly that he was “a handsome European businessman” with whom she was in love, and demanding “one kiss” as he threw her dramatically on the bed. Lorraine was laughing hysterically, but she stopped when John gently put his lips on hers; they had never kissed before, and suddenly they were not acting anymore.

After looking at each other in silence for a moment, John and Lorraine went back downstairs. As they shared their spaghetti dinner by candlelight, they made a toast to the Pigman, and John noted again that Lorraine “was lovely.”

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