Last Updated on October 26, 2018, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 626
John did not think Mr. Pignati would mind if he and Lorraine had “a few friends” over at his house while he was in the hospital, so the went ahead with plans for a party. Dennis was first to arrive that evening because John had asked him to bring some alcohol from his father’s liquor cabinet. Lorraine had prepared a variety of hors d’oeuvres for the guests, and by seven-thirty about a dozen people were in attendance.
Many of John and Lorraine’s classmates had planned to attend a dance at St. Mary’s Hall that night, but when they heard about the party at the Pigman’s house they decided to go there instead. By eight o’clock the band had arrived, and once they had their amplifiers plugged in, “the house really started to jump.” Friends invited other friends, and before long the crowd grew to more than forty kids.
John and some of the other boys moved most of the furniture out of the living room and pulled back the rug to create a “great dance floor.” One of the girls did some “fantastic shaking” to a pulsing drum solo, and when the electric guitars joined in the windowpanes literally began to rattle. John estimated that the event was turning out to be “the party of the year” and was pleased because damage to the house was minimal.
At about ten-thirty, John put on his skates and came rolling onto the dance floor, and he and another girl, who was wearing Lorraine’s skates, did “this dance you wouldn’t believe.” To John’s chagrin, Norton Kelly arrived, furious at not having been invited. John lied to Norton, telling him that he had been trying to contact him all night, and quickly diverted his attention by offering him some wine. Lorraine looked very worried when she saw that Norton was there, but eventually she and another girl went upstairs to try on some of Conchetta Pignati’s old clothes.
As the party became increasingly rowdy, John noticed that Norton was nowhere to be seen. Lorraine hollered that she had seen the troublemaker go upstairs, and John, still wearing his roller skates, clumped up the stairs after him. John found Norton in the Pigman’s workroom, packing up an old oscilloscope that he clearly was going to steal from the house. John ordered Norton to leave the equipment alone, but just then Lorraine called frantically from the foot of the stairs. In that second, Norton hit John hard in the stomach and ran down the staircase. John, in his skates, took off in pursuit of Norton and was vaguely aware of Lorraine screaming at him that a taxi had pulled up in front of the house. Hearing the sound of breaking glass, John caught Norton downstairs in the act of smashing Mr. Pignati’s precious pigs. In a blind rage, he plowed into him and punched him in the face. Norton ran toward the front door with John right behind him, and as John reentered the living room, he became aware that the band had stopped and everyone was filing out quietly. Somewhere in the back of his mind, he became aware of what Lorraine had been trying to tell him—the Pigman was back.
John’s momentum allowed him to catch up to Norton before he reached the door, and he pushed him forward so that both boys fell, and blood began pouring from Norton’s nose. John, who was extremely drunk, started to laugh, but then he looked up to see the Pigman himself standing at the door. Just before he passed out, John noted that there was no smile on the old man’s face—“no smile at all.”