Chapter 12 Summary
Every afternoon, the Pirate returns to Danny’s house after chopping wood. He gives a quarter to Danny, who puts it in a canvas bag under his pillow. The quarters are for the golden candlestick that the Pirate vowed to buy for St. Francis in exchange for the healing of his dog (even though the dog was run over by a truck not long after). The paisanos think of this as holy and do not think of it as currency.
One day the Pirate returns and gives a quarter to Danny, who goes to put it in the bag only to find that the bag has disappeared. The friends are dismayed but soon realize that it must have been Big Joe Portagee who took it.
Joe soon comes back, carrying a jug of wine. Danny grabs a stick and, as the others hold Big Joe down, begins to beat the thief savagely. When his front side is one big bruise, Joe admits that he took the money, which is now buried by the front gate.
Danny and Pilon dig it up, demanding to know how much of it Joe spent. Joe says he took only four quarters for the wine. The paisanos turn Joe over and beat his back. When he is unconscious, they take off his shirt, cross his back with a can opener, and pour salt in the cuts.
Pilon suggests that they should count the money since it is a long time since they have done so. They discover that there are 1007 quarters, more than enough to buy the golden candlestick. They tell the Pirate that he must have new clothes when he goes to the church, but the Pirate refuses to spend the money on himself.
The others gather some of their own clothes for him, although this means that they cannot go to the church with the Pirate. At the church, the priest, seeing the quarters and hearing the story, tells the Pirate that he gladly will buy the candlestick for him.
That Sunday the Pirate wants to take his dogs with him, but the friends tell him that this would be sacrilegious. During the service, the priest tells of the Pirate’s gift and the story behind it, connecting it with St. Francis’s love for all beasts. He is interrupted when the Pirate’s dogs burst into the church. The Pirate is horrified, but the priest repeats more stories of how the saint cared for all God’s creatures.
The Pirate takes his dogs out to the woods. Suddenly, the wind stops and all the dogs look at one specific spot. The Pirate is sure they saw St. Francis behind him.