Chapter 14 Summary
Danny and the paisanos do not have a watch or clock, so they sleep until the sun wakes them. Danny is the only one who has a bed, while the others sleep on the floor, as do the Pirate’s dogs. Joe tries to use one of the dogs to keep his feet warm, but he is bitten for his discovery that the Pirate’s dogs are not available for a loan.
They discuss the wisdom of washing the window to let more light in, but they reason that this will cause them to stay indoors instead of going outside into the fresh air. They watch a man come from Cornelia Ruiz’s house and discuss that the woman knows only two things: love and fighting.
Jesus Maria regrets that she never knows peace. One man gave her a pig, which she treated like a pet. This leads to the story of Tall Bob's nose. Tall Bob was a vaquero and looked like one. He always wanted people to admire him. He tried to lasso a dog once to show off his skill, but he missed. When people laughed at him, he went home and contemplated killing himself because people were so mean. He sat in a chair with a gun in his hand and waited for someone to find him.
Charlie Meeler came to see him and opened the door. Seeing the gun, Charlie tried to wrestle it from Tall Bob, but the gun went off and shot off the end of Tall Bob’s nose. After that, people laughed even more at Tall Bob. Then they felt sorry for him and made him the dog catcher. He always led the parades by carrying the flag.
Jesus Maria tells the story of Petey Ravanno. Old Mr. Ravanno had several children, but all expect Petey left home. Petey fell in love with Gracie Montez, a girl who had her first baby at the age of twelve. Mr. Ravanno wanted Gracie to marry Petey, reasoning that she would not chase men if she were married.
However, Gracie refused to marry Petey, so he tried to hang himself. He was discovered in time and recovered. Gracie was impressed that a man would go to such lengths for her, so she married him.
Mr. Ravanno fell in love with Gracie’s sister Tonia, despite the vast age difference. He decided that what worked for Petey would work for him. He tied a rope in a tool shed near the gas station and put the rope around his neck, thinking that someone in the station would find him and rescue him. The door blew shut, however, and he was not discovered for an hour.