Chapter 4 Summary
Pilon and Pablo discuss the news that Cornelia Ruiz cut up a black Mexican who tried to come into her house, not knowing that she had taken up with another man. Pablo says that she is not very steady, still buying masses for her father, whose life was so evil that he needs all the masses he can get.
Pablo tells Pilon that Charlie Meeler told him that Danny is with the Portagee girl, Rosa Martin. This causes Pilon to worry, saying that Portagee girls always want to marry and love money. If Danny marries her, he will want the rent money, which they still have not paid.
Talk of Danny reminds Pilon that Danny’s neighbor Mrs. Morales has chickens, and he would dearly love some eggs. Pilon and Pablo put on their shoes and walk toward Danny’s house. They find Danny on the porch and share the news about Cornelia and the black Mexican, which Danny has already heard.
Speaking of the untrustworthiness of women, Pilon mentions Rosa Martin, but Danny dismisses her, which relieves Pilon and Pablo’s fear of Danny wanting rent money. Pilon asks Danny about Mrs. Morales’s chickens, but Danny tells that they are all dead after Mrs. Morales gave them some beans. She sold the chickens to the butcher, having been told that they were no good to eat.
Danny says that he spent the previous night with her, stating that she is pretty in some lights and not so old, even if she is fifty. Danny is philosophical about her age, telling his friends that she is lively, owns her house, and has two hundred dollars in the bank. If he had a little money, Danny says, he would buy her a big box of candy.
Danny mentions the rent money that Pilon has never paid. Pilon gets angry and defensive but leaves with Pablo to get some money.
At the bottom of a ditch they find their friend Jesus Maria Corcoran, who is drunk. Jesus says that he found a rowboat washed up on the beach and sold it for seven dollars. He bought some wine and some underwear for Arabella Gross. Now he wants to buy her a silk bra.
He still has three dollars and a dime. On seeing the money, Pablo and Pilon convince him to rent a room at their house (for fifteen dollars a month) for the sake of his health. Jesus agrees but resists paying three dollars on account. He finally gives in and Pilon and Pablo take two dollars to give to Danny so that he can buy candy for Mrs. Morales.
On the way, they reason that Danny will eat the candy too, which would be bad for his teeth. Since wine would be better, they go to Torelli’s to buy a bottle.