Chapter 7 Summary
The Pirate is so named because of his bushy black beard. He has the mind of a child and lives in a chicken coop with his five dogs. Every day he chops wood in the pine forest and sells his load for a quarter.
No one ever sees him spend any money on anything. Pilon speculates that there may be as much as a hundred dollars saved up by the Pirate in the chicken shed. He tells himself that the Pirate is hungry and ragged and needs someone to help him do his thinking for him. He convinces himself that, out of pity, he must be the one to help the Pirate find something to do with his money.
Pilon visits the chicken house where the Pirate lives with his dogs. Danny, Pablo, and Jesus Maria see him go but say nothing, thinking that he is going to visit a woman.
Pilon approaches the shed and calls out to the Pirate, who tells him that it is late and that he and his dogs are asleep. Pilon tells him that he has a candle in his pocket as well as a big sugar cookie.
At this news, the Pirate welcomes Pilon in. After the candle is lit, Pilon gives the sugar cookie to the Pirate, who breaks it up into seven pieces and shares it with Pilon and his five dogs. Pilon tells the Pirate that he has friends who are worried about him. This is news to the Pirate, but Pilon insists that these friends are concerned that the Pirate lives in a shed, dresses in ragged clothes, and has very little to eat.
He asks the Pirate where his money is but the Pirate says he has none, having given it all to a poor old woman. Pilon does not believe him. Pilon continues to watch the Pirate, who he is sure has the money buried some place. He invites the Pirate to live in Danny’s house and soon there are five men and five dogs crowded into the house.
Pilon and his friends tell the Pirate about people who have hidden money and had it stolen from them. This worries the Pirate, who sneaks out each night, followed by Pilon. The location of the Pirate’s money is not found, however, even when all of the men follow the simple-minded man.
One day, the Pirate returns with a bag of one thousand quarters and asks his new friends to guard his money. Pilon did not count on this since it means he will not be able to spend any of it. The Pirate, however, is content now in the midst of his new friends.