Summary of Chapter Eight
Mrs. Levy always has social causes, and at the moment, it is Miss Trixie, who is now staying with the Levys so Mrs. Levy can give her full attention to the old lady. Mr. Levy tells his wife to leave her alone; she is trying to sleep. Every once in a while Miss Trixie asks, “Am I retired?” (p. 217). Mrs. Levy tries to talk her out of the idea that she feels old and tired. Mr. Levy insists she is senile.
Mancuso’s cold is worse, and he feels like he is dying. He looks at the copy of The Consolation of Philosophy from Ignatius. It makes him depressed because the author was killed by the king. Mancuso sees George in the bus station every day and wonders about the flamenco boots. He confronts him to arrest him, but George takes the Boethius book from him and hits him in the head with it. He runs to the bus lockers and takes out the packages he had stored there. He decides he will give the stolen Boethius book to Miss Lee, as she has been wanting a book.
Santa Battaglia gets her party ready with potato salad and whisky and a record player. Mrs. Reilly comes and Angelo Mancuso is there fixing the drinks. They await the old man who wants to meet Irene, who turns out to be Claude Robichaux, the old man arrested in the first scene. Irene is nervous, but Santa makes her meet Claude in hopes she can get a man to protect her from Ignatius. Irene and Claude discuss the problem of Ignatius, and she wishes she had let Ignatius be arrested: “He makes trouble everyplace he goes” (p. 240).
Commentary on Chapter Eight
Santa succeeds in getting Claude to make friends with her nephew, Angelo, who had falsely arrested him, and she gets Claude and Irene interested in each other. The only one who loses out is Ignatius, who is not aware that the tide has turned against him when his mother finds allies. Miss Trixie continues to be abused, this time in the name of rehabilitation as Mrs. Levy interferes. Mancuso’s own wheel of fortune descends as he gets ill in his stake-out at the bus station where he tries to arrest George. George actually is a criminal engaged in selling something for Lana Lee. He steals the book by Boethius from Mancuso, which will be used by Lana Lee in an ironic way in her criminal activities.