A Confederacy of Dunces: extracts (50)

“The sisters loved Ignatius. He was such a darling child. He used to win all them little holy pictures for knowing his catechism.”

“Them sisters shoulda knocked his head in.”

“When he useta come home with all them little holy pictures,” Mrs. Reilly sniffed, “I sure never thought then he’d end up selling weenies in the broad daylight.” Mrs. Reilly coughed nervously and violently into the telephone. “But tell me. sweetheart, how Angelo’s making out?”

“His wife Rita rings me up a little while ago to tell me she thinks he”s coming down with pneumonia from being stuck in that toilet all the time. I tell you true, Irene, that Angelo’s getting as pale was a ghost. The cops sure don’t treat that boy right. He loves the force. When he graduated from the cops’ academy, you woulda thought he just made it outta the Ivory League. He was sure proud.”

“Yeah, poor Angelo looks bad,” Mrs. Reilly agreed. “He’s got him a bad cough, that boy. Well, maybe he’ll feel a little better after he reads that thing Ignatius gave me to give him. Ignatius says it’s inspirational literature.”

“Yeah? I wouldn’t trust no ‘inspirational literature’ I got from that Ignatius. It’s prolly fulla dirty stories.”