His father was the son of a Swedish convert to Judaism and of a German Jewish woman, and his mother was of German Jewish descent. She owned a candy store on the South Side. South Park Avenue now S. Martin Luther King Jr. His father worked as an auto mechanic nearby on North Kedzie Avenue.

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Chapter 1[ edit ] Fitz Linkhorn barely managed to make a living pumping out cesspools, but his consuming vocation was "Born Again" preaching from the courthouse steps in Arroyo, Texas; it was a small, mostly Hispanic, and heavily Catholic town in the Rio Grande Valley. Fitz denounced all sins except drinking; because, being a drunk himself, he made sure he was both eloquently, and tastefully drunk as often as possible.

He had two sons, Byron, who was weak and sickly, and Dove. Dove had no education because his father had not wanted to send him to a school with a Catholic principal And what else could there have been in Arroyo? Instead, he was supposed to see movies with Byron to learn about life, but Dove never got to go; his brother did not have the price of a ticket. Dove got his education from the hoboes who hung around the Santa Fe tracks, telling one another what towns, lawmen, jails, and railroad bulls deputized railroad police , to avoid.

Dove began hanging around the La Fe en Dios chili parlor in the ruins of the Hotel Crockett on the other side of town. The hotel was the place where Fitz had met the mother of his boys. She kicked him out, but not before he raped her. Dove then left Arroyo on a freight train in early When they attempted a burglary in Houston, Kitty was caught. Dove got away on a freight to New Orleans. One of the first things he saw in New Orleans was a man cutting the heads off turtles that were to be made into turtle soup and throwing the bodies into a pile.

Even with the heads cut off, the bodies tried to climb to the top of the pile. One turtle was able to reach the top of the pile before it slid back to the bottom.

He worked as a painter on a steamship but did not paint anything , fooled a prostitute who was trying to rob him, sold coffeepots and "beauty certificates" which supposedly entitled the bearer to a treatment at a beauty shop while seducing the women to whom he was selling, and, in his most memorable escapade, worked in a condom factory.

The condoms, which were called O-Daddies and bore interesting names and colors, were made in a house by a mom-and-pop firm, Velma and Rhino Gross. Hallie was in love with Achilles Schmidt, a former circus strongman whose legs had been cut off by a train.

Then she left town. Chapter 3[ edit ] Dove drowned his sorrow in alcohol. Finnerty fled with the money after calling the cops. Dove spent five months in jail with the colorful petty criminals of "Tank Ten". Schmidt beat Dove until he became permanently blind, then people threw out Schmidt whose platform rolled downhill to his death.

Dove made his way back to his hometown for , where his brother was now dead and his father now a joke, and went back to Terasina. He also borrowed from his short stories "Kewpie Doll" for the death scene of the little girl , "Mr.

Goodbuddy and the Mighty Dripolator" for the gift dripolator scene , "Lovers, Sec-fiends, Bugs in Flight" for the jail scene with that quote , and "The Face on the Barroom Floor" for the fight scene between Dove and Schmidt.


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