There were rumors in their parish that Frankie McCarthy has pleaded guilty to vandalism charges against him. A clerk from the paint store has picked him up from a line-up. His lawyer told him that it was better to plead guilty to the vandalism charges instead of risking a trial for the assault of Mister G.
Rabbi Hirsch and Kate Devlin were disappointed with this. It means that Frankie will be out in a couple of months instead of years behind bars. Michael continued to teach Rabbi Hirsch about baseball. They didn’t talk about Jackie Robinson’s hits—until he started really making hits.
One night, while Michael was coming home, he got attacked. The lights were out, but he saw the faces of The Falcons while he was being beat up. They smashed his legs and told Michael that Frankie was sending his best to him.
Notes: Michael’s attack will start triggering a lot of feelings of revenge within him.
Michael had no idea what was happening to him. He saw his mother’s face, then Father Heaney’s. Every time he tried to move, his body hurt. He lost two days and awoke to his mother’s face once again. Kate asked her son who did it. Michael tried to give her hints about who they were, so as to not break the Irish code of not telling. Then he realized: This was his mother that he was talking to. He let it all out and provided their street names, as Michael didn’t know their real names.
His mother promised him that they wouldn’t be hitting any more boys. The doctor told Michael that he had two badly bruised ribs, fractured bone in his tibia with multiple contusions and a few loose teeth. He had a lot of questions for his mother, all of which she answered by making him rest.
Notes: The Falcons showed no mercy to anyone, not knowing what might happen to them eventually.
His lower left leg was encased in plaster and he had to remain at the hospital for nine empty days. He had a few visitors and Abbott and Costello even paid him a visit, asking him to provide names so they can make arrests. Michael stayed true to his vow of not ratting anyone out.
Everyday, before going to work, Kate visited her son at the hospital. Michael told her that he no longer liked Captain Marvel and preferred newspapers with Jackie Robinson stories in them. He felt alone whenever his mother and the doctors left. He thought about Rabbi Hirsch. He thought about how Sonny and Jimmy were not visiting him.
He saw his beaten face in the mirror. He thought about how he wanted to hurt the Falcons that hurt him. He felt as if he was Jackie Robinson. He felt helpless. He realized that he wanted to be better than the guys at their parish. He wanted to go to college. He wanted to be a big shot.
He got crutches and was finally sent home. His mother revealed to him that the guys who beat him up got arrested. There were plenty of witnesses. His mother told him to not let the guys scare him and win.
Notes: The young boy was starting to feel how people of other color were feeling because of his alone time in the hospital.
While Kate was serving dinner to her son, she suddenly turned of the radio and took a carving knife—staying alert to check for anything that’s amiss. When the visitor said who he was, Michael started laughing. It was Rabbi Hirsch. They had tea with the rabbi and started talking. The rabbi told him that he tried to visit him at the hospital three times, but the police wouldn’t let him in. Kate started asking the rabbi about his life, and then eventually, the conversation turned to what happened with his wife.
The rabbi told them the whole story about he met his wife and what happened to Leah. Then, Kate told him that Rabbi Hirsch and his wife are heroes. Then she asked him if he believed in God.
Notes: Kate has finally gotten the answers to the questions that Michael was afraid to ask to Rabbi Hirsch.