from Judgment Day, the 3rd book in the trilogy
James T. Farrell
"This is the first sign I've seen of the depression that's encouraging," Studs said.
"How come?" asked Ike.
"No lineup outside the ticket window," Studs smiled.
"A couple of years ago, there'd have been a line a block long waiting to get in," Pat said as they purchased their tickets.
"Nice-looking place," Studs said, walking along the glittering foyer.
"Sure, these shows are swell dumps. Fit for a palace. Look at those draperies. They cost dough. Dough!" Ike said.
"Seats on the main floor. Aisle two. This way, please," a shiny, powdered attendant, in a maroon and gray uniform with many brass buttons, braided gold, and a long coat, announced formally.
"Jesus, that's a job for a pansy to have. Dressed up in a monkey suit like that," Studs said.
"Ike, you'd look the nuts with an usher's monkey suit on."
"The broads would give you the eye, too, Ike. They'd call you General Dugan," Studs said.
"I don't need that job."
"Sure, Ike's going to be a big shot out of the commissions he makes, selling shares of stock in the Jackson Park golf course," Pat said.
"Boy, anybody in that outfit standing there and speaking his funny little piece, must feel like a clown if he isn't a damn pansy."
"Studs, a lot of the ushers in these shows went to college," Ike said.
"They look it," Pat said.
"Hell, I hate news reels," Pat whispered to Studs as an usher preceded them quickly along an aisle on the main floor, past many vacant seats.
The usher halted near the center, turned his flashlight on a row of unfilled seats, and they moved in to the middle of the rows.
"I hope we see something exciting in these damn news reels," Ike whispered.
"The thing I like best about news reels is that they're short," Studs whispered.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . CALIFORNIA
BUSINESS ORGANIZATIONS AND FRATERNAL SOCIETIES DEVISE
NOVEL WAY OF COMBINING CIVIC SPIRIT AND FUN TO
"Out on the coast these days, business clubs and fraternal organizations are doing some novel fighting against the bogey of Old Man Depression. And is it fun, boys! I'll say it is!"
As the announcer spoke, the camera flashed a view of business men shouting jubilantly as they pelted each other with eggs like a crowd of school boys in a snow fight. The next shot presented the sight of huge piles of eggs guarded by shapely girls in bathing suits who filled baskets and knapsacks with eggs for ammunition. A blonde girl splattered an egg against the back of a departing warrior.
"Hot stuff," Pat whispered to Studs, while many in the theater laughed.
"Boy, that would be great fun," Ike whispered.
The laughter in the theater increased at the sight of a wobbling fat man, surrounded by enemies who subjected him to a merciless fire of eggs, spluttering and staining his white clothing.
"That's a shampoo, what's a shampoo," the announcer called with formalized enthusiasm as a detachment closed in on the fat man and broke his own basket of eggs over his head.
In a close-up, the fat man bawled like a baby, his hair matted, egg shells clinging to his face, his double chins dripping egg yolks.
"And watch this charge of the light brigade!" the announcer called as a crowd swept over the field of stricken eggs into the maw of a heavy fire. "We can't say that's not fun, and all in a novel manner which reduces the surplus of eggs, making it profitable for those who sell them. A new way of scrambling eggs, if you ask me."
Studs leaned forward, laughing. Wished he was in a fight like that.
NAVY BOMBERS GUARD AIR LANES
"Uncle Sam's latest bombers take to the clouds in a trial test of speed and endurance."
With purring motors, a winged formation of heavy bombing planes streaked evenly across low plains that were cut by a river. A closer shot revealed one plane riding against a background of clouds, and then the formation rode steadily above the Pacific Ocean.
"A comforting reception committee for unwanted guests at our coast line. The pick of the Navy's air fleet, Uncle Sam's latest bid for supremacy of the skies."
PITCHED BATTLE BETWEEN STRIKERS AND POLICE
"And now, here is a serious battle . . ."
Grim-faced men in working clothes and overalls with an interspersing of women in their ranks marched slowly along a high fence surrounding a factory in a mid-western town, watched by special deputies who stood at regularly-spaced intervals with clubs and truncheons ready. Above the geometrically patterned factory windows, two chimneys smoked.
"When non-striking workers attempted to relieve the day shift at this factory, they were attacked by strikers. And look at this for a sample of some real serious rioting," the announcer called in the same tone as if he were describing a heroic hundred-yard run on a college gridiron, and simultaneously with his words the screen presented men struggling and grappling, tugging, wrestling, raising a cloud of dust, and howling and cursing as they fought, groups coming together amidst flying bricks and swinging clubs, policemen breaking groups apart shagging overalled men from the factory gates with raised clubs. A fleeing man in overalls was clubbed by a policeman, and as he fell groggily forward, a special deputy smashed him on the shoulder with a truncheon. He lay face forward in the center of the picture, blood oozing from his head, and the struggling crowd surged over his body.
Guarded by policemen with drawn guns, a sick-faced, injured, bleeding group of strikers sat dazed in the dusty street, and one full-faced policeman turned to smile into the camera.
"Poor bastards," Pat mumbled.
"This unfortunate riot resulted in the injury of scores. Two strikers and one deputy were taken to a local hospital in a critical condition with their skulls fractured. Not the best form of sport, I'd say, and it is to be regretted that such altercations occur and to be hoped that they are not repeated."
LOCAL CITIZENS BURY OLD MAN DEPRESSION
"And now, did anyone ever hear of a joyful funeral?"
A hearse drove slowly forward along the cartracks of a decorated and crowded street, its side strung with a large banner.
OLD MAN DEPRESSION DIED 1931. R. I. P.
A band playing the wedding march from Lohengrin trailed in the wake of the hearse, followed by a large and flowery float with flower girls throwing roses to the crowd, and a stately virginal girl in white seated on a bedecked throne.
THE QUEEN OF OPTIMISM
"Swell-looking dame," Studs whispered as boy scouts tramped behind an American flag.
A column of the local American Legion, with guns and steel helmets, marched in formation and then, at the head of a band of children, a dimpled girl of five or six carried a large sign.
OLD MAN DEPRESSION LYNCHED JOYOUSLY
BY THE SONS AND DAUGHTERS OF
CONFIDENCE AND HOPE
"Is that a happy funeral? Well, I'll tell the cockeyed world that it is. If all funeral processions were as gay, oh, death, where would thy sting be?"
MUSSOLINI REVIEWS BOY SCOUTS AT WAR GAMES
"And now, travelling to sunny Italy, the land of the olive and Il Duce, we see Italian Boy Scouts in war maneuvers."
A band of black-shirted boys of twelve and thirteen, wearing shorts and carrying wooden rifles like soldiers, marched along a road singing the Fascist anthem, Giovinezza. The scene quickly changed, and the boys were shown charging through a weedy field toward enemy trenches.
"And now for the reward, parading before Il Duce himself."
Mussolini, in military uniform, stood stern-faced on a reviewing stand, returning a stiff Fascist salute to the boys marching in ranks below him.
"Bravo, says Il Duce, because he knows that they will some day grow up disciplined to fight and die for him and for Italy."
A hiss sounded from the rear of the main floor, and Studs wondered what the damn fool was hissing for. Mussolini couldn't hear it.
. . . BEAUTY CONTEST
"Girls and more girls and more girls from all over America and from six foreign countries entered this Beauty Contest in New York to determine the most perfect girl in the Universe. And Oh! Oh! is there pulchritude here!"
"Oh, mama!" Ike muttered at the view of girls in bathing suits marching slowly around an arc-lighted platform, with strips of lettered ribbon slanting across their chests.
"Control yourself, simp," Pat said.
"And here's Miss Estelle Cavendish, the winner."
A close shot revealed Miss Estelle Cavendish, dark-haired, seductive, her grayish bathing suit bringing out her brassiered breasts and her figure.
"She'd pass in a crowd," Studs whispered, he and Pat smiling.
"I consider it a great honor to be the winner of this contest to determine the most perfect girl in the universe, and I am very proud . . . and I'm glad," Miss Estelle Cavendish said from the screen in a cooing voice, a coy smile revealing her even white teeth.
"Thank you, Estelle, and so are we," said the announcer.
ANNUAL FETE IN SPANISH VILLAGE
"There may be wars or rumors of wars, depressions and troubles and heartaches in other parts of the world, but sunny peaceful old Spain is still the same. For centuries, these Spanish peasants have celebrated their annual winter fete."
Spanish peasants, in local costumes, danced folk dances on a narrow, cobble-stoned street, accompanied by the sound recordings of their songs and music.
"And look at this gay caballero twanging his guitar to his fair Juliet. H'm wouldn't plenty of our American sheiks be jealous," the announcer said while a mustached young Spanish peasant played his guitar in the shadow of the balcony.
"Romance lives in old Spain."
"I'd like to be there," Studs said.
"Me, too. Spanish broads are hot," Pat added.
WINNER IN NOVELTY ENDURANCE CONTEST
"And a new world's champion is crowned. Oscar Albert McGonigle wins peanut race for a five-hundred-dollar prize."
Six men, on their hands and knees, rolled peanuts along a cement road with their noses, followed by an amused crowd of spectators.
"The world's sure full of clowns," Studs said, as laughter broke over the theater.
"Hell, he got five hundred dollars for it. That's not so dumb," Pat muttered.
"And now, let us listen to Oscar Albert McGonigle tell how he won!"
The audience roared at the close-up of an adenoidal blond young man in his middle twenties with a raw scraped nose.
"I'm certainly glad to be the winner in this race," he said, nasal-voiced, "and it was sure a hard one. When I entered it, I said to myself Oscar you got to win, you got to win. My mother, she said to me `Oscar you haven't a long enough nose to win,' and I said, `Maw, you wait and see.' Well, I won, and it was a hard race, and I'm sure the happiest man in the world today."
BUSINESS LEADER PREDICTS BETTER TIMES AFTER VISIT
TO WHITE HOUSE. OSCAR VAN GILBERT, BANKER, IN INTERVIEW
A stout, puffy, bald-headed man sat at a desk and mechanically read from a paper.
"A business depression is a reaction. For every action, there must be a reaction, and then a counter action, because that is the law of life and of economics. The business depression is a reaction to over-production. We are now through the worst of it, and have slowed down our processes of production in consonance with the law of supply and demand. We are again on a solid footing, and we shall see, in the next six months, another commercial upswing. In my recent visit to the White House, I found this same hope prevailing in official circles, and I concluded that what we all must do is to get behind our president and pushs upward, to the next period of prosperity. And when our next period does return, let us all be wiser than we were in the years of 1928 and 1929."
"I'm glad that's over," Studs said.
"Now we'll get the real stuff," Pat said.
Studs yawned without reading the credit list or cast of characters, and slumped in his seat ready to let the picture afford him an interesting good time.
Two shabby boys walked nonchalantly along a street in a poor district, the boy on the outside carrying a beer can with the handle resting over his right wrist. His companion, his cap back on his curly head, stuck his hands in his pocket and whistled. A beer wagon passed with a crunching of wheels and a rattling of barrels. They paused to stare at a drunk lying in the gutter, and the boy with the beer can looked up from the intoxicated man to an advertising sign across the street.
THE WORLD IS YOURS
"Holy Moses!" the curly-haired boy exclaimed.
The boy with the beer can gestured knowingly, handed him the can, bent over, and forked two bills from the drunk's pocket.
"This is for you, Spike, and this is for Joey Gallagher," he said, handing Spike one of the bills and taking back his beer can.
Whistling, they walked slowly along, past a row of wooden tenement houses.
"Joey Gallagher and Spike Malone, what are you rascals up to now?"
"Nothing, Mr. Kennedy. Just running an errand for the old man," Joey Gallagher replied, looking up into the face of the benign policeman.
"You little divvils keep out of mischief or I'll be running Ye in."
"Kennedy's an old fool," Joey Gallagher said, and they walked around a corner building with the sign above it
Inside the saloon toughs and eccentrics lined the bar, some in caps and jerseys, others wearing plug hats, and sporty gray suits with narrow trouser cuffs. Full-rounded women with wide hats were scattered among the men at the tables. Waiters moved about with trays, and a thin-faced fellow tickled the piano keys.
The boys crept in by the side door, timidly walked to the edge of the bar, attracted the attention of the bartender with the florid mustaches, handed the can up to him. With the can filled, they turned to the door, and just before going out Joey Gallagher cast an admiring and wistfully boyish glance at the toughs lining the bar.
"So you're tough! You're tough!" a boy, huskier than Joey Gallagher, said, meeting them on the street, toying with Joey, like a cat playing with a mouse, by pushing him, pulling out his shirt, and jamming his cap half over his eyes.
Joey quickly shoved the can of beer to Spike and rushed into the bully, the two boys mauling back and forth. The bully plunked Joey's eye, and Studs, watching Joey rush in again with flailing arms, remembered how he at Joey's age had beaten up Weary Reilley, who was just like this bigger kid in the picture. He knew he was going to like this picture. It was going to be more like his own life than almost any picture he'd ever seen, he felt. He hoped, too, that Joey would have a sweetheart, who would be just like Lucy Scanlan.
"Yes, I'm tough, you big mutt," Joey said, his eye swollen, standing over the bully who cowered at the edge of the dusty curb.
"And so am I," Spike added, dousing the bully with beer, and Studs laughed with others in the audience.
Handsome, with marcelled hair, Joey Gallagher sauntered into a poolroom, strolled by the talkers and pool players, and Studs wished that the old poolroom on Fifty-eighth Street had been like this one in the picture.
"What's wrong, Joey. Today a holiday?"
"Oh, no, Spike," Joey replied to a thin youth with greased-down hair.
"Canned again? I suppose it was another fight."
Joey shook his head negatively.
"Then what's the big idea?" Spike said, registering an expression of puzzlement, scratching his poll.
"Only saps like my brother work . . Say, is the King back there," Joey said, gesturing toward a closed door in the rear.
While Spike followed in surprise, Joey Gallagher boldly pushed into the room, ignored the gorillas scattered about it and stepped up to a broad-shouldered, thick-lipped, bullnecked gangster.
"Hello, King," Joey said with familiarity, and the King drew his cigar stub from his mouth, winked at two of the gorillas.
"I got a little business I want to discuss with you."
"Sure. I just quit my job and I want to hitch up with you. I'm a useful guy."
Studs laughed at the close-up of Spike's face.
"Look, boys, it wants to join up with me," the King said, and his mob erupted into stage laughter. "Kindergarten classes is on Sunday. Ho! Ho! Come on, keep it up, sonny, I haven't laughed so much since my aunt died," the King continued, again drawing the raw laughter of his mob.
"Which one of you muggs wants to be the chief attraction at his own funeral?" Joey hissed, glaring from face to face, his fists itchy for action.
"Listen, punk, scram!" a beefy gorilla snapped, towering over Joey.
"Keep those mitts of yours in women's pocketbooks where they belong and you won't get your puss marked up like a cross-word puzzle."
"You heard me!"
"Wait a minute! Wait a minute! Maybe we can use the kid," the King said in a measured voice.
That was nerve! If he could have busted into something big that way, he'd be much better off today. But Studs Lonigan wasn't Joey Gallagher. The picture was too interesting for him to sit brooding, and it carried him along. His mind became like a double exposure, with two reels running through it. He saw Joey Gallagher as the hero, and he saw himself in Joey Gallagher's boots, and Studs Lonigan and Joey Gallagher together leaped up the career of gangdom's adventurous ladder to fame. They hijacked. They spoke with crisp hard words, and with barking gats and tattooing machine guns, bumping off friends and foes, letting nothing get in their way. Ah, that was the kind of a guy Studs Lonigan wanted to be, really hard and tough, afraid of no goddamn thing in this man's world, giving cold lead as his answer to every rat who stepped in his way. Getting clothes, too, like Joey Gallagher, riding in the same doggy automobile, turning corners on two wheels, and the hell with traffic cops, giving the heat to another mugg who got soft with cold feet. This was a picture. Why hadn't Studs Lonigan lived like this? And the blonde, tall, with those swaying hips. Joey was laying her, too, and he would be, if he was Joey, laying a tall blonde in a satin dress with hips on fire, if he, if he was only Joey Gallagher. And again going out, with the gat on his hip, a man's business. Would he get it himself this time? How did a guy get the guts that a gangster like Joey in this picture had? But gangsters did have it. That was what was wrong with Studs Lonigan. No guts. But Joey had it. And now here in this show, Joey Gallagher and Studs Lonigan were together, the two of them were one, racing across the screen, and the dough was rolling in, and the blonde she was sweet, and she was his, laying only for him, and oh, goddamn it, this was the real ticket.
Wearing a gray suit, a gray fedora tilted over the left side of his face, Joey Gallagher strode confidently down the same street where he had appeared as a boy. He stopped, looked across the street at a sign board.
THE WORLD IS YOURS
He smiled, tossed away the cigarette. His face took on an expression of recognition, and a policeman rheumatically stepped up to him.
"Getting along these days, aren't ye, lad?" Mr. Kennedy said.
"Better watch your step, me lad."
"Nobody's got nothin' on me."
"Son, now take it aisy. Aisy, lad! I see ye with the King and his boys. Now, take the advice of one that's in this game longer than yourself, and take it aisy, me lad. I'm tellin' ye for your own good."
The policeman wagged a sad head as Joey confidently passed along. The scene dissolved, and Joey entered the modest home where his mother sat knitting, and his shirt-sleeved brother read a newspaper.
"Mother, you old skate, I have a present for you," Joey said, bending down to kiss her and dropping a fat roll of bills in her lap.
"No, son, I can't," she said in the choking voice of a mother's sadness.
"Mother doesn't need tainted blood money," the brother curtly said, arising. "Look! Tell me you don't know anything about it!" the brother challenged, handing Joey the newspaper.
Joey read the newspaper disinterestedly.
TWO MORE SHOT IN GANG WAR
Bullet-ridden Bodies of Greasy Jones
and Lefty Loomis Found in Alley.
"They probably didn't keep their noses clean," Joey said.
"That's a good crack," Pat said to Studs, Studs shaking his head.
"Get out!" the brother said, in a quavering voice.
"Why, you dirty . . ."
A surprise punch from the brother somersaulted Joey into a chair. He leaped to his feet, but his mother faced him, in tears, pointing at the door. He picked up the roll of bills from the carpet, shrugged his shoulders, walked out.
"Swell acting," Pat muttered.
The blonde lounged in pyjamas on a cot in a large room filled with modernistic furniture.
"Joey, come here," she called in a cooing, asking voice, and Joey sat in a corner, his head sunken in his hands.
She walked toward him with her abdomen jutting out prominently, and he gazed up at her with disgust when she patted his head.
Studs hoped that it wouldn't turn into a scrap, because, after all, with a dame like that wanting something, and he wished like hell he was Joey Gallagher folding her into his arms, kissing her in that long, close way, and knew that the next step was to pick her up, carry her to the couch and . . . .
Joey shoved her away from him angrily.
"Say, Joey, what's the matter?"
"I don't know. Just let me alone for a while," he said absently.
"What's eating you, Joey. Getting a swelled head?"
"Never mind taking any tailspins there, baby," Joey said in his curt, tough manner.
"Losing your nerve. Gettin' yellow," she sneered.
"Why, you dirty. . "
He hit her in the chin with the heel of his left hand.
"Keep your hands off me. Why, you, you're nothing but a small-time gorilla," she cried, stumbling against a table.
"Look!" he said, pointing behind her.
"Just a present from a small-time gorilla," he said, planting his foot into her buttocks and propelling her into the table, smashing a lamp.
"Small-time, am I," he soliloquized, getting into his roadster. He cut around a corner at breakneck speed.
Studs wondered why Joey couldn't have let well enough alone with the blonde. But still, that kick in the slats had been funny. The way to treat a high-hat broad like that.
"Come on, Spike, get your coat on," Joey said, entering a room where Spike sat in shirt sleeves with a baby-faced girl in negligee on his knee.
"Every time I get set, somebody tips the glass on me," Spike complained, knotting his necktie before a mirror.
"Say, what's the idea?" Spike said, perplexed, entering the roadster.
"Got to see the King. I got a hunch he'd like a more comfortable life."
"Say, what's this? We can't muscle the King out."
"Keep your shirt on and your head cool and you'll always land on your toes," Joey said, turning his wheels quickly to avoid a crash.
"Hi, boys!" Joey said, entering a room full of gorillas.
Studs was getting tense, wondering what was going to happen, thinking would he have the guts to pull the stunt Joey was pulling. Studs Lonigan walking in on Al Capone. Maybe this was his funeral though.
"Well, King, you're living well, and look at that," Joey said ambiguously, pointing at the King's paunch. "I was just sort of reflecting, you know, and I sort of figured out that you might like a nice little house in the country with nothing to disturb your sleep but the cows and chickens."
Guts. Gallagher had guts, and Studs sat thinking how he wasn't so much, set up against a guy like Gallagher, and there they were, Gallagher and the King glaring at each other, and that meant trouble. He wanted to see Joey come through it all, and would he. A rap on the door, everybody turning, Detective Sloane sauntering in. He'd seen this fellow act a detective role in some other picture, and he tried to recall it. Would they all get caught with Sloane just dropping them the hint about the shooting of Greasy Jones and Lefty Loomis. Would the picture end with Joey going to the hot seat? He hoped not.
A gorilla rushing in after the dick's departure. Butch McKee and his north side mob were coming. Studs sat forward in his seat as if he was tied up in knots. Big touring cars careering through streets. The rat-tat-tat of machine guns, the clash of breaking glass, the King's mob following on the floor with drawn gats. Silence. The King jumping up, telling his gorillas to come on. Joey Gallagher stepping in front of him, breathlessly urging him to wait. The King, unconvinced, rushing out to the street, the mob following. Another car, bullets flaming out of it, Joey wounded in the arm, shooting lefthanded.
Studs asked himself could he face guns, and fight like a gangster, and he felt that Studs Lonigan was yellow, and couldn't be a Joey Gallagher. He sat breathless as the King's mob rushed in cars to follow up the northside mob. The picture was getting close to the end. He wanted to see how it would turn out. And still he didn't want it to end. He wanted it to go on for hours. Best picture he'd seen in a hell of a while. Butch McKee's headquarters in a gambling house. Butch bragging that he was the King now. The entrance of Gallagher, the King, and their gorillas, Joey speaking his piece, telling Butch to get out of town in twenty-four hours.
Studs wished Joey had bumped McKee off then and there. No use taking chances. Joey might be shot. But no, the hero in movies always pulled through. Still, this was a different picture. Joey would come through, he and the blonde would get lined up, and it would end hotsy totsy. But no, he'd read about the picture in the papers, and if he remembered it right Joey got shot. He didn't want Joey to get shot.
The reception, Joey at the head of the table as gangland's acknowledged leader. Joey Studs Lonigan Gallagher laughing loudly as Spike jabbed his fork into a mug's elbow for taking up so much room. Charlie Chaplin had pulled that in Shang-haied. He'd seen it as a kid, but it was still funny. Joey leaving the reception with the blonde, her apartment, staying for the night. Laying her. Such a woman! Daddy! Sloane again. Just a friendly call. Hadn't seen anyone who knew about the murder of Greasy Jones and Lefty Loomis. No, just a friendly call, and he'd be seeing Gallagher at the D. A.'s office one of these days. Why didn't Joey get out of the racket now that he had dough, a woman, and he could pull through. The mother reading of Joey as gangland's chief, crying, the brother soothing her. Life was tough on mothers, but then, they just didn't understand. The tightening net of evidence. The blonde squealing, ought to have her puss slapped, couldn't trust that kind of a whoring bitch. Getting near the finish, and Jesus, he wanted Joey to come through it. Joey, unsuspecting, pointing to the advertising sign . . . .
THE WORLD IS YOURS
Joey Gallagher again fading, in the mind of Studs Lonigan, into Studs Lonigan. Studs Lonigan, the world is yours. Take it. Oh, Christ, why hadn't he had an exciting life like Joey Gallagher? It happened to some people. Look at Al Capone. Joey Gallagher escaping from dicks, over roofs, leaving town on a freight. Would he pick up somewheres, meet a decent girl, as in most movies, would he come back? Sinking lower and lower, living in a flop house, hanging around a poolroom. Hearing these cheap pikers talk about the man hunt for Joey Gallagher, and one of them reading Sloane's statement in the paper.
"Gallagher is yellow."
Gallagher meant business now. But it was dumb. Grabbing a freight back to show if he was yellow. Hell, he wouldn't have done that. Meant the hot seat. But that was guts, guts. Gallagher telephoning Sloane. Sloane tracing the call. Cars on wet streets. Studs wished now, hoped, told himself, Christ, Gallagher couldn't die. The cars. Gallagher rushing into the trap. Shot dead. He couldn't be dead, and they were taking him home to his broken-hearted mother. The brother and Mr. Kennedy comforting her, and the corpse of Joey Gallagher. Dead. Death. He would die, too, some day, maybe not a hero's death like Gallagher. But hell, it wasn't worth it. Doomed victory. But he would die. Why hadn't the picture ended differently, and he could think of how Joey Gallagher could go on in life, going up and up, meeting a dame hotter than the stool pigeon of a blonde, go on and up like he wanted to himself. Dead. Like a part of himself dying.
Walking out of the show, he told himself that, hell, it had only been a picture. Still, why couldn't it have ended differently? They didn't have to kill off Joey Gallagher. He was gloomy.