Study Guide

A Confederacy of Dunces Chapter 9

By John Kennedy Toole

Chapter 9

  • Someone saw Ignatius picking a cat out of the gutter while pushing his cart and reported him to the board of health, so now Mr. Clyde, Ignatius's boss, is displeased.
  • Mr. Clyde gives Ignatius a new route in the French Quarter. Ignatius protests because the French Quarter is a den of vice, but he is forced to give in.
  • Ignatius and Mr. Clyde argue further because Ignatius is eating all the hot dogs without paying for them.
  • Our dedicated vendor goes home, where his mother yells at him and asks him if he is a Communist (inspired by Claude, who sees Communists everywhere).
  • Ignatius denies being a Communist, and explains he wants a monarchy.
  • Another letter has come from Myrna, who has fallen in love with a Kenyan PhD student; she encourages Ignatius to write and tell her all his sex fantasies.
  • Meanwhile at the Night of Joy, Lana Lee is thinking about how useful and awesome her body is and Darlene is preparing her dress rehearsal. Jones and Lana bicker about whether Jones knows enough about Lana's illegal business to get her in trouble. He doesn't.
  • Darlene's act is horrible. Lana likes the cockatoo okay, though.
  • She decides Darlene will pretend to be a Southern belle just back from a party, and the bird will pull the dress off. Lana says this will be more refined.
  • Plus, she wants Jones to dress up as a slave doorman for the act; for all the obvious reasons, Jones finds this upsetting.
  • Unfortunately for Lana, Darlene can't remember even one line, so the act isn't likely to work. Lana takes Darlene outside to yell at and hit her.
  • While Lana is gone, Jones finds her packages and writes the address of the Night of Joy on them in the hopes of getting her in trouble.
  • At the police station, Officer Mancuso still has a horrible cold; he begs his sergeant to let him out of the bathroom.
  • The Sergeant gives Mancuso two weeks out on the streets to bring him someone or he's off the force. He has him dress in a Santa Claus costume.
  • In his room, Ignatius writes about the tragedy of being forced to vend hot dogs in the French Quarter.
  • Mr. Clyde has made him dress up in a pirate costume to boost sales, and though Ignatius claims to dislike being a pirate, he actually seems to enjoy it.
  • He has a swashbuckling fight with his cutlass against Mr. Clyde's rusty fork. It's not clear whether this is a serious battle or horsing around. Anyway, Ignatius loses. (This is all still Ignatius writing.)
  • He goes to the Quarter, falls asleep, is prodded by a policeman, performs various antics for tourists who think he's a bum, and runs into Officer Mancuso.
  • He tells Mancuso he'll have to write him a report about Boethius, which frightens Mancuso, since he's lost the book.
  • Ignatius notes he's gained a lot of weight. He blames this on anxiety, though it's probably because he's eating all of his own hot dogs. (End Ignatius writing.)
  • As a coda to the chapter, we look in on Dr. Talc. A student is demanding he grade her paper.
  • While he shuffles and puts her off, she happens to discover in the office one of Ignatius's nasty letters to Talc, and steals it.