Study Guide

Tortilla Flat Chapter 5: How Saint Francis turned the tide and put a gentle punishment on Pilon and Pablo and Jesus Maria.

By John Steinbeck

Chapter 5: How Saint Francis turned the tide and put a gentle punishment on Pilon and Pablo and Jesus Maria.

  • Pilon and Pablo sit outside of Torrelli's place and drink the wine they bought from him. They decide they're doing Danny a favor by drinking the wine they were going to give him, because otherwise he might drink himself to death.
  • Night begins to come, and Pilon and Pablo finish up the first of two gallons. Yes, of wine. Two gallons of wine, folks.
  • When Torrelli passes out, Pilon and Pablo go inside to get supper from his wife. They get kind of raunchy with her, slapping her on the behind and flirting, but they get lots of food.
  • Pilon and Pablo want to go home, but they're cold and need some wood to build a fire in the stove. Pablo steals some wood from Torrelli's pile, and they go home.
  • Pablo lights a candle he had bought to burn for Saint Francis (San Francisco in Spanish), and then Jesus Maria shows up bloody and dizzy.
  • It turns out that Jesus Maria has been beaten up by the same soldiers Arabella was running around with. She even beat him on the head with a rock. He still has the bra he was going to give her, and Pilon has the bright idea to give it to Danny to give to Mrs. Morales.
  • The candle Pablo lit sets the roof on fire. Jesus Maria goes to tell Danny, who is asleep at Mrs. Morales's place. The fire department comes but can't do anything about the house, which burns down.
  • Jesus Maria, Pilon, and Pablo have to sleep in the woods that night.