Study Guide

Tortilla Flat Chapter 7: How Danny's Friends became a force for Good. How they succored the Poor Pirate.

By John Steinbeck

Chapter 7: How Danny's Friends became a force for Good. How they succored the Poor Pirate.

  • A man called the Pirate wanders around Monterey every day selling firewood. He's always accompanied by his five dogs, Enrique, Pajarito, Rudolph, Fluff, and SeƱor Alec Thompson.
  • Pilon, who knows everything that everyone does in Monterey, knows everything about the Pirate.
  • The Pirate lives in a chicken house with his dogs, and he begs for his food every morning at restaurants.
  • Then the Pirate chops wood and sells it for $.25. He never spends the money, so Pilon knows that he must have a huge stash of quarters somewhere, worth at least a hundred bucks.
  • Pilon decides that he should "help" the Pirate, who doesn't have enough brains to take care of himself. He goes to the Pirate and tells him that people are worried about him because he lives in a chicken house with his dogs and never buys food or clothing.
  • The Pirate feels guilty for worrying his "friends" and asks Pilon what he should do. Pilon tells him to get his money out of its hiding place and buy some new things, but the Pirate claims he doesn't have any money.
  • Pilon starts following the Pirate, but he can't ever figure out where he keeps his quarters. He decides to tell Danny, Pablo, and Jesus Maria about the plan in order to get their help.
  • They all four go to visit the Pirate, and they offer to let him come live with them. He agrees... if the dogs can come, too.
  • Now there are five men and five dogs living in Danny's house, and the Pirate brings home enough food for everybody from his begging expeditions.
  • The guys start telling stories about people they knew who kept their money hidden and somehow lost it. They're trying to scare the Pirate into digging up his treasure so they can have some (or all) of it.
  • Pilon tries following the Pirate into the woods when he goes to bury his quarters, but he always loses him in the dark.
  • The friends keep telling stories of lost treasures, and one day, the Pirate finally confesses that he does have a lot of money. He says that he realizes that if he keeps his money with his friends, it will be safe, so he gives them the treasure.
  • Pilon tries to get the Pirate to take some of the money out, but the Pirate explains that he can't, because he promised Saint Francis of Assisi that he when he saves up a thousand quarters, he'll buy a gold candlestick to thank him for saving one of his dog's life.
  • Of course Danny, Pablo, Pilon, and Jesus Maria know that they can't steal from a saint, so they are pretty disappointed at this news.
  • The Pirate is totally happy, though, because he's finally warm, living in a house with "friends."