Ruth was in bed, awake, the covers up to his chin. One hand peeking out from under the covers held a lighted pipe. Howley's rumpled bed was empty. The keeper had fled to the bathroom. Barrow, his great black eyebrows beetling, glared at Ruth.
"You always smoke a pipe this time of night?"
"Sure," Ruth said. "It relaxes me. It helps me get back to sleep."
Barrow stalked to the bed and whipped off the covers. Ruth was fully dressed, even to his shoes.
"You're a fine citizen, Babe," Barrow said. "I must say, you're a fine citizen."
He turned and walked out, pausing at the door to add, "I'll see you at the ball park."
Ruth, trapped and embarrassed, began to fume, and during the morning his anger grew. By the time he reached the ball park that afternoon he was brimming with resentment. He had just begun to put on his uniform when Barrow entered the locker room. Ruth stood up and called out, "If you ever come into my room like that again, you son of a bitch, I'll punch you right in the nose."
The clubhouse went dead silent. The massive Barrow turned toward Ruth.
"Call me that again," he said.
Ruth, suddenly abashed, stood there, saying nothing.