Marchegiano sat up in bed, unmindful of his swollen right elbow. "No, he
will never come back." He bit out the words. "That man don't understand
the fighting game. A lot of people talk it, but they don't know it. Even if
Rocky was to fight any one of those boys around, it's no good. Why should Rocky
kill himself training for nothing? Even if he did fight, there's no one good
enough to bring a gate. That Floyd Patterson, he's good, but it takes time.
What's Rocky suppose to do? Sit around and wait? After you lay off a year in
the fight game, you're no good. Rocky told me once, 'Pa, when I quit, I quit.
I'm not going to do like the other fellow.' "
He meant Joe
made a face. "Men such bad patients," she whispered, smiling
A few minutes
later a doctor arrived to diagnose Mr. Marchegiano's ailment, a woman doctor,
the only M.D. available. The shy Mr. Marchegiano had wanted no part of a lady
doctor, but was vetoed by the two ladies present. The doctor turned out to be
Italian, which delighted Mrs. Marchegiano and somewhat placated the
"We had lady
doctors in Italy," Mrs. Marchegiano said, "for the babies."
The doctor asked
to see Mr. Marchegiano's swollen foot, and he thrust it out gingerly from under
gout," the doctor said.
was thunderstruck. "Gout!"
Mrs. Marchegiano echoed unbelievingly. "Isn't that a rich man's
"Here you go
getting a rich man's illness, and your son is out of work," I teased.