Soapy becomes Restless Seeing the Onset of Winters and Recalls Blackwell’s Islands

Soapy, sitting on his seat in Madison Square, observes the signs of winter approaching. Birds begin to fly towards South, people begin to buy new warm coats and so on. A dead leaf fell at Soapy’s feet and this was a special sign for Soapy which indicted the onset of winters. Soapy became restless trying to think of ways to sustain himself through the harsh season.

Unlike other people, some of whom thought of sailing away on a ship or some others who thought of the Southern skies or of the Bay of Naples to evade winters, Soapy only wished to get to Blackwell’s Island. Three months in the prison on Blackwell’s Island would take care of food and bed for the next three months. For many years, the prison on Blackwell’s island was Soapy’s winter home.

Why Soapy Preferred the Prison on Blackwell’s Island?

Soapy knew that there were places he could go to, where he would get food and bed. However, in exchange for these things he would have to do certain tasks and pay for what he was getting. He would have to answer questions about his life and he did not like this. He would rather prefer the prison, on Blackwell’s Island. There were rules in the prison, but he could live there like a free man.

Soapy Devices ways to be Caught by the Cops

The very first plan that Soapy executes in order to be caught by the police and put into the prison was to go to a restaurant, have a lavish dinner and then later tell the restaurant people that he had no money. This would result in cops being called and then he would be put into jail. However, this plan fails as the guard at the restaurant, seeing his shabby clothes and shoes did not allow him to enter. After the failure of his first trick, Soapy decides to try another trick. He throws stones at a wide glass window shop at a corner of Sixth Avenue. However, expecting to be arrested soon, Soapy kept standing right there. A cop and other people came running towards the shop, but refused to believe that Soapy could be the person who would have stoned the shop. They thought it impossible that the culprit would wait near the shop after having thrown stones. Therefore, the cop ran after a man who was running further in the street and Soapy’s second trick too failed.

Soapy’s  Last trick and his Miserable Condition

Soapy, then, decided to go to a mediocre restaurant that would allow him to enter despite his shabby clothes and shoes. People who went there were not so rich, so Soapy easily entered the restaurant and ordered a big dinner. Having had the dinner, Soapy told the waiter that he had no money and expected the waiter to call the cops. However, the waiter only called another waiter and both of them threw Soapy out of the restaurant. Soapy tried many other tricks so as to be arrested. He pretended to be a drunk man, stole another person’s umbrella and so on. But, all in vain. No cop arrested Soapy and Soapy’s heart grew miserable thinking that he would not be able to reach the prison at Blackwell’s Island.

Soapy Goes to his Childhood Home and Thinks of a New Plan

Feeling miserable, Soapy decides to go home, which was nothing but a seat in one of the parks. While walking down to Madison Square, he stopped in a corner, where his childhood home was situated. Soapy had spent many happy moments in that house. Soapy was overwhelmed with these memories. At that juncture, he experienced a change in his behaviour. Soapy realised what was wrong in his life-his worthless days, wrong desires, dead hopes and lost power of mind. Soapy decides to change his life by doing something worthwhile. Soapy decides to go back to the man who some time ago had given him a job. He decides to start afresh from the next day.

The Irony

While Soapy was lost in his thoughts imagining a better tomorrow, just then, a cop came and started questioning him as to what he was doing there. When Soapy told the cop that he wasn’t doing anything, the cop refused to believe him and put him in the prison on the Blackwell’s Island for the next three months.