wherever the gang stopped or hid out, it was always up to the three kids - mary, johnny, and frankie - to raise money for the day to day expenses like beer and cigarettes.
mickey was very strict about saving the bankroll to be just that - a bankroll, to plan and finance the next job with.
so the three kids had to raise money, wherever they were, sometimes by panhandling but mostly by shining shoes.
mickey and the others were very strict about their not stealing or doing anything illegal, which would attract the attention of the police and get them in trouble.
so, on the morning after the arrival in the hideout where they would hook up with roger and pull off the big score that would set them up for life, the three kids found themselves trudging down the road towards the town, with their shoe shine kits slung on their backs.
a light rain was falling.
as usual, frankie was walking slower than the others, and although they kept threatening to leave him behind, mary and johnny kept stopping and waitng for him to catch up.
johnny was talking big about how he was going to make just enough to go to a movie, and then quit for the day.
they might not even have a movie, said mary.
every town has a movie, said johnny.
i don’t know, it looked like a pretty small town.
they stopped again to wait for frankie to catch up.
they did not know that they were being watched.
mickey thought the hideout was completely secluded, but there was a house high up on the hill beside the road, almost hidden by the trees.
the house where billy lived with celeste-maria.
billy was going for a walk down the hill. but before he got to the bottom he had seen johnny, mary, and frankie straggling along, and stopped to watch them.
he wondered who they were and what they were doing and what the things on their backs were, as he had never before seen a shoe shine kit.
he wondered if he dared to speak to them, or if they would laugh at him and beat him up and maybe even kill him.