a gift of personal property by will
And sometimes the girl holding one end of the rope is from the West side of Hector, and the girl on the other end is from the East side; and if you’re looking for Maniac Magee’s
legacy, or monument, that’s as good as any — even if it wasn’t really a bull.
a story about mythical or supernatural beings or events
But that’s okay, because the history of a kid is one part fact, two parts
legend, and three parts snowball.
an insane person
Of course, to be accurate, he wasn’t really
Maniac then. He was Jeffrey. Jeffrey Lionel Magee.
shout loudly and without restraint
Then the giggling stopped, and eyes started to shift and heads started to turn, because now everybody could see that this wasn’t part of the show at all, that little Jeffrey Magee wasn’t supposed to be up there on the risers, pointing to his aunt and uncle,
bellowing out from the midst of the chorus: “Talk! Talk, will ya! Talk! Talk! Talk!”
make a thrusting forward movement
Three springy steps down from the risers — girls in pastel dresses screaming, the music director
lunging — a leap from the stage, out the side door and into the starry, sweet, onion-grass-smelling night.
have in mind as a purpose
And some say he only
intended to pause here but that he stayed because he was so happy to make a friend.
assert or affirm strongly
If you listen to everybody who
claims to have seen Jeffrey-Maniac Magee that first day, there must have been ten thousand people and a parade of fire trucks waiting for him at the town limits.
a joint that holds two parts together so that one can swing
A couple of people truly remember, and here’s what they saw: a scraggly little kid jogging toward them, the soles of both sneakers hanging by their
hinges and flopping open like dog tongues each time they came up from the pavement.
She tore a book from the suitcase,
hurled it at him — “Here!” — and dashed into school.
filled with the emotional impact of overwhelming surprise
It sailed back over the up-looking gym-classers, spiraling more perfectly than anything Brian Denehy had ever thrown, and landed in the outstretched hands of still
stunned Hands Down.
a disorderly outburst or tumult
Later on that first day, there was a
commotion in the West End.
the act of killing in order to appease a deity
So, there’s Arnold Jones, held up by all these hands, flopping and kicking and shrieking like some poor Aztec human
sacrifice about to be tossed off a pyramid.
Another swears it was a mirage, some sort of
hallucination, possibly caused by evil emanations surrounding 803 Oriole Street.
the dead body of an animal
The phantom Samaritan stuck the book between his teeth, crouched down, hoisted Arnold Jones’s limp
carcass over his shoulder, and hauled him out of there like a sack of flour.
as if struck dumb with astonishment and surprise
stupefied high-schoolers were leaving the scene, they looked back.
excluded from use or mention
They saw the kid, cool times ten, stretch out on the
forbidden steps and open his book to read.
a state of extreme confusion and disorder
Pandemonium on the sidelines.
a notable achievement
The kid was trying for an inside-the-park home-run bunt — the rarest
feat in baseball, something that had hardly ever been done with a ball, and never with a frog — and to be the pitcher who let such a thing happen — well, McNab could already feel his strikeout record fading to a mere grain in the sandlot of history.
But now the frog shot through his legs, over to the mound, and now toward shortstop and now toward second, and McNab was
lurching and lunging, throwing his hat at the frog, throwing his glove, and everybody was screaming, and the kid was rounding third and digging for home, and — unbe-froggable! — the “ball” was heading back home too!
seize, interrupt, or stop something on its way
Buzzing about the new kid in town. The stranger kid. Scraggly. Carrying a book. Flap-soled sneakers.
The kid who
intercepted Brian Denehy’s pass to Hands Down and punted it back longer than Denehy himself ever threw it.
having your attention fixated as though by a spell
Ordinarily, he would have returned it immediately, but he was so
fascinated by the story of the Children’s Crusade that he kept it and read it the next day.
attack and bombard with or as if with missiles
yells behind him now, war whoops, stones
pelting the water, stinging his back ...
a large formal assembly
The Cobras were laughing because they figured the dumb, scraggly runt would get out of the East End in about as good shape as a bare big toe in a
convention of snapping turtles.
perplexed by many conflicting situations or statements
befuddled. “I don’t know. One minute you’re yelling at me, the next minute you’re giving me a bite of your candy bar.”
an angry stare
And when Mars Bar stepped off a curb and combined the
glare with his super-slow dip-stride slumpshuffle, well, it was said he could back up traffic all the way to Bridgeport while he took ten minutes to cross the street.
frown with displeasure
Suddenly his world was very small and very simple: a brick wall behind him, a row of
scowling faces in front of him.
an unfortunate person who suffers from adverse circumstances
In less than five minutes, while Mrs. Beale and Amanda cleaned up the floor, Hester and Lester and their dog Bow Wow were in the backyard wrestling and tickling and jumping and just generally going wild with their new buddy — and
victim — Maniac Magee.
seemingly; as far as one can tell
Mr. Beale knew what his passenger
apparently didn’t: East End was East End and West End was West End, and the house this white lad was pointing to was filled with black people, just like every other house on up to Hector Street.
shake with fast, tremulous movements
Maniac’s lip started to
quiver, and right there, with the car idling in the middle of the street, Maniac told him that he didn’t really have a home, unless you counted the deer shed at the zoo.
move or draw together at a certain location
He loved the Fourth of July block party, when the whole East End
converged for a day and night of games and music and grilled chicken and ribs and sweet-potato pie and dancing until the last firecracker, and then some.
the condition of being comfortable or alleviated of distress
He looked himself over pretty hard and came up with at least seven different shades and colors right on his own skin, not one of them being what he would call white (except for his eyeballs, which weren’t any whiter than the eyeballs of the kids in the East End).
Which was all a big
relief to Maniac, finding out he wasn’t really white, because the way he figured, white was about the most boring color of all.
cause to move forward with force
He learned how to jump in front of the gusher and let it
propel him halfway across the street.
cover with liquid; pour liquid onto
drenched himself in all the wet and warm and happy.
talk at length in a noisy, excited, or angry manner
And the man was croaking,
ranting, not to Maniac now but to the people. “What happens when we go over there? Black is black! White is white! The sheep lie not with the lion! The sheep knows his own! His own kind!”
moody and sorrowful
This was driving Amanda bonkers. He was acting so different, all
glum, and wiseacre answers.
continue to live through hardship or adversity
If anybody could
survive on the loose, it would be this kid who showed up from Hollidaysburg. Who slept on floors. Who outran dogs.
a tortuous and twisted shape or position
It was made of string, but it had more
contortions, ins and outs, twists and turns and dips and doodles than the brain of Albert Einstein himself.
someone who offers resistance
Others say his mouth was more grim than grin, that his eyes lit up like flashbulbs, because he knew he was finally facing a knot that would stand up and fight, a worthy
a close observer; someone who looks at something
The rest of the
spectators watched Maniac poke and tug and pick at the knot.
make an angry, sharp, or abrupt noise
But nobody stepped off a curb, everybody kept moving north, an ugly,
snarling black-and-white escort for the kid in the middle.