Pushed Too Far

Wildcat is the only newsie in that's a girl in Jack's gang. She's sharp, quick, and can throw one mean punch. And she's managed to keep herself one step ahead of Spot Conlon's gang for over 3 years. But Wildcat's past has a nasty way of catching up with her.

FYI, in my story Jack, Sarah, David, Spot and Wildcat are all 18 years old. I own no one but Wildcat, Ink, and Hotshot.

$N$

"So I say, 'What'd ya lookin' at, Rooky, and soon at me he's coming at me all swinging. I barely made me self out of Queens in one piece!" Mush finished, looking around at the crowd of newsies gathered around him, laughing hysterically. "Mush is always getting' into trouble," Kid murmured to Wildcat in between rolls of laughter. "He'd better watch out or Brooklyn's gonna get im' and never give im' back!" Wildcat couldn't agree more, but she wouldn't say that it front of everybody, especially Jack and Sarah, who was visiting the newsies for the day. Plus, Mush seemed alright after his incident with the Brooklyn Newsies.

You see, Wildcat was the only girl newsie in Jack's gang of boys. It was that way since the start. About 3 years ago her friend Sarah, who just happened to be Jack's girlfriend, had asked if Wildcat could join the newspaper boys. Of course, since Jack was short on men at the moment, he took just about everybody he could find, no questions asked. But after a few weeks, Wildcat found that more and more boys were coming than going and was sure that 'Cowboy' was going to kick her to the curb after a while. But not Jack Kelly. Wildcat was told by the leader himself that he didn't really mind having a girl on the team. He actually thought it was good for the younger ones since they needed to sort of mother figure and the older ones a sister.

Not that this newspaper girl was soft. Wildcat was as tough as nails, the boys found out real quick. She could sneak around and ran and jump over just about anything like a, well, cat. That was how she'd got her name. To be perfectly honest, Wildcat thought it suited her pretty well.

But wildcats bring trouble wherever they go, and this girl was no exception. Right before the Manhattan boys and the Brooklyn gang had their falling out after the strike; Wildcat had accidentally wandered into their territory and gotten into some trouble with Spot, and not necessary in the business way. Everyone knew Spot was a ladies' man and if the girl of his fancy didn't take him to her liking he'd grab em', so it didn't take Wildcat long to figure out that Spot wasn't gonna take 'no' for an answer. If it wasn't for Cowboy and Boots coming around when they did, Wildcat would've been toast. Even though this had been a while back, everyone in the employment of the newspaper in Manhattan knew that Spot hadn't gotten over it. And after the falling out Jack and Spot had a few weeks ago, no newsie had been in Brooklyn since.

But all that was about to change.

"Hey Wildcat!" Kid whispered out from behind her. "Some of us are 'a' going to da Bridge to see if we can 'a' spot some Brookes! Ya wanna come?" Wildcat considered this option. Nights were getting longer and hotter out in New York. The lodging house would be humid at night, and Wildcat never cared for that. It would be good fun to go poke fun of the Brooklyn boys. Plus it would give her something to do. And keep an eye on the trouble-makers. "Sure, but don't let anyone else know besides those who youse told. 'Specially Jack. You knows how he gets when we go there. So, who all's goin'?" Kid thought for a moment. "Mush, me, Boots, Crutchy, Race, Les and you now. We're meeting outside after this place clears out. See ya then." With that, he disappeared into the crowd of newsies behind Wildcat.

$N$

An hour later the three were down by the bridge, slowly and carefully making their way towards the center of it, the dividing range between Brooklyn and Manhattan. Not one of the boys from either side dared cross over, 'cause once yaws were over, you were gonna get whatever was 'a' comin' to ya. Neither teen made a sound, but they still were cautious, because Spot would still find a way to get them back for last time, even if it was ages ago.

Finally the 7 newsies were in the middle of the Bridge, looking over the water like they belonged there. It was kind of peaceful, but everyone there knew it wouldn't last forever.

Suddenly the sound of feet drew far to close for comfort, and the kids whirled around to find none other than Spot Conlon, the very person they'd hoped to see, and two other goons with him, smirks a mile wide across their faces. Wildcat jumped and hastily tucked strands of lose brown hair hanging down over her face into her cap. Even though Cowboy wasn't here, she knew that the less the Brooklyn Newsies knew there was a girl sellin' papes on the streets of Manhattan, the better off she'd be.

"Well, if it isn't the Manhattan boys, all together in a big group!" Spot catcalled out. "Is thus a family reunion?" Wildcat could feel the boys' tension all around her. She found even herself running her hand over her back pocket, checking to make sure that her old Bowie knife was still inside. There was gonna be a fight if Spot said anything else. But fortunately, Race kept his cool and took a step forward. "Nope, just enjoying 'a' nice warm night on our side of the Brooklyn Bridge, but nothing your group over there," he pointed to 4 other newsies on the Brooklyn side, "Can't handle. So why don't we all just chill for a while a' enjoy it?"

Spot snorted. One of his goons stepped forward and spoke in a sort of raspy voice. "Yeah, we can all do that, but this fine 'ittle piece of architecture is called the Brooklyn Bridge." He held out his hand. "So ya gotten to pay the owners." Little Les stepped forward as well. "What's ur problem? Didn't mommy teach ya to share?"

This, of course, was an honest question, but the newsies in Brooklyn weren't the brightest kids on the block and thought it was an insult. Faster than those from Manhattan could d anything, the goons were upon Les like piranhas and the others at the end of the bridge were behind Spot, leering at them, daring to pick a fight. Before anyone knew what was happening, Les was being held firmly by the arms by several 'Rookies' as Mush called them. This sent Jack's gang reeling. Soon insults were flying back and forth like bullets, each soldier dodging and returning one while some got hit. Comments like "Hand 'im over!" and "Cowboy's gonna fix ya!" or "Ya lay one finger on him and ya'll be lying at the bottom of the river!" were just a few of the nicer saying, but there were sure some pretty nasty ones thrown in there as well. But this exchange did nothing but let out all of anger and hatred the two rivalries had for each other and did nothing to help poor Les, who by now was white with terror written all across his face. There was one good thing that came from it though; in the midst of the argument Boots had slipped away without not so much as a sound to go alert Jack and David. If Wildcat hadn't been standing next to him at the time, she wouldn't have noticed.

Finally enough stream was let off for one newsie, Crutchy, to get a clear head and speak. "Nay ya'll listen here!" he told Spot. "Let Les alone, he's done nothing but ask a decent question. So youse gonna let 'im free or we'll be on ya like youse were to Les!" A shout rose up from Manhattan newsies. Each kid counted the number of boys on each side; there were 7 in each group, enough for each boy to have one assailant. Race clenched his fist, giving out the silent signal to everyone there that they were gonna attack, and Wildcat feared that this wouldn't end well for the Manhattan boys. But just as they started to go at it, a holler came up at the end of the bridge. "Stop!" a voice commanded, and almost at once everyone froze in their places and turned their heads. At the end of the bridge, running as fast as his long legs could carry him was Jack Kelly, along with David and Sarah in tow, her skirts 'a' flying.

It took a minute for Jack to reach his gang, but not a single newsie from neither, Manhattan nor Brooklyn moved an inch. They all knew that an angry Jack was a violent Jack, and a violent Jack meant quite a few broken bones and black eyes in both parties. But while the leader was Manhattan and the 'Walking Mouth' stopped at the line dividing the two cities, Sarah strode right on up to the nearest boy holding onto Les. And then she slapped the newsie clear across the face with all the strength she could muster, which was quite a lot. Sarah backed up and stood behind Jack after that, knowing full well what could happen if that boy got a hold of her. But she only regretted that she didn't have time to grab Les. Jack meanwhile had turned to his gang and stood at the line separating Brooklyn and Manhattan.

"What dos ya thinks yaw's doin' here?" he demanded, not bothering to take notice of Spot Conlon behind him making faces at the others. "Are yaw's brainless? Ya could've gotten 'em killed!" He turned to Kid. "And youse crazy for lettin' em' come, or even suggesting the ideoua! Youse outta be ashamed!" Indeed, Kid hung his head in remorse. Then Jack got onto Wildcat. But instead of yelling at her like he did Kid, he leaned in close and whispered in her ear. "Yaw's got ya hair all in yaw's cap?" Wildcat nodded slightly, just enough for Cowboy to notice. "Good," he replied. "I can't have the kidnapping of the main chaperone on this little trip on me conscience." Jack raised his head up again, but this time it was to scold her. The girl newsie knew that Jack was just putting on a show for the Brooklynites, but that didn't stop her from cringing just a little. Boy, Jack could really give it to ya.

"And Wildcat!" Jack almost screamed. "I trusted youse! And ya gotta go and pull this off! Wildcat, I forgive ya, but that don't stop from being mad at ya, giorl." But almost immediately after that Jack realized his mistake. He had said girl. It was the one thing that no one was supposed to say about Wildcat. Especially in front Spot Conlon.

Spot's eyes got real large real fast. So did the other boys from Brooklyn. "A giorl is a Manhattan newsie," he kept repeating. "A giorl is a Manhattan newsie!" A wicked grin crossed his face just then. He snapped his fingers twice, and the largest boy holding onto Les pulled out a knife, one even larger than Wildcats. The goon held it at Les' throat. All throughout Jack's ranks tension arose. They couldn't do anything about Les. Not even his own brother David, who had the best way with words. It was all up to Spot now. All eyes turned to the King of Brooklyn as he cleared his throat and spoke in a voice dangerously as soft and slick as butter.

"Well, well, well. Jacky boy, I never thought you'd sink this low. Letting a girl into the newsie ranks Jack, that's bad for business. And it would be such a shame if word got out about it too. I think it would quickly deter Manhattan's reputation as the top newsboy employer as well as their leader's. Now, let me look this one in the eyes, cans I see the difference? Oh, there we go, Jack you got yourself a nice one, I'll give ya that!" Spot nodded to his captive. "But I'll make a deal. If the giorl's any good, you can have this little guy and I take her with me. Gosh, I'll even drop the whole argument we had tonight and forget youse were even in Brooklyn! But I need her as payment."

At that Race, Kid and Mush broke out in angry shouts.

"What'll you talkin' about, Conlon?" Mush shouted. "Wildcat's the best we got!" "Can even go a' couple rounds in the ring with Jack!" Kid broke in. "I'd reckon she's better you!" But Race out did both of them. He pulled Wildcat's knife out of her pocket and showed it to Spot. "Best knifeman in Manhattan," he stated simply. He handed it to Wildcat and pointed silently at the wooden beam above Spot's head. Wildcat looked at the boy as if to say, that close? But nevertheless, she flipped the weapon in her hand once and threw with all of her skill and practice on the table for all to admire.

Time nearly stopped. In what seemed like slow motion, the Bowie went soaring over Spot's head and landed neatly atop of it, mere inches from his face. The King of Brooklyn's face turned a deathly pale, but then returned with a smirk once he realized that e was not her intended target. "So ya gonna give hers up or watt, Jacky-boy?"

Jack shook his head. "Wildcat's one of the best fighter Isa got. We lose err, we lose most of the territory she's 'a' got under her control. So the answer's still no!" Then Jack put his foot down as to settle to matter.

But Spot wasn't done yet. He snapped again and the goon holding Les at knifepoint started to press it into Les' throat. "Too bad. And he seemed like a decent kid." Blood started to dribble down in little beads upon les' neck. bUt then a great shout rose up from Manhattan's side. "Stop!"

Wildcat stepped out from the rest of the newsies and into the space between sides. "I'll go, Conlon! Just let Les go home!" At that the goon stopped pressing and the blood flow ceased. He threw the boy into Sarah and David's waiting arms and reached out to grab Wildcat instead. But Jack intervened again. He threw himself between the two and whirled Wildcat around to face him.

"I ain't gonna let youse go and let Spot Conlon do whatever to yaws!" Jack told her. "He'll drown ya as soon as you get ova that there bridge!" he pointed towards the river.

Spot scoffed. "You are kiddin' Kelly. This giorl's gonna be useful! In more ways than one too!"

Cat shot him if-looks-could-kill-you-would-be-dead-before-you-hit-the-ground glare and faced her leader. "Jack, it's me or Les! You've got him longer than me, and he's your best friend's brother. Take im'! I can defend myself. Get everyone off this here bridge and leave the rest to me. I'll be fine."

"It's Spot that I'm worried about."

Wildcat rolled her eyes. "Don't youse worry! He'll be sleepin' with the fishes if he so much as lays a hand on me. Now get a' goin'!" With that said Cat stepped back and let the goon grab her. Jack reluctantly returned to his group and ushered them off the bridge while spot's moved back towards Brooklyn. Sarah kept on looking back at her best friend. "We'll get you out of there, Cat!" she called out behind her. "Don't worry!"

$N$

Finally Spot's gang reached their docks, where they normally spent the night. He motioned for the boy holding Wildcat to set her down on top of some crates and waved the others off so that it was only him and Wildcat within 50 feet. Spot leaned in close so that his face and hers were almost touching. This made Wildcat kind of uncomfortable, but she remained calm and defiant when he tried to look her in the eyes. Upon seeing that she wasn't going to give him any sort of satisfaction of any sort voluntarily, Spot switched tactics. He pretended to give up and leaned back, but at the last moment stole Wildcat's hat, unfurling all of her wavy brown hair hidden underneath the cap and getting it all in her face and covering her ice blue eyes. The girl tried to get it back, but Spot hastily danced out of her reach by a finger. Finally Wildcat stopped trying to get her cap and slinked over the crate she was sitting on, defeated. "If youse don't wanna respect me youse can at least respect me hat," she mumbled under her breath, just loud enough for Spot to hear.

Spot stopped moving and looked at his captive, twirling her hat between his fingers. "If ya tells me what Isa need to know youse can get it back," he said simply. Wildcat looked up and brush her hair out from in front of her face. "'Right, watta youse need ta now?" Spot shrugged. "Lots, I'd reckon. Maybe stuff you ain't ever told nobody before."

Wildcat laughed. "I ain't told nobody nothin' 'bout me life before da newsies, and not all that many asked. Ya asking me to tell youse, the guy whose gonna keep me here 'gainst me own will, to tell ya me life story. That done gonna take years!"

"Then start talkin'."

Wildcat crossed her arms and stared him straight in the eye. Spot now had what he'd set out to accomplish; eye contact. But this wasn't what he'd expected. This girl's eyes were as hard as ice, beautiful, yet hard. "I won't talk," was Wildcat's final answer. This defiance sent spot off his leash. He was used to obedience from all that crossed him, he scared most o his troops and almost all of the Manhattan side newsboys. But here this girl was, a prisoner of war, showing not the slightest bit of emotion as he interrogated her. This was going to be a problem.

"Now ya listen here!" Spot said angrily, coming up close and pinning her against the back of the crate. "Youse in my territory now! Youse do what I say, when Isa says it! So ya gonna talk or am I gonna have ta get someone to soak ya into it?"

Wildcat's eyebrows rose up a little in questionability, but then they came back down in understanding. Then she began to chuckle. "So the King of Brooklyn doesn't even fight his own battles," she taunted. "I've always thought youse were a sad figure Conlon, but that's just pathetic. Youse scared of an actual fight?" Spot's expression turned from angry to unreadable. He stepped back and began to walk away….. But then he whirled back around and punched Wildcat in the stomach. This was the only time today Spot had felt in control of the situation, and that returning feeling felt good. But as he saw Wildcat doubled over in pain, he caught a glimpse of her eyes once again. They weren't as cold as they were before. Inside Spot could see many other things. First he saw fear, but that quickly disappeared faster than a cake in the hands of a newsie. The second thing he saw was pain, not the external kind, the other one. This was probably reminding her of something she didn't what to remember. And Spot wanted to find out.

But not tonight. Spot was feeling kind of bad about punching a girl, even if he knew she could take it. What was wrong with him?

Finally the King decided that enough was enough and was about to leave, but something else in Wildcat's eyes stopped him. She was looking at him now, staring at her captor, and Spot didn't like what he saw. Instead of the human emotions that he had seen before, he saw nothing again. Then, out of nowhere, something flashed across her face. It was rage. In that moment Spot knew what she was going to do. Why wouldn't his feet work?

He watched as the newsgirl rose to her feet and dusted herself off. She was still looking at Spot. She held out her hand. "Hat?" Wildcat asked politely. But Spot was still the King of Brooklyn. He still retained power. He just didn't know for how much longer. "Come and get it," was his reply. But he regretted it almost instantly. Wildcat leapt onto the crate and surveyed Spot. Then she pounced.

$N$

If Spot didn't bring up his cane when he did Wildcat would have crushed him. He was able to repel the girl into a row of boxes. But she landed on her feet as silent as breeze before she could hit them. Like a cat, Spot thought to himself. But Wildcat wasn't done. She hurled herself at him yet again, this time fists flying. The first one was predictable; Spot was easily able to dodge it. But too late he realized it was only a distraction for the other one to come up almost exactly where and when he ducked. It connected with his chest almost right where he had punched Wildcat moments before. It hit Conlon with such force that it sent him flying into the same row of boxes he had tried to send the girl into. But only he couldn't land on his feet. Crashing into the crates, he lay there for what seemed like forever. All that time he watched Wildcat pick her hat off the ground and brush the dirt off of it. Tucking her dark chocolate brown hair underneath it again it give the same appearance as before, she turned and stared at the fallen ruler. And just for a moment, Spot didn't see the old Wildcat. He saw a tall, slender, beautiful creature before him, but that wasn't all he saw.

He was on the streets of Brooklyn again. He saw a girl, about 3 years younger, a terrified look in her eyes, running down the street, newspapers clutched in her fists as she ran. Behind her he saw a boy, him actually, cat-calling and chasing after her and gaining feet faster than the girl could run. She was dressed in newsie clothes, a familiar looking hat a top her head, but with strands of chocolate brown hair streaming out. Frantically she kept glancing behind her, hoping that spot's former self would stop chasing her and give up. It was a fruitless effort, because younger Spot was catching up. Soon, just shy of the Brooklyn Bridge, the girl tripped. Newspapers flew everywhere. Younger Spot stopped right behind the girl and bent over. The poor female turned onto her back and screamed when she saw him. Younger Spot heaved her to his feet and held her tight, but just then someone tapped him on the back. Spot looked over and saw stars as Cowboy and Boots knocked him over, grabbing hold of the girl and taking off. Jack Kelly was out in front, followed closely behind by the girl, who was running even faster than Boots.

"What were ya thinkin' giorl?" Cowboy yelled behind her as they ran. "This is Spot Conlon's territory! Ya could've been taken, and then Sarah would've never forgiven me!"

"Crutchy said I could go anywhere!" was her hasty reply. "Plus I sold most of me papes!"

Boots rolled his eyes. "Stupid Crutchy! He failed ta mention that youse not supposed to go into Brooklyn!"

"Sorry!"

"It's fine kid, youse didn't know!" Jack called back. "Just 'member next time!"

Soon the newsies were back in Manhattan, where the girl looked back and saw younger Conlon get up and leave, shaking his fist at Cowboy and Boots. He yelled something too. It was incomprehensible, but it obviously scared the girl so badly she leapt up onto one of the bridges beams and refused to come back down. Like a cat, actual Spot thought. This also seemed familiar.

Jack was laughing at the girl's apparent distress. "C'mon down, Conlon can't hurt ya from ova here!" he called up to her, and the girl jumped back down gracefully. "Where youse learned ta does that?" Boots asked. The girl shrugged. "I know what we's gonna call ya now!" Jack exclaimed. The two other kids looked at him. "Wildcat!"

And then Spot was jerked back a reality. The new Wildcat was still standing over him. The King remembered the incident like it was yesterday. But he'd never thought it would end like this. "Youse that girl from 3 years ago," Spot whispered weakly. Wildcat nodded.

"That'd be a 'bout 'right." Then she disappeared off into the night, darkness swallowing her up in its grasp. Spot fell back onto the smashed crates in defeat. Something had settled in his stomach, something that drove spot nuts. Wildcat was just any other girl he'd met, but she wasn't. She wasn't attracted to him at all, could beat him in a fight, and was a newsie. She was from Manhattan. She was out of bounds. So why was the King of Brooklyn attracted to someone like her? With the little strength Spot had left leaving him, he lay back in the smashed crates and blacked out.

$N$

It took the better part of the night for Wildcat to cover her tracks before getting back to the Manhattan newsie lodging house. When she was finally able to step inside familiar premises, Wildcat heard the voices of almost all the newsies coming from the dining hall, Jack being the loudest. Slipping inside the back, Wildcat saw everyone was gathered around Jack and David, listening to them talk. No, it wasn't talking; it was planning. The girl newsie decided to surprise the others by staying where she was until opportunity presented itself.

"Now, we can't have Wildcat spendin' the night over in Brooklyn, can we boys?" Jack asked the crowd. "Who knows what they'll do to 'err!" Les' voice came out from the front of the room. "Right! So we go back there right now an' storm Conlon's place!" Jack answered. "WE gonna make 'em pay for a' stealin' our newsie, right boys?" A shout arose from the paper boys. "Yeah, let's do this!" Racetrack shouted.

"Or you could just turn around and says hello!" Wildcat interrupted. She couldn't have her boys stormin' Spot's place without her in it. Jack didn't even turn around. "Hey, Wildcat, we was just making a plan on how to break Wildcat outta Conlon's dock." Then he did a double take. "Wildcat!" everyone screamed, leaping up from their chairs and giving her a giant hug. Poor Hotshot, the youngest newsie, was clinging to her waist, crying because to him Wildcat was a sort of mother figure besides Sarah and took care of him more often. Her kidnapping had been hard on this little boy, even if it was only for a few hours. When David called for everyone to settle down, they all did so, but still were making a ruckus over her return. "Alright everyone, settle down!" Sarah called from her chair beside the table Jack had been standing on to rally up everyone earlier. "You O.K. Willa?" Wildcat turned red. "I tells ya not ta call me bys me real name!" she told her friend off. Sarah shrugged. "I'm your friend, I get privileges." But she was interrupted by Snitch, another newsie, who was standing in the corner. "So how'd ya get away, Cat?" he asked. That sent everyone into a sort of nervous excitement as they all leaned in to hear Wildcat's tale. The newsgirl rolled her eyes. "None 'o' your business, Snitch." But she wasn't getting off too easily. Hotshot pulled at her overalls, begging to hear it. Even jack was listening. So Wildcat relented and told them, leaving out the part where Spot wanted to know about her old life.

When it was over, all the boys were chattering excitedly. "You soaked Conlon?" one whispered. "Because he dared to steal ya hat?" "He figured out who you are?' another muttered in disbelief. Wildcat nodded. This started another wave of questions and comments, but they were put to rest when Sarah stood up and ordered everyone to bed. Then she herself called for les and David and left for home. Wildcat said her good-byes and was about to go tuck Hotshot in bed when she saw Jack Kelly sulking in the corner. Surprised, she sent Hotshot, promising a story if he waited and went over to sit next to Jack.

"Hey Kelly, why ya long face?" she joked, punching his arm playfully. "My story beta than yours?" Jack smiled a bit and sat down on a barrel. "Nah….. Well maybe, but that ain't it." "So watt's ya problem then?" Jack hung his head. "If I hadn't said anything about youse being a girl you'd still be here and safe-""And Les would be in the morgue!" argued Wildcat. "You did the right thing, lettin' me go off easier than if the others would've done it. Plus, I got payback for last time!" Jack raised an eyebrow. "Ya still were holding onto that grudge? Here I thought youse were easy-going!" Wildcat shrugged. "That's me cover for sellin' papes. So stop worrying about da past and get some rest. We gots a long day ahead of us tomorrow, with no sleep like we got." "But we done it before," Jack pointed out. "We were up and at em' in the morning right on schedule!" Wildcat glared at the leader. "The kids were out snoozing on the sidewalk as soon as they gots their papes sold," was her reply. "I ain't runnin' a late nighters' again, ya hear? Now get ta bed an' go to sleep!" Jack grumbled about how bossy girls were but nevertheless followed her up. "You like a sister to us, you knows that right Cat?" he asked her on their way up the stairs. "And a mother to Hotshot and all the other little guys." Cat chuckled as she turned into the walk-in closet that served as the younger ones bedroom in the boarding house. "Well, they don't got anyone else besides Sarah, and she's only 'round here every two days."

"Yeah, I guess." Jack was about to go into the older boys room, but stopped sort outside it and looked at his partner, who had disappeared inside the boy's room to tell them a story. "Yep, you a mother to them alright," he muttered under his breath so no one could hear. "You tell 'em stories and protect em' from anything that comes their way." He paused for a moment, thinking. "But you sure can scare the living daylight outta them too. And anyone else for that matter." With that, he got into bed and fell asleep.

$N$

The next day was harder for Spot Conlon than usual. First thing he had to do was explain to his crew why he was sitting in a pile of smashed in boxes while his attacker/captive was missing. Spot could tell they were disappointed in him for letting their hostage get away, but that was the least of Spot's worries. His only concern was selling his papers and fast so he could get down to Manhattan and find Wildcat. But unfortunately, this wasn't gonna be the case today. Spot had more bruises, splinters from crashing into the crates and broken fingers than any Brooklynites had gotten in a week. His second-in-command, Ink, told him to go see a doctor and forget about sellin' today. He even sent a guard to make sure he didn't do something rash, which was routine for Spot. Getting to the Doctor and getting fixed up took up a good deal of time, so by the time Spot got down to Manhattan, sellin' papes was already over. The streets were empty of newsies, but spot knew enough about them to now where they'd done.

The only place that they could be was either the theatre or the lodging house. But since Metta was out of town that week, Spot tried option two. His efforts paid off. Spot walked into the house and was greeted by the racket of 3 small boys bouncing around the place. But they stopped short once they saw Conlon. Immediately they screamed at the top of their lungs for Jack and Race to get down there and took off upstairs hollering for their mother. Soon Jack and Race were downstairs and glaring at Spot.

"You gotta lot of nerve comin' down here, Spot!" Race started. "Yeah, and without ya goons with ya youse seem pretty helpless!" Jack commented. He started to circle around Spot, checking out his bruises and counting broken bones. He laughed. "Well, so the rumors were true. Wildcat did soak ya as well as she said!" Race snorted with laughter as well. Under normal circumstances, Spot would've decked them both head on, but this was different. "I didn't know youse Manhattan boys gotta mother here," he said. "Can't run the place by youse self Jacky-boy?" Jack didn't take offence like Spot thought, but Race did instead. "We were doing just fine! At least until you decided to grace us with ya presence!" He emphasized the last word. Jack held up his hand and nodded at Race sternly, at which point Race turned tail and ran upstairs. Then he turned back to Spot. "You came here for something?" he asked innocently.

Spot leaned up against the wall. "Youse never answered me first question. Who's ta mother? Sarah?" Jack shook his head. "Wildcat-""Ya means she's gotta family?" Spot yelled in alarm. He had kidnapped a mother of But Jack shook his head again. "Well, yes an' no. We is her family, us Manhattan newsies. And Sarah's certainly familiar with everyone, but she's here only twice a week. The little guys took to Cat and ever since she's been playin' mother to em', making sure they're alright after sellin' papes and tellin' em' stories at night. To the older ones she's like a sister. WE all tell her she'd make a good housewife, but every times we do we end up with a black eye. She says she likes it as a newsie, and is only doing it until they're grown. But I haven't told her we get a new set of younger ones every few years." He chuckled at the look on Spot's face. "I'm kidding! You gotta lighten up there, King 'o' Brooklyn, but I guess bein' beatin' by a giorl knocked some sense into ya. Now, I answered youse question, so ya answer mine before we kick ya all the way to New Jersey."

Spot took a deep breath. "I'm here to see Wildcat."

This sent jack into hysterics. "You WHAT!" he shouted, making the floor around him shake. Several of the younger ones, seven in all, including the three of whom had alerted the house to spot's presence in the first place, peered down the stairs. Footsteps sent them scurrying back up again, but it was too late. Wildcat had already heard Jack's shout. "Jack! You alright down there?" she hollered down the stairs, and Spot half expected her to appear at the top of them. But she didn't appear just yet. Instead, Spot heard Race pleading with her, begging her not to go down there.

"It's a surprise!" he lied, blocking her path. "We gotta a surprise for ya an' ya can't see it just yet!" But Wildcat saw right through him. "Youse always say that when you don't wanna gets in trouble. Did ya break the railin' again?" She pushed the boy aside and started down the stairs, but stopped short at the sight of Spot at the bottom. Race laughed nervously. "Surprise?"

"What-are-you-dong-here?" she whispered quietly, yet there was a dangerous toner in her voice. Spot opened his mouth to speak, but she didn't give him a chance to respond.

"WHO LET HIM IN?" she seethed, whirling around to face her adopted children. They seemed on the verge of tears. They obviously didn't want her to get at them. "He let himself in, Momma," one of them said quietly. This cooled off Wildcat's rage towards her 'children' but only increased for her hatred towards spot. She pointed to an unseen room upstairs. "Go. Now. I'll be up in a few." She turned to race. "Make sure they stay there." Race nodded in obedience and hurled himself up there faster than a locomotive. He obviously feared her wrath.

Once she made sure everyone was in their rooms, Cat whirled around and faced Spot, her bowie knife in hand once again. She must've retrieved it from the bridge on her way back from the docks, Spot thought. But before she could throw it, Jack stepped in front of her target. "Cat, he ain't here ta hurt ya!"

"Says who?"

"Says me!" Spot said loudly. Cat put her knife away, but still held her ground. "What do youse want?" she asked coldly.

Spot took another deep breath. "Isa here to say sorry."

$N$

So, did everyone like the first part? I just watched the movie in class and couldn't wait to write it! If ya'll could R&R that would be amazing! I need reviewers!