wwwwiiiiiiippppppp...poing!! girl: hey, scrappy lad, did ralston go this way? Ralston: you bet! if you hurry you can catch him...
I’d forgotten her desire for Ralston (I keep forgetting her name, as well…).
My first reading was, as I suggested, that Scrapster was running passed Ralston so fast that their clothing got exchanged (hey, it happens in cartoons), which led to the mental image of Scrappy Lad tearing down the street wearing nothing but a red bow-tie. Ralston’s look of shock in the first panel I attributed to his fear of an impending collision.
This other scenario makes much more sense. Thanx.