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The Chocolate War

The Chocolate War


by Robert Cormier

The Chocolate War Chapter 15 Summary

  • Emile Janza approaches Archie. He wants to talk about the picture. (The one we heard about in Chapter 7.)
  • Archie says he's still got it.
  • Emile says he wants to buy it from Archie.
  • Archie wants to know why he'd want to buy such an unflattering picture of himself.
  • The average guy "would be intimidated" if Emile looked at him the way Emile is looking at Archie. But Archie isn't average.
  • Emile asks where the photo is. Archie assures him it's in a secure location.
  • For a moment, Archie considers giving Emile the true story on the picture. But he has to be really careful with Emile. It's possible that Emile could hurt him.
  • Still, Emile can be used as a tool to hurt others.
  • Archie tells Emile that it won't be necessary to give him money. He'll get the picture back in exchange for Emile doing Archie a favor.
  • Emile says OK.
  • Archie knows Emile will do it, and that Emile would kill somebody for that picture.
  • Here's the funny part: Archie doesn't even have a picture.
  • Here's what happened:
  • (Start flashback.)
  • Archie's is walking down the hall at school and he sees an open locker with a camera inside. He grabs the camera, planning to dump it when he's tired of it.
  • Next, he goes into the bathroom and opens one of the stalls.
  • Lo and behold, who does he find on the other side of the door? Emile, of course. And Emile appears to be masturbating.
  • Archie pretends to snap a picture, preparing to run for his life if need be.
  • Emile asks for the camera, but Archie stands firm. Emile doesn't press the point.
  • (End flashback.)
  • Emile sees a freshman across the way and calls out to him. He tells the kid to go buy him some cigarettes.
  • Archie knows Emile wants to be a Vigil. He thinks this is Emile's way of showing Archie he'd be good for the organization.
  • The freshman tells Emile that he doesn't have the money to pay for cigarettes, and he doesn't want to get a tardy.
  • Emile tells him he needs to find the money, buy the cigarettes, and deliver them at lunchtime.
  • He gives the freshman his name, in case the kid wants to ask around about him.
  • Archie doesn't want to be late to class either, but he can't help watching Emile. Archie thinks, "The world [is] made up of two kinds of people – those who [are] victims and those who [are] victimized" (15.41).
  • Yeah. He knows which type Janza is; Archie is that type too.
  • Archie says he bets Emile gets his kicks hurting elderly women and disabled people.
  • Emile laughs creepily, and Archie knows that people think the same thing about him.

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