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The chapter opens with Brother Jacques saying, "At this period of history, man began to learn more about his environment –" (20.1).
On the word "environment" all the kids in the class start dancing, running in place, and jumping around. Then they sit back down, like they had never gotten up in the first place.
Obie thinks Brother Jacques looks confused and really freaked-out, which is normal since Jacques isn't very old and hasn't been teaching very long, and because the boys have been doing this all week.
The teacher doesn't seem to be doing anything to put a stop to it.
Obie thinks it's pretty amazing that even though kids and teachers alike know a Vigil's production when they see one, everybody pretends like they have no idea. Obie wonders why people react this way.
He's usually a key player in assignment, making sure everything goes smoothly, but he's tired of it. There's nothing in it for him. Everything is designed to increase Archie's fame as a diabolical mastermind.
Obie even had to help with the Room Nineteen assignment, and he has to help with this one too, if necessary.
See, whenever Brother Jacques says "environment," everybody has to start jumping and dancing around. If Jacques doesn't seem inclined to say the word, Obie has to ask a question that will make him say it.
He hopes the black box (see Chapter 5) will take care of Archie soon, because he's getting sick of all these assignments.
Well, today Jacques seems "environment"-happy and he uses the words a half a dozen times in less than twenty minutes.
Obie is jumping around with the others, wearing himself out.
Then he sees what looks like a little grin on the teacher's face.
Archie! He must have told Jacques what was up! So Jacques is just rolling with it, having a good time.
When Obie leaves class, he sees Archie standing there watching with a victorious look on his face. Obie glowers at him, wishing he could get revenge.