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The Chocolate War
by Robert Cormier
The Chocolate War Chapter 26 Summary
When he hears the sweet voice on the other end of the line, Jerry's "mind [goes] blank" (26.1). OK, there aren't any more Barretts in the phone book. It must be Ellen. Who else but the girl at the bus stop could have a voice "so fresh and appealing" (26.4). Jerry manages to tell her, "Hello" (26.5). She asks if he's Danny. When he says he isn't, she asks who he is. Instead of telling her, he asks her if she's Ellen Barrett. She doesn't answer him, and Jerry says, "Look, you don't know who I am but I see you every day…" (26.12). The girl asks Jerry if he's "a pervert," but she doesn't sound offended. Jerry wants to tell her about how he's been watching her and dreaming of her. He wants to remind her of her smiles. But then he feels silly. She probably doesn't remember half the guys she smiles at. He says, "I'm sorry for bothering you" (26.17). She decides Jerry must be Danny and says, "Are you trying to put me on, Danny? Look, Danny, I'm getting tired of you and your crap…" (26.19). At this point, Jerry puts down the phone. His fantasy is busted up into a zillion tiny pieces, all because she used the word "crap" (26.19). Jerry's heart is "beating wildly" and he wonders if he is a pervert. Specifically, he wonders if "refusing to sell the chocolates [is] a kind of perversion" (26.19). In spite of his orders from Archie and The Vigils, Jerry refused again to sell chocolates this morning. (Flashback to Thursday morning roll call.) This time, it feels really good to toss up the " No at Brother Leon" (26.19). It gives Jerry a feeling of "exultancy" (extreme joy) and a big boost to "his spirit" (26.19). He'd thought the earth would cave in or something, but the only thing he notices is how worried The Goober looks. He's still floating on air when he gets home, and he gets himself some ice cream and says, "My name is Jerry Renault and I'm not going to sell the chocolates" (26.26). He thinks, "The words and his voice [sound] strong and noble" (26.22).
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