The Chocolate War
by Robert Cormier
The Chocolate War Chapter 28 Summary
- Jerry's on the football field, about to try to pull off a play that involves tackling Carter and taking him to the ground.
- Since Carter outweighs Jerry by about fifty pounds, Jerry isn't too excited about this plan.
- But he does it; Jerry and Carter crash into each other and hit the ground.
- Jerry feels good, not as good as when he carries off some other kinds of plays, but still good.
- When he sees Carter getting up, looking mystified, he gets up too, smiling away at Carter.
- His smile disappears as he feels someone hit him from the back, right in the kidneys. He's falling and when he tries to look back toward his attackers, he's hit again, hard, and hits the ground, almost in tears.
- The Coach just acts annoyed and tells Jerry to get up.
- Jerry manages to limp over to the huddle, and tries to figure out who attacked him. Jerry was watching Carter during the attack, so that rules him out. He wonders if it was one of his own team members. One of these guys, he realizes, is "trying to wipe [him] out" (28.10).
- When Jerry gets home from school, the phone is ringing and ringing.
- When he answers, all he can hear is some light laughter. He asks who's there and gets hung up on.
- About 11 pm, the phone starts ringing again. Jerry thinks it's probably his dad, but when he answers, he hears nothing but the same strange laugh. It creeps Jerry out, especially because it's so dark now.
- After a few more laughs, whoever it is hangs up.
- Jerry doesn't make a habit of leaving things he cares about in his locker, because Trinity kids will take anything not nailed down. Locks are useless, because people just break them.
- When he gets to school this morning, his locker has been vandalized. Somebody has blotted out the message on Jerry's poster, "Do I dare disturb the universe?" (28.61) with blue ink or paint. Somebody has also trashed the new tennis shoes he accidentally left here yesterday.
- He puts it all together – the way he was attacked at football, the ringing phone, and now the shoes and poster.
- He shuts the locker, not wanting anybody to see inside it. He isn't sure why, but "he [feels] ashamed" (28.38).
- Jerry hears sirens in his dreams, but wakes up and realizes it's the phone. He hears the clock strike two right after his father hangs up the phone.
- Jerry, already knowing the answer, asks his dad who was on the line. His dad says it wasn't anybody, just some giggling maniac. He tells Jerry that this happened last night, too, but Jerry didn't wake up.
- It takes Jerry a long time to go back to sleep.
- Now Jerry's in art class, completely focused on his work.
- Brother Andrew asks Jerry when he plans on turning in the watercolor due today. Jerry says he put in on Brother Andrew's desk the day before. It had taken him about two weeks to finish the painting.
- Andrew isn't the type to make mistakes, and he looks at Jerry funny, while searching his desk for Jerry's work. Jerry knows this is a waste of time. He's pretty sure somebody snagged it.
- When Jerry tells Andrew that he definitely left it there yesterday, Andrew looks right into Jerry's eyes. Jerry sees that the man seems to believe him.
- Andrew says he'll try very hard to find it, but that if he doesn't Jerry will fail the class, since the thing is worth fifty points.
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