John begins the chapter with a newspaper clipping of an advice column. A mother writes to "Dear Alice" saying that she thinks it is normal for her five-year-old son to play with dolls, but her husband disagrees.
John explains that he cut out the column because it reminded him of Norton, who used to play with dolls when he was younger. Kids used to tease him about it, so Norton "went berserk" around the age of ten, and tried to act like a tough guy. John has nothing but contempt for Norton: "He is so low on the scale of human evolution he belongs back in the age of the Cro-Magnon man."
In high school, Norton started shoplifting, and his stealing has gotten worse. Norton, John tells us, is completely mentally unbalanced, "the type of guy who could grow up to become a killer."
Norton asks John if there is anything worth stealing at Mr. Pignati's house, and threatens that he and Dennis may try to break into the house. John thinks: "I knew I'd kill Norton if he tried to hurt the old man."