Study Guide

Heart of a Samurai Chapter 19

By Margi Preus

Chapter 19

Victory Without Fighting

  • It's the first day of school at the Bartlett School and Manjiro's all about doing well.
  • Then he spies a coin on the ground.
  • His mind goes through all sorts of questions: Should he pick it up and find the owner? Should he ignore it? What's the right thing to do? Will he get in trouble?
  • Finally, he decides to pick it up and find the owner for the coin, but as he does, the coin jumps away from him.
  • He does this a few more times—tries to pick up the coin, the coin jumps away—until he notices the string attached to the coin.
  • He glances up and notices this boy smirking at him and calls him out on the trick.
  • The guy—Tom—calls out to another guy named Job and tells him he's been found out.
  • And this is when the bullying begins.
  • You see, Tom's a racist jerk—he's one of the guys who made fun of Manjiro the very first day Manjiro got off the ship. Oh great.
  • He starts taunting Manjiro with all sorts of racist, anti-foreigner stuff.
  • Manjiro knows that he can't get in trouble, so he does something else: He uses the coin (now in his hand) and plays a disappearing coin trick on the students who have now gathered into a crowd around him.
  • While he's doing the trick, he catches the eye of a girl, and makes the coin appear from behind her ear. He even touches her slightly. Ooh la la…
  • The students are amazed and the tension from Tom's bullying fades away.
  • Plus, Mr. Bartlett himself comes up and breaks up the crowd.
  • Thereafter, Manjiro gets along well with the other students—all except Tom and his friends.
  • By the way, Job ends up being one of Manjiro's friends. He, Terry, and Manjiro hang out and even help Manjiro out at the farm.
  • But the better Manjiro does at the school, the more Tom and his crowd dislike him, you know, because jerks are like that.
  • Tom continues to say a bunch of junk about Manjiro, and once, Job almost gets into a fight with Tom over Manjiro.
  • Good thing a teacher comes by and breaks them up…