Ishmael desperately needs fresh air. But before he can escape, Mr. Barker asks Ishmael for a word. He says that Scobie’s dad has called, and their concerns ended up not being concerns at all. Ishmael can only say that that’s great. He asks if Scobie will be back in school in January, and Mr. Barker says he will be. Mr. Barker then leaves to go deal with Doug and Danny, who are wrestling. As Ishmael finally heads for the exit, he feels like nothing—not even a platoon of Barry Bagsleys—can make him stop smiling.
Everything is starting to tie up neatly with the news that Scobie is well and will return to school. Ishmael won’t just go back to school next year confident in his ability to speak and protect his friends. He’ll also have all his friends around to protect himself, and he will in turn protect them. This prospect continues to cut into Barry’s image as a terrifying villain.