Though most students are bringing their returns directly to Brian Cochran, there is no need for the chocolate roll each day—but Brother Leon continues calling it. The Goober notices how Leon takes an odd delight in the process, excessively praising the boys who have sold impressive numbers of chocolates. Leon still calls Jerry’s name every day, and every day, Jerry answers “No.”
Brother Leon is continuing to call roll in order to bring attention to Jerry’s insurrection, and hopefully turn his classmates against him.
One afternoon, after Jerry replies to the roll, a student raises his hand and asks Brother Leon to ask Jerry why he isn’t selling chocolates like everybody else. Brother Leon asks why the student wants to know. The student says it’s his “right” to know why Jerry isn’t doing his part for the school. Brother Leon asks Jerry if he would care to answer the question; Jerry replies that “it’s a free country,” and the other boys laugh. Leon instructs Jerry to be more specific.
Brother Leon’s psychological manipulation of his students has succeeded—or he has at least blackmailed yet another one of them into his service.
Jerry points out that Brother Leon did, at the start, say the sale was voluntary, and thus Jerry doesn’t feel he has to sell the chocolates. Someone asks Jerry if he thinks he’s better than everyone else, and Jerry replies that he doesn’t. “Who do you think you are,” someone asks, and Jerry answers that he is Jerry Renault and he is not going to sell the chocolates. The bell rings, but the boys don’t gather their things up right away. After a moment, they begin filing out.
Though Jerry points out that the sale is voluntary, this technicality does not matter—the sale is, for all intents and purposes, mandatory, considering how steeped in tradition and rote routine Trinity High is.
Later that afternoon, The Goober heads to the assembly hall to watch Brian Cochran post the latest chocolate returns. He is surprised to see the number fifty pop up next to his own name—though the other students applaud him, The Goober knows he has only sold twenty-seven. Rather than speak up, The Goober shrivels into the shadows—he doesn’t want any trouble. The Goober feels hardly anything, but for some reason he finds himself crying all the way to his locker.
The Goober is being roped into the Vigils’ assault against Jerry’s character whether he wants to be or not. Feeling completely helpless and powerless—not to mention unheard and disregarded by the very person he is trying to save—The Goober at last breaks down, unable to bear the manipulation any longer.