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Chapters 1-3 set the stage for a plot concocted by a group of high school students to kidnap their teacher in retaliation for the strict, unyielding way he handles their classes.
Chapter 1 opens on a windy day. David's English assignment blows out of his notebook and is ruined. Mr. Griffin is unsympathetic and accepts no excuses for late work. The students hate Mr. Griffin, and one boy, Jeff, has a confrontation with him. He mutters under his breath that Griffin is "the sort of guy you'd like to kill".
In Chapter 2, Mark, "a strange-looking boy with a face like a fox and cool, appraising, gray-marble eyes", suggests that the group really should kill Mr. Griffin. The others don't take him seriously at first, but find themselves considering the possibility when Mark explains that they wouldn't really kill the teacher, just kidnap him and put a scare into him. The others are now more willing to take part in the prank, but Jeff senses something sinister behind Mark's plan, remembering that Mark once set a cat on fire for fun.
Chapter 3 focuses on David, who has a tough home life. His mother supports the family, and they must care for an ailing, manipulative grandmother as well. David, knowing he will one day have to take on the responsibility for his family, studies hard and is frustrated that he cannot do well in Griffin's class. When Mark asks him to take part in the prank, he agrees.
^ What he said
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