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Crooks, the stable buck, is introduced in Chapter 2 when George and Lennie are being shown around the bunk house by the old man referred to later as "the old swamper." We learn that Crooks is the only hand on the ranch who is African-American and that he is victimized because of it. Crooks isn't allowed to live in the bunk house with the other men; instead, he lives in a room by himself and is not allowed to come out and socialize. The previous Christmas, George is told, the boss brought whiskey to the bunk house, and Crooks was "let in" for that one night. According to the old swamper, Crooks was then attacked by one of the men:
Little skinner name of Smitty took after the nigger. Done pretty good, too. The guys wouldn't let him use his feet, so the nigger got him. If he coulda used his feet, Smitty says he woulda killed the nigger.
The racism Crooks endures is evident in the old man's remarks.
We also learn that Crooks keeps books in his room, reads a lot, has a temper, and isn't especially impressed when the boss gets angry. Most of the time he's "a pretty nice fella." He is called "Crooks" because of his crooked back, an injury he suffered when he was once kicked by a horse.
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