Before T. becomes the leader of the Wormsley Common gang, Blackie is its head. He is described as a just leader who is not jealous and wants to keep the group intact. He also distrusts anything having to do with the upper class. As the gang’s leader, Blackie suggests such activities as seeing how many free bus rides they can sneak and breaking into Old Misery’s house without stealing anything.
When the gang sides with T. instead of Blackie, Blackie initially feels betrayed and privately sulks. He then decides that if the gang is going to succeed in the feat of destroying the house, he wants to be a part of it for the fame. Once he rejoins the group, he is fully committed to T.’s leadership and to contributing to the destruction of the house. In fact, when the gang’s confidence in T.’s leadership falters, Blackie pulls the group back together. This demonstrates that the group as a whole is more important to him than the personal glory of being the leader.
At the end of the story, an unsuspecting driver finally brings down the house. The driver’s truck is tied to the gutted house so that when he pulls out of the adjacent parking lot, the entire house crumbles.
At first, the driver is astonished and confused, but once he realizes what has happened, he responds with a fit of laughter. Even when Mr. Thomas faces him and asks him how he can laugh, the driver is unable to control himself.
Joe is a member of the Wormsley Common gang. He is simply described as a ‘‘fat boy,’’ and he is the first to vote in favor of T.’s plan to destroy the house.
(The entire section is 712 words.)