What is Summers's reaction to the word "please"?

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Part 3 of "The Destructors," with saws, hammers, screwdrivers, and sledgehammers, the boys have reduced the centuries-old home that is the only house left standing after the London bombings to nothing but the facade; the interior is complete destroyed. T. plans further damage, but one of the boys rushes in, saying that someone is coming.

"We better clear," Summers repeats what he has already said, "We've done enough, anyway."

"Oh, no, we haven't. Anybody could do this--....We've got to finish. Don't move. Let me think."

When another boy worries that there is no time, T. continues to insist that there is some way. "We couldn't have got this far...." Others continue to be anxious about Old Misery's return, but T. insists that he will think of something. He tells the boys to watch the back and the front of the house. Sensing his gathering loss of power over the other boys, T. now is "only one of the gang." He says, "Please."

"Please," Summers mimicked him, and then suddenly struck home with the fatal name, "Run along home, Trevor."

However, before the rest of the gang can laugh and strip T. of his leadership which is clearly threatened by the mockery by Summers, who repeats "Please" as though T. is begging and showing weakness, Blackie comes to his defense by pushing Summers back in a gesture that indicates his refusal to recognize Summers's attempt to usurp T.'s authority. He tells T. he will watch the front and asks T. to explain his plan. As T. describes his idea, Summers is defeated in his attempt to overpower T and sent to watch for Old Misery and lock him in the outside "loo."

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The Destructors

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