Chapter 4

Algernon found Jimmy by the lockers. Algie was slightly puzzled by the fact that it was near his own locker, that he found Jimmy. But it was an emergency. So he'd ask about it later.

'Hey Jimmy, have you got a minute?'

'One minute's all I can spare.' He said.

Algie quickly explained the events of the last three chapters.

'I don't know.' said Jimmy, shaking his head. 'You still owe me for clobbering Biff for you.'

'I'll give you ten dollars!'

'Make it twenty. I charge extra for having to wear a disguise.'

'Deal!'

Algernon extended his hand to seal the deal with a shake. Jimmy declined.

'Let me just get the money out of my locker.' He turned. Jimmy had apparently left. He opened the locker anyway, to pay his hero later.

'Where's that evildoer?!' Seth roared, falling out of the locker.

Afternoon class went by slowly. At last, the bell rang. Algie went to the lockers, to meet Jimmy. But he wasn't there.

Okay. Maybe he went to the lunchroom? Yeah! That's it! A quick snack, before the big fight!

He ran down the stairs so fast he almost tripped. He swung into the cafeteria, and scanned it, for the stocky lad. Not a trace. All he saw was the lunch lady giving a wicked grin to a cat.

Okay, maybe he had a snack already!

He approached the lunch lady.

'Excuse me, have you seen Jimmy Hopkins?'

Edna the lunch lady turned with a yellow toothed smile.

'Last time I saw 'em he was headin' upstairs!' her voice was like a huge parrot trapped inside a lawnmower.

Algie raced back upstairs. He scanned for an open classroom. English looked open. He peered inside. Mr Galloway looked in a terrible state.

'Are you okay, sir?' Algie asked.

Galloway looked up with bloodshot eyes. He slumped back into his chair.

'It's not a good time, Alfie…no, sorry Algie'. He gave a hiccup. 'I'm just under the weather a little.' He put a hand to his stomach.

Since he said he was just a bit under the weather, and it was nothing serious, Algernon forwarded his question as to the whereabouts of Jimmy.

Galloway's eyes darted in every direction.

'Oh, Jimmy…he's…' he looked up to the heavens. 'He's um…go ask Ms Phillips! She'll tell you!'

'Thank you sir!' said Algie as he raced out the door. Mr Galloway gave a burp.

The parking lot was the usual hangout of the bullies and no place for the astronomy club members to be lurking. Algernon didn't have time to worry about that. He darted over to the car park. Everything was a blur; with the grey tarmac of the parking spots the only thing he could focus on. A car drove out. He saw the back of Ms Phillip's head. Jimmy must have been with her. What happened? Jimmy must have been caught committing some sort of crime. Ms Phillips must be taking him to the police.

It was 15:45 pm. Jimmy had let him down. Depending on someone else had been a complete waste of time. No one was going to get him out of the duel. He had to just face the music.

With a heavy heart, he went to meet his friends at the library. They gave him his Grottos and Gremlins master's robe. Earnest and Melvin walked behind, as his seconds. The other astronomy boys stood in two rows, with their yard sticks held high, saluting their soon to be departed comrade.

The came to the Minotaur statue, where the paths to the gym, auto shop, and Harrington house intersected. He could hear the Preppies laughing. The closer they came, the louder the arrogant laughter grew. Closer again. This time, they could make words out.

'What in the name of Satin's underwear are you wearing, Hopkins!'

Hopkins? Jimmy!

When they turned the corner, they saw Jimmy in an astronomy club vest, and what looked like a very silly wig. He was flanked by his own seconds. One was Pedro, and the other was Pete. A shy boy who didn't really belong to any peer group' in the school. Too small to be a jock, to lame to be a greaser, too poor to be a preppie, too nice to be a bully, and not dorky enough to be a nerd.

'Okay, so I'll admit the wig is lame.' said Jimmy, as he took it off, and threw it into the nearest garbage can. 'But at least I don't go around in an inside out raincoat.'

'For the last time it's a bloody smoking jacket!'

'Cut the tantrum, Barbie and let's do this!'

'My fight isn't with you.' He clicked his fingers'. Two of his fellow Preppies went into the house, and escorted Pinky out.

'What's going on?' she asked, bewildered at the sight of her cousin/fiancé in a smoking jacket, Jimmy in a nerd suit, and the fat kid who helped her with her chemistry project in a badly made Harry Potter cloak.

Derby, his nostrils flaring like a purebred horse, turned back to our heroes.

'My quarrel is not with you Hopkins. It is with Algernon, over the hand of my cousin.'

Pinky's face turned a reddish pink, as her skin was becoming her namesake.

'I am a Princess! I am not some prize to be won!'

'That's a contradiction in terms!' cried Derby.

Jimmy pulled the nerd vest off, and handed it to Pete.

'Look, rich boy, what'll beating Algernon prove anyway? He's the most pathetic loser on campus. Even Pedro could clobber him!'

'I could?'

Algie reddened again.

'What are you getting at Hopkins?' said Derby, as if he were waiting for a salesman to finish his pitch, so he could set the dog on him.

'But if you beat me, the one who beat up your so called boxing champ- now that would be something.'

Derby's cruel smile returned, as Biff turned red with embarrassment and anger.

'Very well. Once I've defeated you, I'll have you wash my dishes, perhaps.'

One of Derby's minions handed Jimmy a beautifully crafted wooden stick.

'The game is single stick. I would have used fencing swords, but that's illegal unless we're both wearing helmets. And I wasn't going to lend Algernon him a helmet, since he obviously has dandruff.'

Jimmy and Derby made their fencing stance. Biff stood between as referee.

'First one to score three points wins.' He said. 'Begin!'

Round one began. Jimmy stabbed, but Derby dodged, tapped Jimmy's stick, and stabbed back, hitting the mark.

The Preppies sniggered. The nerds gasped. Jimmy's seconds looked nervous.

'Point to Derby!' Biff announced.

The duel had only just begun and already they were down by one point.

Jimmy recovered, and stabbed again. Derby was actually laughing. He easily parried Jimmy's thrust, and stuffed the weapon into his stomach. Winded, Jimmy stumbled back.

'Point to Derby!' Biff called again. One more point and the match would be his. He was an excellent fencer, having been able to afford tuition.

Jimmy stood firm, as Biff raised his arm, to announce the third round.

Algernon's blood ran cold. If Jimmy messed this up, he'd lose his Princess forever.

'Begin!'

Jimmy edged towards Derby. The villain sneered at him, like an eagle ready to snatch up a rat.

Suddenly, Jimmy threw down his weapon 'Aw, to hell with it!'

He ran at Derby, grabbed his stick, kicked him between the legs and wrenched the stick from his enemy. Jimmy smashed the stick in two, breaking it over Derby's back. The Preppies looked on in horror.

'Get him!' Derby cried, like the Sheriff of Nottingham, crying out for the defeat of Robin Hood.

The band of Preppies leapt into the area. Jimmy's face was covered with a huge grin. Now he was in his element- senseless brawling! The astronomy club were getting excited.

Jimmy gave the first pompous rich guy a shoulder tackle to the ribs, and flipped him over his back. The second ran like the wind, with a clenched fist ready for battle. He received a violent kick in the stomach, throwing him through the air, and crashing onto his back. What began as a gentlemanly contest, like Knights of old, jousting for a lady's favour had exploded into an outdoor barroom brawl, with Aquaberry flying all over the place. Pinky's face was going red. She clutched her heart, with both hands, and her breathing increased.

The nerds roared with cheering, as Jimmy once again exchanged blows with Biff. The tall preppie had a score to settle. Would it be a double knock to Jimmy, or would Biff get his revenge for the day before? The spectators couldn't wait to find out!

Algernon noticed something from the corner of his eye. Derby was staggering to his feet, with Jimmy's singlestick in his hand. He was hunched like Quasimodo and wore a grin more evil than the Disney version of Frollo. He edged towards Jimmy, whose back was turned, while he concentrated on blocking Biff's onslaught of fists. It was a sneak attack! Something had to be done!

Derby's scream threatened to deafen all around, as Biff fell to the ground. Jimmy turned. The blonde tyrant's face epitomized shock. Gasping, Derby pointed at Algie whose fists clenched with the rush of the first time in his life when he was the one giving the wedgie.

'You…you…!' Algernon was frightened. But he wouldn't let Jimmy down. He stood his ground. Even when Derby emitted a high scream. All who were watching looked shocked. Even Derby himself. Then Algie looked surprised. What was that between his legs? A shoe? Derby fell to the ground, clutching his naughty area in agony. Jimmy, standing behind him, wore a sly grin, as he pulled his extended leg back.

'That makes me the winner.' he gloated.

Algie looked. Preppies lay on the ground like the after match of a civil war. The nerds, and Jimmy's seconds cheered as if they were witnessing the final act of a play.

Jimmy, the hero of the hour surveyed the grounded bodies, and paced around, in preparation to give a new era speech.

'Listen up, you inbred hicks! I beat all of you into oblivion today, and I can easily do it tomorrow! Hell I can probably do this every day till I graduate!'

Derby rolled onto his back, still in pain from that last kick.

'Alright, we get your point' he wheezed, 'What do you want from us, Hopkins?'

Jimmy pointed at Algie and the other spectators.

'I'm giving you two choices, Harrington. From now on, you leave the nerds alone, or the police will never find your bodies.'

Jimmy knew all the best hiding places to avoid prefects. He could make it happen.

'Very well, Hopkins. We won't antagonise your friends anymore.'

Algie's face broke into an astonished open mouthed smile. No more bullying from the Preppies! Now he could ask for Pinky's hand without being reprimanded.

'Oh they're not my friends. Just acquaintances.' said Jimmy.

'Then…' Derby moaned 'Why did you do all this?'

Jimmy turned to face Pinky, giving a very sly smile. He stepped over like an alpha wolf.

'Because I heard Maid Marian was going to give a kiss to the winner.'

Pinky's blushing face gave a smile, as she touched her heart with one hand.

'Oh Jimmy…' Her hands cupped Jimmy's broad shoulders, as their lips connected.

While Jimmy's entourage and the astronomy club laughed and gave their rowdy approval, Algie stood unable to speak. Jimmy just kissed his princess. Jimmy, his rescuer, his friend had betrayed him!

Algie said nothing. In his head he said a lot. Things he wanted to scream out loud. His heartbreak may have driven him to actually bewail them if Seth's war cry of 'I will beat you for that!' hadn't drowned out all other sounds.

'Later!' Jimmy said with a wink, as he leaped over the fence with Seth shaking his fist, running after him.

Pinky's hands came back to her chest.

'Wow…!' that single word summed everything up. Kirsten Dunst couldn't have put it better.

With a heavy heart, Algie walked away, knowing Jimmy would get away with it, due to three important facts-

1. Bad things never happen to Bad people

2. Good things never happen to good people

3. Seth is a doofus.

Later that day, Algernon walked through the Bullworth gates after visiting the market. He needed some antidepressants commonly known as chocolate. He kept turning it over in his mind. Jimmy kissing Pinky. It wasn't fair. Jimmy was a delinquent, who didn't even get on with his mom. Algie however was the apple of his mother's eyes. How could she have left him for Jimmy?

He headed over towards the library. Biff turned and walked in the opposite direction, when he saw Algie approach. At least it wasn't a total loss.

As he sat alone in the library, he felt a tap on his shoulder. It was Lola, the biker chick.

'Hey, are you Algernon the guy who helped that rich ditz, Pinky?'

He turned red. Lola had nice lips, and an exposed belly button.

'Yeah. Why?'

'Would you help me with my homework?'

Oh boy!

Good luck this time Algie! You may need it, when her boyfriend Johnny finds out!