3545. But Simon’s zero was not the worst of his problems. His biggest antagonist on the faculty was the gym coach Mr. Roach. Simon was unable to climb the ropes up to the ceiling of the gym. He was not the only boy deficient in this skill. But Simon’s failure to climb the ropes provoked Mr. Roach to say a strange and inexplicable thing to him.
3546. Mr. Roach said to Simon, “The fact that you can’t climb these ropes explains what happened to you people in Germany.”
3547. To my knowledge Simon had never been in Germany, so this remark meant nothing to me, and I don’t think anyone else knew what Mr. Roach was talking about. We could tell it was a sort of derogatory comment, but that was all.