Character Perspective: Butch
Butch attends all of the team’s initial practices, and eagerly learns as much as he can about this new sport and his teammates. Practices are held Tuesday afternoons in the school’s cafeteria, and consist of footwork drills, conditioning exercises, games emphasizing agility and quick decision making, and scrimmage bouts. Butch’s life-long friendship with Rune is strengthened during this time. Butch also notices how Coach Dan begins regularly asking Annie to demonstrate proper technique, the tension between Coach Dan and Double-J, and Rex’s reluctance to speak about his troubled home life.
Towards the middle of the month, Sandy arrives at a practice. Double-J makes a sarcastic comment about Sandy twitching her head like a bird, but when she responds positively to the joke, she becomes known as The Bird. At first uncertain of Butch’s offer of friendship, The Bird eventually learns to trust him.
At the team’s final practice before a scheduled scrimmage tournament at the Academy, last year’s fencing team captain, Myles Glossurio, makes a surprise visit. Now a student at the university, Myles reluctantly agrees to practice with the team, and promptly humiliates every team member in scrimmage bouts. Myles then challenges Coach Dan, who defeats him, leading Myles to storm out of the cafeteria.