At boarding school, Peekay is bullied by The Judge and his cronies. He is also treated poorly by the matron, who he calls Mevrou. However, he has his chicken, Granpa Chook for company.
On the train to his new home in Barberton, Peekay meets a boxer named Hoppie Groenewald. Hoppie inspires Peekay to become a boxer.
During the war, Peekay's elderly friend Doc gets sent to prison because he is German. At the prison, Peekay joins the boxing squad and starts learning to box under the guidance of a prisoner named Geel Piet.