Nathan's second appearance was in " Crippled Summer " at the summer camp Lake Tardicaca , a summer camp for the disabled. Every summer, the camp splits into two teams, who compete for the camp championship in a series of games. While Jimmy is the beloved leader of the camp's Blue team, Nathan is the sinister leader of the Red team, which has lost to the Blue team three years running. Furious for having lost to Jimmy so often, he creates assorted plots aimed at not only ruining the Blue team's chance at victory, but also will result in the death of Jimmy, who Nathan confesses to loath. However, Nathan's lackey, Mimsy , continuously botches-up Nathan's plans, which causes Nathan to suffer a lethal bite from a black Mamba snake, painfully attacked by Native Americans, comically raped by the shark , and finally blown himself up. While being rushed to the hospital, Jimmy, who is crowned king of summer camp, and who is unaware of Nathan's loathing, gives Nathan his crown in a sign of goodwill. Nathan, however, confesses to hate Jimmy, and again threatens Mimsy for his stupidity.
The novel is epistolary ; aside from opening and closing chapters consisting entirely of dialogue the story is told through memos from the office, fragments of notes dropped in the trash can, essays handed in to be graded, lesson plans, suggestions dropped in the class suggestion box, and most often by inter-classroom notes that are a dialogue between Sylvia and an older teacher. Sylvia also writes letters to a friend from college who chose to get married and start a family rather than pursuing a career. The letters serve as a recap and summary of key events in the book, and offer a portrait of women's roles and responsibilities in American society in the mid-1960s.