Joshua thinks to himself, "I've got to hold on tight, got to rid myself of
this fright." His fright was dual in nature. Does he fight against his own
fear of lonliness and maintain the companionship of the boys, thus allowing
the poor defensless bag of pudge to be his sacrifcial lamb in aversion of
a loney life. Or does he feel the warmth of a small, still glowing but
waning ember deep in his soul that was once the roaring fire of pure
child-like spiritual benevolence. Surely he could be the turncoat of the
herd and defend the fat one; but only if he is ready to risk lonliness
and possibly become one of the tormented.
Of course, there is risk of torment in both realms. However, lack of courage
brings on latent torment(the torment of years gone past and not making a
stand on one's own), and possesion of courage meets torment head-on,
suffering, but never succumbing.