OK, so Jesse wasn’t killed. He wasn’t even mugged. Kids turned yellow and bolted.
But what makes this entire story so interesting to me is that Jesse is not a little guy. In fact he’s built very much like a bouncer or hired muscle. You’d think thieves, even prepubescent ones, would have some instinctual criteria when selecting their victims, much in the same way a lion scans the herd for sick and elderly members.
Now if Jesse was in fact a drunk, 90-year-old dowager with a pearl necklace and fur coat, then yeah, I could see him being a target for a mugging. That would make sense. But in reality Jesse looks nothing like Phyllis Diller.
The rapscallions figured that out, eventually. They tried to mask their fear with tough-guy acts, of course, but scowling children don’t look threatening so much as spoiled. You can hold your breath till you turn blue but you’re not going out until you’ve finished your homework!