|“||Valdez, I'm gonna--||”|
–Rufus, threatening Sammy Valdez
Rufus was a student at St. Agnes Academy for Colored Children and Indians in 1942.
Rufus attended St. Agnes Academy for Colored Children and Indians at the same time as Sammy Valdez and Hazel Levesque, some time in 1942. After word got around that Hazel's mother was selling cursed diamonds, Rufus and many of the other children began calling her "Witch Girl." Rufus was the primary bully of the school.
When trying to show Leo Valdez who Sammy was, Hazel triggers a flashback that brings them to a day in 1942. Hazel shows Leo a younger version of herself. In the flashback, Rufus demands that Hazel give him her lunch, which she does without even a fight. One of the other kids jokes that it is probably poisoned, so Rufus tosses it to the ground and steps on it. He then tells Hazel she can have her lunch back, but wants a diamond in exchange as he had heard that her mother can make them appear out of thin air. Rufus pressures Hazel, backing her up against a wall, which causes Hazel to accidentally summon a diamond that pops out of the ground between her feet.
Just before Rufus takes the diamond, Sammy arrives on the scene and starts acting like a director, yelling cut into his dunce cap, which confuses Rufus and distracts him away from the diamond. Sammy begins to refer to Hazel as Hedy Lamarr (a famous actress from 1930 to 1958). When Sammy turns to Rufus, he calls him Clark Gable, but everyone laughs and suggests instead to make Rufus Gary Cooper. Rufus on the other hand cannot understand Sammy's plan and becomes angry at those laughing at him, but is unable to fight everyone. Sammy tells Rufus the lines he is supposed to say and continues the act by picking up Hazel's diamond. Right before Rufus punches Sammy, the bell rings signalling the end of recess, causing Rufus to be pulled inside by a group of kindergarteners.
Rufus is far from the most intelligent kid, as Leo believing he must have been held back a few times. However, Rufus relies on his size and strength to intimidate people and get what he wants. Leo even wonders if the teachers are too scared of him to ask him to wear shoes. Although he is big and strong, he can be easily outwitted and cannot think on the spot. Rufus also hates to be laughed at and will always turn back to violence in order to get his way.
Rufus was either fourteen or nineteen in 1942. He was large and tall, easily the largest kid in the school. He wore a dirty shirt, the color of grease rags, threadbare wool trousers, and no shoes. He had flat features, as if he spent most of his time face-planting on the sidewalk and his hair was cut flat.
- During Sammy's director act, he initially refers to Rufus as Clark Gable. Many of the kids find this funny because Clark Gable normally played very suave or sophisticated roles.
- Sammy then changes Rufus' role to that of Gary Cooper, an actor know for playing tougher characters.