Lennie is rarely portrayed as clever in the novella, but in the following excerpts, we see a different side of him.
"Ain't a thing in my pocket," Lennie said cleverly.
But Lennie made an elaborate pantomime of innocence. "What mouse, George? I ain't got no mouse."
Lennie avoided the bait. He had sensed his advantage. "If you don't want me, you only jus' got to say so, and I'll go off in those hills right there- right up in those hills and live by myself. An' I won't get no mice stole from me.
What is Steinbeck's purpose for including these few moments in Chapter l?