Childlike- Usually childlike is used in a positive way, but Powers is childlike in the sense that he lacks foresight, perspective, and a grip on reality. He thinks only of the present. In jail, he forgets that he is about to be executed because people are smiling at him. He is completely self-involved, like a two-year-old who wants a toy, but since he’s physically a grown man, he demands sex instead.
Pilfering- Powers describes his stealing as pilfering, which seems like a good word for it because he is destructive when he steals. Unlike Mountain’s planned thefts, he just impulsively decides to take things. He is the classic brutish figure who rapes and pilfers.
Blame- Powers’ childishness is evident again when he blames his later crimes on an overly lenient punishment from his master for stealing. He says “If I had received my just deserts I might possibly have escaped the fate which now awaits me.” This seems unlikely because he is so wrapped up in moment-to-moment existence that it does not seem like he’d remember or focus on an earlier punishment. It seems more likely that, after his death sentence, if he were to be released, he’d commence his life of crime again.