1990 Pontiac Grand Prix No Hi-beam problem

The hi-beams on my son's car have quit working and I am puzzled.
With the ignition switch on and the headlights on, the hi-beams will not come on. However, with the ignition off and headlights off, you
can pull on the switch and the hi-beams will come on.
You used to hear a click when you pulled the hi-low beam switch and you no longer hear the click. At first I thought that there was a latching type relay between the switch and the bulbs, but the only wiring diagram I have, in a Haynes manual, shows that the headlights are powered directly from the hi-low beam switch.
I don't understand. If the hi-beam switch itself is bad, why will the hi-beams come on when you pull the switch with the ignition is off?
What am I missing?
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Might be a relay.

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