On Easter Monday, it is raining steadily. Jess and Leslie are bored, feeling that their vacation is being spoiled by the weather. They decide to go to Terabithia, despite the rain. The two children stop at Leslie's house first to gather some rain gear, and they chat briefly with Leslie's mother, who is busy with her writing.
When they get to the creek, they are amazed at how much it has grown, swollen by the unremitting rain. It has become "a roaring eight-foot-wide sea, sweeping before it great branches of trees, logs, and trash". Despite the danger, Leslie does not hesitate. Carrying P.T., she grabs the rope, races to get a running start, and clears the roiling water neatly to land safely on the other side. Jess, in contrast, is apprehensive, but, not to be outdone, forces himself to take the rope and jump.
The children return to the creek on Tuesday and Wednesday. The rain "continue(s) sporadically", and by Wednesday the creek "had swollen to the trunk of the crab apple and they were running through ankle-deep water to make their flight into Terabithia". For Jess, "the fear of the crossing rose with the height of the creek", but as Leslie never wavered, he could not hang back.
On Wednesday night, Jess decides he will just tell Leslie that he won't be going to Terabithia the next day. It "isn't so much that he minded telling Leslie that he was afraid to go...it was that he minded being afraid". He feels that he has "no guts", and that there is something wrong with him, "as though he had been made with a great piece missing".
It is significant that Leslie is completely unfazed by the danger of crossing the swollen creek on the makeshift rope tied to the apple tree. This Chapter sets the scene and foreshadows what happens next because of her complete lack of fearless attitude towards the elements (Chapter 9).