In fact, the sixteenth chapter is titled “In Which Trouble Begins.” Sam refers here to his interactions with people in the nearby town. When he walks into a store wearing his deerskin clothing, a young man (“Mr. Jacket”) calls him “Daniel Boone” and asks about where he lives and what he does. It feels nice, talking to another person again. And yet, if too many people know about Sam, they may pose a threat to his lifestyle. He doesn’t want anyone coming up to his mountain home and interfering with his days. He doesn’t want any authorities insisting that he go back home to his family in New York City.
The seventeenth chapter is titled “In Which I Pile Up Wood and Go on with Winter.” Here, Sam continues the story that he used to begin the book. He survives the snowfall by keeping a fire going with the wood he collects. Frightful the falcon hunts for food for him, in the snow. Sam eats Bando’s jam and acorn and hickory pancakes. Even though the weather can cause trouble in finding enough food and shelter and warmth, Sam has successfully learned how to deal with these issues.
The eighteenth chapter is titled “In Which I Learn About Birds and People.” Winter continues. Sam describes some of the animals he sees, especially the birds. And it’s time for Christmas. Both Bando and Sam’s father come up the mountain to visit with him. Bando brings along three local newspaper articles that claim that a boy is living in the Catskills on his own, stealing deer from hunters. This is exactly the kind of publicity that Sam doesn’t want or need. Now more people may try to find him. This kind of “trouble” can only escalate. And, as we see in the rest of the book, it does.