In return for half the meat, the Forresters help Penny and Jody carry the carcass of Old Slewfoot out of the deep wilderness.
A few days before Christmas, Penny determines to follow Old Slewfoot into the wilds and kill him. Sticking doggedly on the huge bear's trail, he finally manages to trap and shoot him. Although he and Jody are elated to have finally caught the notorious creature and stop the mayhem he had been causing, they soon realize that they have no way of bringing the body out of the area by themselves. They begin the long walk to Fort Gates to bring back help, but are relieved when they happen upon the Forresters along the way. The Forresters are all mounted, and although they are drunk, they offer to help the Baxters bring Old Slewfoot out. Lem, always ornery, asks Penny, "What'll you give us, do we go tote him out?" and Penny replies that he will give them half the meat; he "figgered on givin' it to (them) anyways," as the bear had attacked the Forresters' livestock as well, and because Buck had come out to warn him that the bear was in the area. I suppose it would be accurate to say that it was more a situation of Penny paying the Forresters with bear meat for their help in transporting the body out of the wilderness, rather than the Forresters paying Penny for the bear meat by helping him tote the body (Chapter 26).