Eppie was naughty when she took scissors to cut her leash and ran an off.
Silas kept Eppie tied to his loom with a strip of linen so that he did not have to watch her all the time. He was careful to keep scissors away from her normally, since they were dangerous. However, one day he forgot.
Silas does not notice she is gone, and just thinks she is being good while he works. When he needs his scissors he realizes she is missing and runs out to find her, afraid that she has come to harm.
He finally finds her in Mr. Osgood’s meadow.
Here was clearly a case of aberration in a christened child which demanded severe treatment; but Silas, overcome with convulsive joy at finding his treasure again, could do nothing but snatch her up and cover her with half-sobbing kisses. (ch 14, p. 71)
Silas realizes that he has to punish her, so he puts her in the coal hole. He does not leave her there long though, and the punishment has little effect. Eppie thinks it was funny. Silas decides that punishment does not work, and instead tries to be more careful to avoid allowing her to get into trouble. He can't bring himself to hurt her.