Chapter 3 Summary

The narrator—Billy—finds temporary solace by working alongside his father on his family’s farm. He still longs for hound pups but fears that his family will always be too poor to afford them. Just as he is coming to terms with his disappointment, he finds reason to hope.

Billy’s family farm is located adjacent to a river. One day, as he is performing his chores in the field, he notices the remains of a fishermen’s camp. Even before completing his chores, he rushes to the abandoned camp to see what the fishermen may have left behind. He excitedly explores the site, hoping to find discarded or forgotten treasures. To his surprise and delight, he finds that the campers have discarded a sporting magazine. Within the pages of the magazine is an advertisement for hound pups. In the advertisement, a kennel in Kentucky is offering two hound pups for fifty dollars. Although Billy does not have the money, he is determined to find a way to earn it.

Finding the means to purchase the hounds in the advertisement begins to preoccupy Billy’s thoughts. As he considers the cost of the pups, the he realizes that although he does not have the money, he possesses the earning potential. He can harvest and sell vegetables, wild berries, and fishing bait. He can also trap animals and sell the hides at his grandfather’s store. He immediately puts his plan into action. He begins by finding an old baking powder can and depositing twenty-three cents into the can. This is the money he has already saved. All summer, he works tirelessly to earn more. His grandfather is curious about why he works and earns yet never spends, so he asks him about his plans for the money. He explains that he is saving fifty dollars to buy two hound pups. He asks his grandfather to help him make the purchase once he saves the money. His grandfather agrees to do so and to keep his plan a secret from the boy’s parents.

After two years, Billy’s industrious...

(The entire section is 641 words.)