Chapter 13 Summary
Jody wakes up in Grandma Hutto’s spare bedroom and is sure the fight between Oliver and the Forresters was a nightmare—until he turns and feels the pain in his neck and shoulder. Baxter is bandaged up and has a black eye, and Oliver is in bed with a plethora of wounds but will recover. Baxter tells his son that it was not fair to involve a boy in a man’s fight, but he is proud of him for wanting to help a friend in trouble.
Jody finally says the Forresters are also his friends, but Baxter says that is probably no longer true. Jody is even more resentful that Oliver left them for a girl, but he would fight again if needed. The odds were not fair and he could not abide such an injustice; thinking of it this way eases the pain of losing his friendship with Fodder-wing.
Though Jody has not fully recovered, the Baxters have to leave. Jody tells the bruised and battered Oliver goodbye, apologizing that he and his father did not arrive sooner to help. When Oliver asks Jody to give a message to Twink Weatherby, Jody does not want to do it but knows that is what a friend would do.
The Baxters stop at the store to do their errands, and Jody secretly asks where to find the girl. Twink Weatherby has left on a ship, so Jody laboriously writes a note to Oliver explaining that his girl has gone up the river. Jody realizes that Oliver has never failed him before, that the Forresters are as bad as his mother claims they are, that Fodder-wing will not hold this fight against their friendship, and that his father is as “unchangeable as the earth.”