Chapter 14 Summary
Baxter is worried because his hogs have not come back home. If a bear had attacked, they would not all be gone; he suspects the Forresters have somehow trapped the animals. Baxter will leave soon to find the animals and is prepared to fight the Forresters if he must; Jody would rather lose the pigs and keep the Forresters as friends. His mother did not approve of their fight to save Oliver, but she is eager for them to fight, if necessary, for the pigs.
They leave before noon, and Baxter quickly finds evidence that the Forresters lured the hogs away by giving them corn. They discover an empty pig trap and work their way through the dense woods. Suddenly Baxter is bitten by a rattlesnake. Jody holds the dogs back as his father shoots the snake. His right arm is already swollen and black.
Baxter kills a doe and uses the liver to help draw out the poison in his arm before sending Jody to the Forresters to have them fetch the doctor. A fawn is left motherless. Two Forrester boys offer to help Jody; one rides for the doctor and one rides to take Baxter home. Frightened, Jody runs back home through an awful storm and is spent when he arrives. The doctor is there and Baxter is alive, though his arm is still hugely swollen.
Ora fears her husband might die, but she keeps functioning. Baxter is sweating out the poison as the doctor keeps watch. The two Forresters lie down by the fire and will wait to see how things turn out, and Jody keeps vigil at his father’s bedside. He cries bitterly, thinking of the fawn and of death.