Chapter 30 Summary

March arrives, sunny and cool, and Baxter feels better. He decides this is the day he will begin planting, and he teaches Jody exactly how to do it. The boy learns well and Baxter leaves him to finish planting the tobacco. Baxter is pleased and they work quickly together to plant the corn because Baxter senses rain is coming. He has a vague unease, “as though he were obliged now to leave his handiwork to forces he could only trust blindly not to betray him.”

Both of the Baxters rest for a moment and watch Flag. Jody is proud of his beautiful friend but sees something unsettling in his father’s eyes when he looks at Flag. Baxter says both Jody and Flag are now yearlings, and the thought somehow grieves him. Jody takes Flag into the barn and warns him sternly not to do things which will upset Baxter. The family eats dinner and Jody falls into bed exhausted.

In the morning they plant the cotton. Flag leaves them early in the day but comes back to Jody by mid-morning. Baxter expresses serious concern about how much Jody cares for the creature. The planting continues all week, and Baxter is “in a fever” to get all the spring work done quickly. When he and Caesar are straining to remove a big stump, Baxter suddenly turns white and clutches his groin. He tries to dismiss the pain but is clearly in agony as he barely makes it to his bed.