Chapter 5 Summary
Julia is better but exhausted from losing so much blood. At breakfast, Baxter determines to trade Perk for a new gun. The dog is of no use to the Baxters, but he is a good “ketch-dog” and the Forresters love to acquire dogs. Ora warns him he is likely to do poorly in the trade, but Baxter and Jody are going to go. They split wood and fetch water before they leave. Jody is anxious to visit his friend Fodder-wing.
Father and son ride the horse, Caesar, together, and Perk follows them to Forresters’ Island. The trail they are riding was blazed by the Spaniards and cuts across Florida. The Spaniards had to fight Indians, panthers, and bears; suddenly the woods look more perilous to Jody. When they get closer to the Forresters’, Baxter picks up Perk and carries him but will not explain why when Jody asks.
Fodder-wing was born to his parents later in life and is not to blame for “hatchin’ out peculiar.” He is not quite right, but he is Jody’s best friend except for Oliver. Suddenly the quiet is shattered by a fight in the cabin. Things are being thrown and voices are raised; however, when Baxter announces himself, he and Jody are greeted warmly. Mill-wheel hugs Jody and Fodder-wing, his body humped and twisted, comes running. (He got his name because he tried to fly by attaching bundles of fodder to his arms.)
Jody goes to see Fodder-wing’s baby raccoon; it is in a crate behind the cabin along with an entire assortment of penned-up wild animals. Jody cuddles the delightful creature to him and asks what caused the fight he heard earlier. One of the dogs wet in the middle of the floor and no one could agree whose dog did it.