Chapter 7-8 Summary

Jody arrives home to the smell of roasting meat. He is disappointed that his father went hunting without him and says he will never leave his father again if this is what happens. Baxter tells his son to be patient and listen to the story; after all, he got to spend the night at the Forresters and cannot have everything. Jody certainly wishes he could.

On his way home yesterday, Baxter saw a big buck standing in the road; the animal did not move, even when he heard Caesar approaching. Baxter checked his new gun for bullets, and of course it was loaded. He shot the buck and threw it on the horse, hopeful this would be an effective peace offering to his wife for leaving Jody at the Forresters’.

Jody teases with his mother and praises her cooking before going back outside to ask about Old Julia. She will be fine and ready to hunt for Old Slewfoot again soon. Jody confesses that he was too scared even to run when they fought the bear the last time, and Baxter admits he was frightened, as well—especially when he discovered his gun did not work.

Baxter has done Jody’s hoeing, but the boy needs to chop some wood; the task helps him keep his mind off his raging hunger. When it is time to eat, Jody makes a remark his mother does not approve of, and he tells her he heard it at the Forresters. This proves her point that they are “lower’n a doodle-bug. And black-hearted to boot.” Jody tells her they sang and played all night; she says that is fine if they have nothing better to do.