Where the Red Fern Grows Chapters 13 - 14 Summary

Old Dan thinks he has the ghost coon treed, but upon closer inspection Billy can't find the raccoon. Rainie and Rubin Pritchard demand payment from Billy, because they think he has lost the bet. The bet is Billy's dogs can't tree the ghost coon. But Billy isn't ready to give up, because Little Ann is still trying to find the coon's trail.

After she doesn't find a trail to follow and Billy has checked out the tree he thinks the animal is in, he gives in and admits defeat. Just after he has paid the boys his two dollars, Little Ann scents the raccoon. Billy tells Rubin he hasn't lost the bet yet. Then Billy's dogs give the treed howl at an old tree used as a gate post. Billy investigates and finds the animal inside the hollow tree. The raccoon jumps out of the post and Billy's dogs are trying to kill the animal.

As the dogs try to kill the coon, Billy decides he doesn't want the animal dead. He tells the Pritchard boys he won the bet and he will not allow his animals to kill the coon. Rubin tells him to win the bet the raccoon must be killed, but Billy reminds him that is not the terms of the bet. Rubin threatens to kill Billy if he calls off his dogs, but Billy reminds Rubin of the promise his grandfather made to him. He told them if they assaulted Billy he would have them arrested.

About then the Pritchard's dog, Old Blue, comes running towards the boys. He is mean and starts a fight with Old Dan and Little Ann. They get the better of Old Blue and are about to kill him as Billy and Rubin run toward the dogs. Rubin has Billy's ax and is intent on killing Billy's dogs and Billy is running to save his dogs. Rubin is just about to the dogs, when a stick trips him, causing him to fall. Billy secures his dogs and then goes back to check on Rubin.

Rainie is in shock, because he sees the ax is imbedded in his brother's stomach. He runs away from the scene, leaving Billy to comply with Rubin's last request, which is to remove the ax. Rubin dies and Billy runs home to tell his parents. His father has Billy gather the necessary people to make sure the body is properly removed and they notify Rubin's parents.

Billy is upset, but the Pritchard's demand a private funeral, so he can't express his sorrow about Rubin's death to them. Instead he leaves some flowers anonymously on Rubin's grave. This act makes him feel better about Rubin's death.

A few days later, Billy is told his grandpa wants to see him. He is worried he wants to talk about Rubin's death, which proves to be correct. After telling Grandpa the story of the awful night, Billy is surprised to see his grandpa upset. He feels responsible for what happened, because he pushed Billy into taking the bet. Billy tells him the death was an accident and no one could have known what was going to happen.

Afterwards, Grandpa tells Billy to try to put the incident out of his mind and to go on with his life. Grandpa also gives Billy some very exciting news; he has entered Old Dan and Little Ann into the Championship Coon Hunt. Billy is very excited at the prospect of his dogs winning the championship, for the winner brings home a gold cup.

The hunt starts in six days, so they will need to leave in five days and Grandpa wants Billy to ask his father to come with them. That night Billy tells his parents about the competition and asks his father to accompany him and Grandpa. At first Papa is reluctant to leave Mama and Billy's sisters alone for a few days. In his singular focus on hunting and then the death of Rubin, Billy hasn't noticed his mother is expecting a baby. He feels bad he hasn't noticed he is going to have a new sibling. His mother encourages his father to go to the hunt, so his father agrees to attend.

The next days are full of activity for Billy. He tries to make sure everything on the farm is easy for his mother to take care of, such as chopping extra wood and making sure it is easy for her to feed the cows.

The day they are ready to leave Billy can hardly contain himself, because he is so excited to be participating in the hunt. As he and his father walk to the store to meet up with Grandpa, Billy confides to his father Little Ann is gun shy. The sound of a gun going off frightens her, which is something Billy feels he can cure her of if he has his own gun. His father and Billy both know Mama will not allow Billy to purchase a gun until he is 21 years-old.

At the store, Grandpa has the buggy full of the supplies they will need for the trip and camping out at the hunt. Billy is surprised to find out Old Dan and Little Ann are going to ride to the hunt. Grandpa doesn't want them to arrive at the competition foot sore. After saying good-by to Grandma they start off on their journey.

Billy and the Pritchard boys go out into the woods to settle their bet, not knowing the evening would alter their lives forever. Billy faces the death of Rubin Pritchard head on, knowing he will have to live with it for the rest of his life. But Grandpa has a surprise for Billy, he has entered the dogs into a hunting competition, which makes Billy happier than he has ever been.

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