This chapter takes us back one hundred and ten years, before Camp Green Lake even existed, and of course well before Stanley was born. At that time, Green Lake actually was a lake, with a lovely, all-American kind of town on its banks. Sounds pretty nice.
The town's schoolteacher, Miss Katherine Barlow, is famous for both her canned peaches and her beauty. What do you know? Those are Shmoop's specialties, too! In any case, all the children love her.
She teaches an adult class in the evening, and it is filled with young men, many of them "more interested in the teacher than they were in getting an education" (23.8). Yeah, we figured.
One of the men in Miss Katherine's class is Charles Walker, the son of the richest man in town. He's known around town as "Trout," because "his two feet smelled like a couple of dead fish" (23.10). Wow, sounds appealing, doesn't it?
Actually, Trout's feet smell because he has an incurable foot fungus, the same one that Clyde Livingston will have years later. (Remember his smelly shoes?)
Trout comes to Miss Katherine's evening class, but he has no interest in learning. He's disrespectful and stupid, and he's only there to put the moves on the teacher.
One evening, Trout asks Miss Katherine to go for a ride with him in his new, expensive, motorized boat. She tells him – in no uncertain terms – that she isn't interested.