Study Guide

Where the Red Fern Grows Chapter 18

By Wilson Rawls

Chapter 18

  • The storm blows out before dawn, but then the snow comes. Great. No one ever said Billy was lucky—just incredibly stubborn.
  • Billy goes to listen for his dogs, but all he can hear is a strange whooping sound. It's the men from camp come to look for them.
  • Turns out that Billy just needs one more coonskin to win the cup, so he takes off to find his dogs and the runaway coon.
  • When Billy, and now a fairly large posse, come upon the tree, they see that the dogs are covered in ice and snow.
  • All the men are thoroughly impressed by this.
  • They build a large fire to warm the dogs and give them a nice little massage to help melt the ice.
  • Once the dogs are all thawed out, Billy scares the coon out of the tree and his dogs take care of it right quick.
  • When they get back to camp, Billy gets the gold cup and over $300 in collected prize money. This is a ton of money. Remember how it took Billy two years just to save $50?
  • Everyone goes crazy with applause at Billy winning the cup. The judge offers to send it in to get it engraved, but Billy wants to keep it so he can show his family.
  • After the brief ceremony, everyone rushes to get out of there in case another storm moves in.
  • Billy's grandpa goes with a doctor, and Billy and his dad take down the camp and pack the buggy.
  • When they get home the next night, more insanity breaks out. Sisters are squealing, giggling, and fighting over the cups. Almost everyone is in tears. It's so crazy they even forget about the prize money.
  • As they head back into the house, Papa remembers and hands Billy's mom the money. She just gets really quiet, like spooky quiet. She puts the money on the mantle and starts crying.
  • After the craziness and lots of emotional stuff, they throw a big old celebration, which means a feast.
  • That night, from his window, Billy sees his mom take the dogs two heaping plates of food. She says something to them while she pets them and then heads into the house.
  • Billy overhears his parents talking about how Grandpa needs help at the store. Billy figures he can help his grandpa during the day and still hunt at night.
  • Patting himself on the back that he figured out what they were talking about, he rolls over and falls asleep.