The next morning, David was afraid to go to school, apprehending the severe punishment he might get from the master. He therefore left home as usual, but played truant, hiding himself in the woods all day. He did the same the next morning, and so continued for several days. At last the master sent word to John Crockett, inquiring why his son David no longer came to school. The boy was called to an account, and the whole affair came out.
John Crockett had been drinking. His eyes flashed fire. He cut a stout hickory stick, and with oaths declared that he would give his boy an “eternal sight” worse whipping than the master would give him, unless he went directly back to school. As the drunken father approached brandishing his stick, the boy ran, and in a direction opposite from that of the school-house. The enraged father pursued, and the unnatural race continued for nearly a mile. A slight turn in the road concealed the boy for a moment from the view of his pursuer, and he plunged into the forest and hid. The father, with staggering gait, rushed along, but having lost sight of the boy, soon gave up the chase, and returned home.
This revolting spectacle, of such a father and such a son, over which one would think that angels might weep, only excited the derision of this strange boy. It was what he had been accustomed to cheap prescriptions all his life. He describes it in ludicrous terms, with the slang phrases which were ever dropping from his lips. David knew that a terrible whipping awaited him should he go back to the cabin.