As the boys walk through the forest, True Son thinks of how he will never forget this glorious path forever westward into Indian territory. He and Half Arrow keep each other company by pointing out signs in the forest and making fun of the whites. They become uneasy when their path becomes a wide, open road since they will be more vulnerable, but luckily they do not come across any whites or Indians. For days they travel until they reach a trading post on the Ohio river. Half Arrow proposes that they steal the trader's boats in order to make the rest of their trip to Tuscarawas easier. True Son is reluctant to do so, but Half Arrow explains that they are simply taking back from the trader what the whites have stolen from the Indians. They decide that since the trader is half-Indian, half-white, they will only take one of his boats.

That night the boys take the smaller of the trader's boats since the larger one is tied up with an iron chain. At daylight they see the outlines of a white settlement in the distance, and as they come closer they realize that this is Fort Pitt. Although it is risky for them to pass by in the boat, it is even more dangerous for them to camp. The boys lay low in their boat as they pass through into Indian country. True Son tells Half Arrow that he will never forget the sight of Fort Pitt this morning. The last time he had seen it he was a prisoner, but now he is free again.

Analysis

In Chapter 11, we get the first signs that True Son has changed from the vehemently rebellious teenager he was when he first arrived at Paxton township. As Bejance predicted, the bonds of white culture are gradually closing in on True Son; he has given up his protests and has given in to working the fields as a woman does and allowing his white family to do with him what they will.

When Half Arrow returns, we see True Son's old, fiery spirit ignite once more; he feels liberated and reinvigorated by his cousin's presence. Yet there is still some indication that he has been affected by his stay with the whites. Whereas earlier in the novel True Son would have gladly ripped out the heart of his vile Uncle Wilse, we now see him reluctant to do so. Although this reasoning is never entirely clarified, we may assume that True Son does not want to commit such an extreme act because he feels some sort of strange loyalty to his white family and that he knows it would devastate them. True Son is also regretful about leaving Gordie, and later in Chapter 13 he is hesitant about stealing the boat from the trader. The boy must be reminded by Half Arrow that they are only settling the score with the white man. These cases are small but significant suggestions that True Son may feel at least some compassion for the whites.

When Half Arrow describes to True Son the jokes he and Little Crane told to Uncle Wilse, we are reminded of the conversation Half Arrow, True Son, and Little Crane had in the beginning of the novel as they marched to Fort Pitt. Although the boys think that they are just explaining the funny reality of white nature, they fail to realize that their words are offensive to white people. Like the whites who criticize the Indians as savages and heathens, Half Arrow and Little Crane display superior attitudes regarding the Indian race. Although they cause no physical harm to Uncle Wilse, their ignorance and insensitivity perpetuates the white's violence and leads to their own destruction

The scalping that Half Arrow and True Son commit is a very serious offense, and it is important to realize, as True Son does happily, that they can never go back to Paxton Township, especially if Uncle Wilse dies. True Son's actions have sealed his fate as an adult; no longer will he be treated like an innocent child. Yet the grave nature of this fact seems to escape the boys as they travel home. True Son can only see the hope in his situation and the fact that he is finally going back to Tuscarawas. Whereas before Fort Pitt—the farthest west outpost of the white soldiers—represented to True Son the suffocating and gloomy nature of white civilization, now, as the boys pass by, it symbolizes to True Son his triumph over the whites.