People gather for the sermon. Tom resents a boy named Willie Mufferson, who is considered a model boy and is often thrown up into all the other boys’ faces. Tom believes he is a snob because he has a handkerchief, though this resentment seems to stem from the fact that Tom is jealous that he doesn’t have a handkerchief.
The choir talks through the service. The minister is considered a great reader. The reverend reads a long list of meetings. This is followed by a long prayer. Tom always resents additions made to it. Then they have the sermon. Tom, who knows the routine, counts the pages to the end. He never usually understands the moral.
Tom takes out a pinch beetle. It bites him, and he flings it away. A dog plays with it. The beetle pinches it, causing it to yelp. The dog goes after it again. The beetle once again attacks, causing the dog to yelp some more. The minister throws the dog out, and the congregation is struggling not to laugh. The sermon has lost its audience after that and concludes.
Tom enjoyed that service, though he is upset the dog took his bug.