Peter Brownrigg, the narrator and protagonist in the book, is about to go on an adventure at night to Sir Philip Morton's wall, with his father and brother; Peter and his family are meeting the other men and boys from every farmstead to take down the wall by hand. Then his father requests for Peter to be their scout侦查 for them. As Peter goes out, he notices that Sir Philip Morton is approaching the wall with his armed men, so he warns his fellow farm mates that they're coming. As Sir Philip passes by, Peter dumbly throws a rock at Sir Philip, which leads to Sir Philip trying to blow Peter's head off with his pistol. Sir Philip misses his head, but hits Peter's cap. Then Peter runs back home, thinking mainly of breakfast.
The beginning of this chapter talks about Peter's school day. Peter decides to go swimming during midday break, which lasts for 2 hours, but then one of his schoolmates, George Bell, rushes towards him and tells him that there are two men looking for Peter, and says that the men are in possession of Peter's green cap. Peter panics, then decides to go home. His parents sadly informs him that Peter cannot remain in the district while it is under Sir Philip's rule, as Sir Philip has found out he was the one who threw the rock at him, and would then hunt him down and punish him (jail, torture, etc..) Peter decides to travel on foot and explore the outside world.
Peter started on the journey. He arrived in Penrith and runs into Tom Burney, a family friend. He tells Peter that Sir Philip is looking everywhere for him. Peter decides to attend a play to get his mind off of things. He is sighted by Sir Philip, and hides in a trunk.
In Chapter 4 Peter is hiding in a trunk. He feels safe for the time being as he is taken out on stage. He is not sure the actors will trust him. He decides to stay in the trunk until he gets out of the city, then pop out and make a run for it.