Barn Burning begins in the county store, which is also the Peace Court. Sarty, afraid and hungry, craves for meat and cheese from the store. At the same time Abner Snopes, Sarty’s father, is being accused of burning Mr. Harris barn down. Sarty is supposed to testify against his father, but knows he must lie and say his father did not burn the barn. The judge and Mr. Harris feel that having Sarty testify is not a good idea. The judge just decides to tell Mr. Snopes to leave the county to never return.
As Sarty walks out a kid calls him a barn burner along with knocking him down twice. Sarty attempts to go after the kid, but his father stops him. Sarty, his father, and older brother meet up with his mother, aunt, and two sisters; who were already waiting in the wagon with all their broken possessions. That night, Abner accuses Sarty of almost betraying him in court, and then tells him that the most important thing to do is stand by your family.
The Snopes finally arrive at their new home, where they will be working as tenant farmers. Soon after Abner purposely steps in horse poop and then in the owners house tracking poop all over the white rug in the front room. The owner later has the rug sent to the Snopes to be cleaned. Abner has his daughters clean it and sends it back in the morning. Abner is getting charged twenty extra bushels of corn to pay for the now ruined, $100 rug. Little does the owner know, Abner does not intend on paying the extra twenty bushels.
The Snopes go to town later that week. This is when Sarty finds out that his father is suing De Spain, the owner, to have his fee reduced. The Judge decides that Abner is responsible for the damaged rug, but does have his fee reduced from twenty to ten bushels. Later, Abner decides that he is going to burn down De Spain barn. Sarty finds out and tries to tell De Spain. Soon after Sarty hears three gunshots, and sees the red glow of De Spain barn on fire behind him.
Sarty Mourns over his father, who...