In the chapter "A Hero," the protagonist Swami is confronted with a challenge that leads him to discover his own bravery. Swami's father reads a newspaper article about a boy who bravely fought off a tiger, which sparks a debate between father and son about the importance of courage over strength and age.
Swami questions the feasibility of a boy fighting a tiger, but his father challenges him to prove his own courage by sleeping alone in his office room. Swami is initially frightened by the idea and tries to change the subject, but his father insists that he must sleep alone and grow out of his dependence on others.
Swami reluctantly agrees to sleep alone, but his fear and anxiety keep him awake. He remembers stories of ghosts and demons and imagines all sorts of terrifying scenarios. Eventually, he moves his bed under a bench for a sense of safety and falls asleep. However, he is plagued by nightmares of a tiger attacking him.
In his sleep, Swami mistakenly bites into the leg of the bench, causing a loud commotion and attracting the attention of his father, the cook, and a servant. They discover that a burglar had entered the house, and Swami's unexpected attack had thwarted the thief's plan. Swami is praised for his bravery, and even the police commend his actions.
The next day, Swami's classmates and teacher admire him for his heroic act. The headmaster recognizes him as a true scout, and the police inspector suggests that Swami join the police force in the future. However, Swami secretly dreams of becoming an engine driver, railway guard, or bus conductor instead.
When Swami returns home, his mother informs his father that he is already asleep in his usual place next to his granny. His father realizes that Swami was afraid to sleep alone and acknowledges that he shouldn't have forced him. Swami breathes a sigh of relief as he overhears his father giving up on the idea of making him sleep alone.