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CHAPTER SUMMARIES WITH NOTES
Antonio remains in bed for days after his fever breaks. The doctor diagnosed pneumonia and prescribed bed rest. He finds out that his father found Narciso's body and went to the sheriff to accuse Tenorio, but to no avail. The people of the town dismissed his death as caused by his alcoholism. Antonio remembers Narciso as a man who had "the magic of growth." Narciso's garden dries up soon after he dies.
Andrew tries to visit Antonio in his sick bed, but Antonio is not feeling like taking care of Andrew's feelings. He knows Andrew feels guilty about not helping Narciso, and Antonio is not interested in relieving him of that guilt. Andrew stops visiting his room after that, only looking in on him from the doorway. Antonio asks Ultima if he betrayed Andrew's secret about Rosie's in his delirium and she says he did not.
After Christmas, Leon and Eugene come home. They arrive in a state police car. They explain that on their way home in the storm, they lost control of the car and it wrecked in an ice bank. To avoid freezing, they had to burn parts of it. They fell asleep in exhaustion huddled against the car and woke to find the car in flames. The state trooper saw the fire and rescued them.
As Antonio begins to feel better, he sits up with Ultima in her room and she tell shim stories of the old people of Las Pasturas. He learns about Narciso as a young husband whose wife was killed by the diphtheria epidemic. Ultima had struggled to save her and since then Narciso had been loyal to her. She tells Antonio that the old people always helped each other and stuck together through good and bad.
Antonio's mother prepares him for his first communion. She tells him he will be a leader of the people as a priest. She tells him that he will "hold God in his mouth, in your body, in your soul--you will speak to Him and He will answer--." Antonio asks, "Then I will have knowledge of God?" and she answers in the affirmative. María also has Antonio read her the catechism in English, even though she does know understand all the words. Antonio knows that many of the people do not believe in learning English, "the new language," but his mother wants him to succeed as a priest and knows English is essential.
Gabriel becomes depressed at his sons' talk of leaving. He drinks all day and comes home in a morose mood. He talks nostalgically about how they used to work together in building the house. He cries as he tells the story. He tells them that the line of the windmill has come loose an he will have to go outside in the ice storm to fix it. The sons let him do this dangerous job alone. The next day they leave while he is still at work. Andrew goes with them.
Antonio learns in the is chapter that his older brothers will forever be vague memories to him and distant strangers on rare visits. The sons do the worst thing possible to their father. They let him risk his life in an ice storm and do not offer to help him. They have abdicated all duties as sons of their father. He knows what their inaction means and so does everyone else in the household.