Tayo follows the woman as she gathers plants and explains their uses to him. He watches the cattle with a bull Robert saved from the rodeo. Tayo and the woman spend the summer together. She gathers all of the plants she needs except for one, which is not ready yet. She shows it to Tayo so he can gather it for her in case she is not there any more when it is ready. At the end of the summer, Robert comes by and warns Tayo that Emo has been spreading rumors about Tayo being crazy and that the people are concerned. Tayo does not follow his suggestion to go back home. Tayo and the woman talk about the destruction and the ceremony he is performing in order to stop it. They visit an old abandoned sacred place in the area. Then she tells him that Emo and the white police are coming after him to take him back to the hospital. She tells him that if he hides for long enough the white police will give up, but Emo will be a different story. She has to leave, and Tayo helps her to pack.
Tayo goes from one hiding place to the next, evading the men who are after him. As she predicted, the whites soon give up. Tayo tries to hitchhike a ride and is picked up by Leroy and Harley. Tayo thinks they have come through for him as friends; it is almost too late when he realizes that they are only capturing him for Emo. Tayo runs off again to an abandoned uranium mine in the hills. There, he notices the patterns left from mining the uranium, and he realizes that he has come to the last station in the ceremony. If he can complete that night, the ceremony will be complete.
Soon, Emo arrives in a car with Pinkie and Leroy. Tayo watches from a hiding place as they make a bonfire and beat the car; part of the ceremony of destruction. Then they pull Harley from the trunk. Emo is punishing him for having let Tayo go and is trying to get Tayo back by torturing his friend. Tayo almost runs out to kill Emo, when a great gust of wind builds up the fire and sends Leroy and Pinkie to the ground, bringing Tayo back to his senses. Finally, the men put Harley back into the trunk and leave.
Tayo walks back home, stopping to gather and to replant the seeds that the woman needs. In the story of Hummingbird and Fly, they give Buzzard the tobacco; Buzzard purifies the town, and the rain returns. The Corn woman tells them to remember how difficult it is to fix things, so that they will be more careful next time.
Tayo sits in the kiva with Ku'oosh and the other elders and tells them the story of his ceremony. They question him, especially asking about the woman. Then they sing and chant that he has seen A'moo'ooh, the spirit of the she-elk, and that they will be blessed again. They perform a ceremony on Tayo, so that at last
"Every evil which entangled him was cut to pieces."