Tayo ends up at a woman's house. He tells her he is looking for his uncle's cattle. She allows him to water his horse and invites him in for supper. She tells him he can see the stars that night. Tayo had waited all summer until September when he saw the stars Betonie had told him about. He had followed them to this place, and when he stepped out on the porch he saw them.
Although most of the novel is focused on the particular experiences of Native American men after World War II, a few vignettes, the one in a previous section of a mother and son in Gallup, and this one of Helen Jean also consider the specifics of women's situations. While the men have to deal with the aftermath of their experience as soldiers, and often with alcoholism, the women confront abject poverty where often their only resource is their own bodies. While the men who leave the reservation may find work, albeit greatly underpaid, doing menial or hard labor, the women are not even offered that much. Most often, although they leave the reservation with the best intentions of finding a decent job and sending money back home to help, they find that the only work they can obtain is prostitution. The stories of the women are not developed in any length, but their presence in the novel shows a concern for the range of experiences of men and women, and for the ways in which femininity as well as masculinity are affected by the contact between Native American and white cultures.
Although Tayo has embarked on a ceremony, his transformation is slow and incomplete and does not separate him completely from his past life. Tayo's joining up again with Harley and Leroy is representative of the situations throughout the novel where it is often difficult to separate the good from the bad. In fact, most situations have both positive and negative aspects that cannot be separated from one another. In this case, the friendship Harley and Leroy offer Tayo is a wonderful thing, contributing to his sense of belonging in his community and to his understanding that his reaction to the war is a common one. However, Harley and Leroy are not able to move beyond their drinking to find a true cure for themselves, and they draw Tayo back into their escape mechanism. And then, as they show Tayo the end result of their resorting to alcohol—a total lack of self control—Harley and Leroy point him back onto the right path.
The story of the gambler demonstrates that no single party is to blame in the creation of a bad situation. The gambler is only able to play with those who are willing to gamble. People are shown to be willing to gamble when they feel that they have nothing left to lose. Although he kills them, in that very act the gambler shows them that they still possessed something of value. While he is powerful, the gambler is not invincible, and with the right tools he too can be tricked.
The woman at whose house Tayo spends the night is the last of the key women figures in the novel. In this scene and in the next in which she appears, she is not given a name. In this way, she acquires a more universal, symbolic value. She is not just one particular woman, but, as she is simply called "the woman," she is representative of all women and embodies all womanhood. Tayo notes her resemblance to an antelope, which again reinforces her symbolic value: she is also the spirit of female animals. Although she feeds and houses Tayo, the woman is in no way subservient to him.