The next day, Tacho has a raging fever. He shivers and stops at every rest stop to use the restroom. The van seems sick as well, and Nayeli speaks comfortingly to Tacho as they drive. Tacho thinks that Don Pepe probably isn't even in Kankakee, and this is a pointless trip. They pass town after town and finally, they cross the Kankakee River. Nayeli yells that it's beautiful, but Tacho sniffs that the river at home is better. Nayeli wonders what her father will say when she sees him, but she knows he'll smile.
When Nayeli continues to believe that Don Pepe will surely be thrilled to see her, it builds her idolization of him and points back to the way she assumed Americans would be thrilled to let her into the country. So far, everything about America has been disappointing, which suggests that finding her father will be, too.
Tacho turns towards downtown, and Nayeli exclaims over a Mexican grocery store. Finally, they stop at a motel, and the van's engine begins to steam. Tacho declares that Nayeli killed him as a rainstorm rolls over them. He makes Nayeli stand outside while he uses the toilet and then falls into bed. Nayeli puts a washcloth on Tacho's forehead and assures him that she can find her father alone.
For Nayeli, the presence of a Mexican grocery store suggests a reasonably strong Mexican presence in the town, which offers the possibility that the town will be more welcoming than others she's passed through.
Nayeli buys soda and crackers in the lobby, and the receptionist tells her how to make long-distance calls from her room. Nayeli pulls out her postcard and notices that the crease down the middle now forms a lightning bolt through the photo. She wonders if it's a sign. She showers, crawls into bed, and dials Irma's number. Irma shares that Yolo decided she wants to stay in the US with Matt—but Matt doesn't want her to stay. Nayeli is shocked.
Though the revelation about Yolo and Matt doesn't do anything to repair Nayeli and Yolo's relationship, it does make it clear to Nayeli that she jumped to conclusions too quickly. It also shows that Matt is casual about sex, pointing back to the way he had casual sex with Carla.
Nayeli tells Irma that they made it to Kankakee, and Tacho is sick. Irma tells Nayeli that she's doing a great thing, and Nayeli asks if Irma found the men. Irma explains that she interviewed seventy men but only agreed to take home twenty-seven. Chava apparently fell for every hard-luck story, and Irma says that if they had Yul Brynner, seven men might be enough. However, she insists that all the men are weaklings and cowards, and twenty-seven will be barely enough to fight off the bandidos. Irma says she's flying home with Chava, and Nayeli hears him in the background.
When Irma continues to talk about men as though they're useless (and specifically, in comparison to Yul Brynner), it continues to develop the idea that Irma only likes the idea of men, not men in practice. Along the same lines, Irma isn't giving up any power when she brings these men home, which shows that they're not a threat to her.
Nayeli admits that she and Tacho broke the minivan, and Irma snaps that they'll just have to take the bus back to San Diego. She adds that one of her girlfriends from a neighboring town is going to come to San Diego to interview the rest of the seventy men, and she says that Chava thinks Irma will become president after this.
Irma sees the quest as a positive thing for Tres Camarones, but she also seems to realize that it’s a re-assertion of ownership over these Mexican men to bring them back to Mexico. Once again, this highlights Irma’s nationalistic leanings.
When Nayeli confesses she's tired, Irma insists that she changed the world. Irma orders Chava out of the room and tells Nayeli that she is the future and did something that Irma could've never done. Irma says that she'll deny ever saying it, but she admits that she's a coward, and Nayeli is stronger than she is. She tells Nayeli to get her father and kick ass before hanging up. Nayeli hears Tacho say he wants to go home and reminds him that he hasn't seen Beverly Hills. Tacho shakes his head and says that people like them don't marry Johnny Depp.
Irma’s encouragement sends a clear message that Nayeli and women in general are the true heroes of the story. Meanwhile, Tacho’s bitter comment about Johnny Depp points back to the beginning of the novel, when Tacho and Nayeli bonded over their love for the actor. Now, Tacho’s lack of interest in Beverly Hills implies that there's nowhere else to go but home, as he knows now the US won't let him truly live out his dreams.