Jim leaves Ántonia's farm the next day, promising to return soon to visit Ántonia, Cuzak, and their children, and then to return regularly after that to hunt with them and just to "tramp around."
Through Ántonia and her family, Jim has reconnected with the prairie—not the prairie of his youth but the living prairie of the present.
Jim takes the train to Black Hawk, but finds that most of his old friends have died or moved away. He walks out of town into the country, where he accidentally comes upon the remnants of the old road that used to run out from town to the farms on the prairie. He sits down, watching the haystacks glow as the sun sets, and realizes that even though he and Ántonia have separated, they are bound together by "the incommunicable past."