As Ron’s relationship with Denver grows, his art business also continues to expand. One day, Ron gets “the kind of call of which art dealer’s fantasies are made” to sell a valuable sculpture by Alexander Calder that is currently mounted in the middle of Fort Worth. The sculpture is a local treasure, so the arrangements for removing it and shipping it to Canada must be kept secret. As the months pass and Ron works out the details of the sale, he also tries to convince Denver to go to the retreat but does not expect he will go.
Ron’s eagerness to sell a “local treasure” simply for profit seems to contradict his character journey away from materialism and towards compassion for others. Even so, this seems to be the peak of Ron’s career, which will soon contrast with the onset of the worst tragedy his family has ever faced.
Ron receives a call from Deborah, who is ecstatic, claiming that it has been an excellent weekend at the retreat, reporting that Denver played piano and sang to God in front of a crowd of people. Ron looks forward to hearing Denver’s take on the retreat, but nobody hears from him or can find him for days afterward and they begin to worry.
Now that Ron and Deborah have enjoyed a decade of healthy, loving marriage, their relationship with Denver is blossoming, and Ron is at the peak of his art dealing career, the entrance of a new form of suffering and trial to face seems nearly perfect.
Finally, Denver calls from the hospital and Ron goes to see him. It turns out that Denver had been nervous about “using the Man’s bathroom” at the retreat, and had held in his bowels for so long that he became severely constipated, so now he’s in the hospital trying to “get unplugged.” Speaking with Ron, Denver says the retreat was important to him, a way for him to reset his mind. But he also warns Ron that something bad will soon happen, saying of Deborah, “When you is precious to God, you become important to Satan. Watch your back, Mr. Ron. Something bad getting ready to happen to Miss Debbie.”
Like Deborah, Denver begins to demonstrate a prophetic vein, foretelling the quickly-approaching tragedy that will befall her. Whether or not Denver truly knows that Deborah would soon fall ill or he just has an intuition, the effect on the narrative development is the same. In the narrative, Denver’s proclamation announces the oncoming storm, the descent into hardship yet again.