Daniel takes Fermín to the Barceló home in a taxi, worrying that he will die on the way. A doctor and nurse care for his wounds while Bernarda cries over him and Barceló comforts her, welcoming Daniel as well and urging him to take a bath and compose himself. When Daniel emerges, Clara is standing in the doorway, just as enthralling as she was four years ago. She asks Daniel for forgiveness for hurting him and Daniel feels the urge to kiss her, but Bernarda interrupts the moment and he gets dressed instead. The doctor assures everyone that Fermín will live.
Clara’s sudden shift in behavior is a sign that Daniel has grown up, and she’s ready to treat him as a man instead of a child. It’s important that while Daniel has changed a lot, mentally and physically, Clara is very static and looks exactly the same as always. At this point, Clara is more of a yardstick by which Daniel measures his own growth than a character in her own right.
After the doctor leaves, Barceló calls Mr. Sempere to say that Fermín has had a “minor accident” and is recuperating with Bernarda. He then presses Daniel about what they’ve been doing, deducing that it has something to do with The Shadow of the Wind. Daniel finally agrees to tell him everything.
When he needs help, Daniel immediately turns to Barceló instead of his father. What’s more, Barceló perpetuates his deception of Mr. Sempere. Neither one thinks Daniel’s father is strong or competent enough to take control, or even be informed, of the situation.