Back at the prison, Gabriel Olondriz tearfully explains that José Angelico was one of 32 children whom his son Dante Jerome adopted while running a school. José Angelico was “the sweetest boy” and he was one of Olondriz’s favorites. José Angelico visited Olondriz in prison last year and he wanted Olondriz to meet Pia Dante because Olondriz was her godfather. Weeping, Olondriz says that José Angelico had high hopes of becoming a doctor or a lawyer—he must have gotten tired of waiting for life to pan out for him. Turning to Gardo, Olondriz says that they’d better talk about the letter. To Olondriz’s amazement, Gardo has memorized the whole thing and he begins to recite it.
Gabriel Olondriz reveals that (like the protagonists) José Angelico was a street kid, reinforcing the idea that there is a strong sense of solidarity among the city’s impoverished. Dante Jerome’s actions show how childhood poverty can be ethically addressed instead of ignored. José Angelico’s actions reveal that poverty leaves people with so few opportunities in this society that they are driven to theft. Meanwhile, Gardo’s ability to memorize the letter once again shows his intelligence and aptitude despite his lack of education.
In the letter, José Angelico writes that he thinks of Gabriel Olondriz daily and he raises a glass to Olondriz’s honor (and “in memoriam” of Dante Jerome). He continues that the “seed-corn” has been planted and “soon the harvest” because “it is accomplished” (which he writes three times in a row). José Angelico knows they’re coming for him and he prays the letter finds Olondriz. He’s afraid for Pia Dante, but the “seeds are safe,” “the veil of the temple is rent in the midst,” and Olondriz’s “soul would sing” if he could go to Senator Zapanta’s house. Olondriz goes pale and he asks Gardo (in his language) if there is also a slip of paper containing numbers and slashes. Gardo says that there was. Olondriz becomes excited because the numbers are a code.
The fact that José Angelico had to conceal his intentions in a code once again implies that the authority figures in this society are corrupt, since the guards clearly intercept materials that are intended for Olondriz. José Angelico’s fear for Pia Dante’s safety reminds the reader that young, poor children are highly vulnerable in this society.
Gabriel Olondriz calls Gardo an “angel” and he’s glad Gardo didn’t bring the letter. Olondriz quietly explains that the numbers are a simple “book-code” referring to passages in his Bible. At the crucifixion, St. John said “it is accomplished,” meaning everything that was stolen was restored. Olondriz is extremely excited, but the guard, Marco, comes in to end the visit. Marco won’t fetch Olondriz’s Bible, but Olondriz said Marco is trustworthy and that he’ll bring it to Gardo later. Outside the prison, Gardo explains what transpired to Olivia and he warns her that things are getting dangerous, for her too.
Gabriel Olondriz confirms that the prison is indeed corrupted with Zapanta’s spies when he says that Gardo was right to keep the letter out of the guards’ hands. Gardo’s strategic intelligence is revealed once again since he was smart enough to suspect foul play at the prison and his actions protect the contents of the letter from the guards’ prying eyes. Gardo’s fear that Olivia is unsafe for visiting a political prisoner hints at the dangers of living in a corrupt city.
The next morning, Gabriel Olondriz dies peacefully in prison. Olivia assumes that Marco realized the Bible was valuable. She doesn’t know what happened next because the next morning, the police show up and take her to the police station. Father Juilliard is able to contact Olivia’s father, who sends a man from the British Embassy who manages to get her released. Olivia takes a plane out of the country that same day. Reflecting on her time in Behala, Olivia says that she learned something she never could have at university: that money is precious—like water—and Behala is in a vicious drought. Olivia left a part of her heart with the boys, especially Rat, and she tearfully thanks them for “using” her.
Olivia’s arrest symbolizes the risks that people face in places where the authorities are corrupted by powerful, self-serving people. Olivia’s reflections about what she learned from her experiences in Behala and at Colva Prison show that there is tangible value in real-world experiences that challenge one’s preconceptions and comfort level. Through Olivia’s comments, Mulligan argues that such exposure even rivals the values of a formal education because it shows people how the world really works.