Jackson walks back to Junior, excited to share his good news. However, just like Rose of Sharon, Junior has disappeared. It’s only later that Jackson finds out he hitchhiked to Portland, Oregon, where he died in an alley behind a Hilton Hotel due to exposure to the elements.
Junior’s death is another example of how grief permeates American Indian life. Jackson viewed Junior as a “Pre-Columbus Indian” who was evidence of American Indian life before the destruction brought by colonization. His death represents the continued destruction of American Indian cultural identity. The fact that he died without dignity in an alley behind a luxury hotel chain subtly points to the fact that capitalism is built on American Indian suffering and death.