Ree walks home along the railroad tracks, considering the ruins of old Dolly homes all around her. There was once an “old bitter reckoning” between the Hawkfall clans and the Rathlin Valley clans, and Ree thinks that “like most fights that never finished, it had to’ve started with a lie.”
Ree, though disappointed by the notable absence of answers that greeted her in Hawkfall, is at least willing to acknowledge that the bitterness between her family’s clan and the Rathlin Valley clans is beyond her influence—at least for now.
Ree finds shelter inside a cave. She starts a fire and urinates near the entrance to keep animals away. Ree thinks of how during the schism between clans, the Dollys lived in caves after fleeing from Hawkfall, and eventually developed a “snarling tribal anger.”
Ree’s survival skills are on display in this chapter. She attributes these skills to ancient instincts, passed down from her willful and hardy ancestors.
Ree falls asleep, thinking of what might have become of Jessup. She wonders if he is dead and buried, or, if he’s dead, if he was buried at all.
Ree’s father’s whereabouts are never far from her mind; she hopes that he is, even perhaps in death, cared for.