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Antonio finally meets Ultima at the conclusion of Chapter One of Bless Me, Ultima. The event seems to be particularly momentous, especially since Antonio must lie in bed and listen to his parents, Gabriel and María, talk about the woman in the kitchen below his room the night before her arrival. Antonio is able to gather some information from this chatter: Ultima is a curandera, or healer, who now lives on the plains of the Ilano and who will be coming to live with the Márez family.
When Ultima arrives the next day, she shakes Antonio's hand, and the boy immediately senses a powerful whirlwind move around him. He impulsively refers to her by her name instead of the more formal address, "Grande," which confirms Ultima's belief that she would be close to the boy. Ultima's arrival ultimately marks a huge shift in Antonio's life.
When Tony first spends time with Ultima he is overwhelmed in her presence. He knows her before he ever meets her. The curandera was present at his birth, and he has dreamed of her before the actual meeting.
When the priest needs assistance in lifting a curse, he sends for Ultima. Tony is with her as she lifts the curse, adn he is overwhelmed. This will start his journey of discovery and the conflicts that go along with it.
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