When Tony asks for help in the book, it is usually for help in understanding, and it is Ultima to whom he turns most frequently for enlightenment. After he witnesses the shooting of Lupito, Tony asks Ultima if Lupito will go to hell, and Ultima tells him, "that is not for us to say...the war-sickness...he did not know what he was doing". Tony also asks what will happen to the men who did the shooting, including, most likely, his own father. Ultima tells him that she does not know, responding with calm acceptance, "men will do what they must do...the ways of men are strange, and hard to learn" (Chapter Dos).
Tony, confused by the differences between his father's and mother's families, asks Ultima why one side is "so strange and quiet" and the other is "so loud and wild". Ultima explains that it is in the blood of each to be the way they are - "the Lunas...are quiet like the moon", while the Marez are "wild, like the ocean from which they take their name" (Chapter Cuatro).
After Tony hears the story about the golden carp from his friend Cico, he goes to Ultima and asks if he should believe it. Ultima gently replies that she cannot tell him what to believe, and that while for now, his parents might tell him, ultimately, "as (he) grow(s) into manhood, (he) must find (his) own truths" (Chapter Once).