In Chapter 5, Eddie, trying to escape Samuel and his band of cholitos, runs to his nina's house. His nina asks him to take her dog Queenie to the pound to be put to sleep. Eddie keeps half the money she sends him with as a donation; he needs the money to survive. He goes to the hospital to see Jose, and finds Angel there too. Eddie wants to get away from Fresno.
Eddie goes to Coach for help in Chapter 6. At Coach's suggestion, Eddie visits a Navy recruiter. Coach calls Mr. Stiles and vouches for Eddie's good character, and says Mr. Stiles wants Eddie to come back and work for him. When Eddie goes back, he finds he has been set up. The cops come for him, suspecting him of beating an old man at a Laundromat.
In Chapter 7, Eddie, who is innocent, is released after questioning, and Mr. Stiles apologizes. Jose is released from the hospital, and Jose and Eddie go fishing at the river with Coach.
In Chapter 8, Eddie, who believes Angel killed his cousin Jesus, goes to Angel's house and a fight ensues. Samuel is there and helps Angel fight Eddie. Later, Angel and Eddie run into each other at the hospital, and fight again.
Seeing the Navy as his only way of escaping Fresno, Eddie joins up in Chapter 9. On the drive to Lemoore Naval Air Station, the recruits' van stalls. As they wait for help, Eddie sees men gleaning onions from harvested fields to sell. He weeps when they hand him two onions, then stops and says goodbye to his childhood of sorrows.