In the story, Bright Morning has been captured by Spanish slavers and sold to a Senora in town. One of the other slave girls, Nehana, manages to procure three horses so that they can escape.
Tall Boy is shot while attempting to help the girls (Bright Morning, Nehana, and Running Bird) escape from the Spanish slavers who are hot on their trail. The medicine man is the only one who knows how to tend to Tall Boy's injury.
In the medicine man's bag are two blue stones, an object with an oval knot, which looks like an eye, an eagle feather, and a groaning stick. A groaning stick is a piece of pine wood which has been struck by lightning; it is usually covered with yucca pitch and attached to some sort of cord made from buckskin. The Navajo believe that the groaning stick will drive away bad luck and illness.
The medicine man cleans Tall Boy's wounds with river water and the juice of mottled berries. He then uses the blue stones and the oval-knotted object to touch Tall Boy all over his body from head to toe. The medicine man is able to save Tall Boy's life, but Tall Boy's right arm will forever remain useless to him.