As Santiago is digging for treasure, a pack of thieves finds him and proceeds to beat him and rob him. They force him to continue digging in search of the treasure, but when none is found, all of the thieves leave. Before they leave, however, one thief tells Santiago an important secret that is a clue to where the treasure really is.
The story ends as Santiago discovers that the treasure is located right where the adventure began, at the ruined church in Spain. He digs under the tree where he had the prophetic dream and finally discovers a chest full of treasures, gold and gemstones.
In the final climactic scene of the book, the wind begins to blow and Santiago smells the familiar scent of his lover, Fatima, and feels her kiss. He is taken up by the wind and tells Fatima he is coming.