Rowdy, "the toughest kid on the rez", is Junior's "best human friend". Although he "fights everybody", he cares about Junior and always tells him the truth. Rowdy's father is a hard drinker and is always punching Rowdy and his mother. Although Junior's parents are drunks too, they are not violent, and, since Junior's house is a comparatively "safe place", Rowdy spends most of his time there.
On this particular day, Rowdy wants to go to the powwow. Junior likes the dancers and singers at the powwow, but he does not like the Indians who attend and get drunk and get into fights. Junior is also afraid someone he knows will recognize him and pick on him, but Rowdy, promising to stick up for him, convinces him to go. At the powwow, Rowdy trips and bumps into a window, and when Junior laughts, Rowdy goes into one of his infamous rages. Junior runs, but is accosted by the Andruss brothers, who, at age thirty, are "the cruelest triplets in the history of the world". The brothers make fun of Junior and beat him up, and when Rowdy finds out, he resolves to seek revenge for his friend. When the Andruss boys fall asleep in their camp, Rowdy sneaks in, shaves their eyebrows, and cuts off their braids, which is "about the worst thing you can do to an Indian guy".
Rowdy loves comic books, and Junior's cartoons make him laugh. Rowdy is a dreamer, just like Junior, and he only talks about his dreams with his friend. Junior thinks Rowdy may be the most important person in his life (Chapter 3).