Why does Eddie get his job back with Mr. Stiles?
Mr. Stiles sets up Eddie to be arrested by saying he can have his job back. Earlier in the book Eddie used Mr. Stiles's truck to go the dump but stopped at his apartment and the truck was stolen. Mr. Stiles gets the truck back when Eddie and José see it parked near Cuca's restaurant where they have gone for breakfast. The truck was involved in a beating of an old man at a laundromat and Mr. Stiles thinks Eddie may have been involved.
Before the police show up, Eddie feels he has been redeemed and thinks that he would sacrifice his back and dig until blisters plagued his palms for Mr. Stiles. When he arrives at the house in the nicer section of north Fresno, Mr. Stiles is nervous and Eddie notices that the man's eyes are wet with moisture. It seems as though Mr. Stiles wants to say something to Eddie but can't. Instead, he points out an area for Eddie to dig where he plans on planting a tree. He also informs Eddie that his wife and children are at church.
Eddie digs for a while before he uncovers an onion-like bulb. True to the title of the novel, the onion is a symbol of sorrow and everything which seems to be wrong with Eddie's life. Earlier in the book, José buys onions from a peddler just before he is stabbed by "cholos." The discovery of the onion seems to indicate another negative turn of events for Eddie. After two hours of questioning, Eddie is eventually released by the police, who are confident he was not involved in the laundromat beating.