Miguel receives a letter from his father saying that it is time for him to leave San Jacinto and join him and Mamá in California. He is really happy, because he's been waiting to be back with his parents for many years.
He gets money from Don Clemente to hire a smuggler to get him across the border.
Miguel has a tearful goodbye with his Abuelita. He has to leave her and his sister Elena behind. Elena is not happy about being left in San Jacinto, and she wants to go with Miguel, but she can't.
Miguel goes to begin his bus trip, and he meets a man named Javier. He also sees what looks like a woman in robes. When he arrives at the bus station, he sees Captain Morales, the rude officer.
The woman in robes is actually Elena, and she ends up exposing Miguel's plan to Captain Morales, and they have to be shipped back to the Guatemalan border. Miguel isn't happy about this. He says, "My plan---Don Clemente's carefully laid plan---was in ruins. And Elena was to blame" (pg. 41).
Miguel and Elena are able to escape thanks to Javi faking a seizure and distracting Captain Morales.