There is balance and reciprocity in the Stupid Horse story. Stupid Horse is set on fire and Turtle Lake burns. Stupid Horse decomposes, and people forget his story. In the tree-climbing story, there is a similar kind of logic. Junior and Rowdy abandon the dark depths of Turtle Lake and its mysteries for another day. Instead of descending, they climb high above the reservation, almost to the very top of the largest tree. Is this a precursor of their eventual escape out of the reservation and into a world of greater opportunities? Will Rowdy be able to overcome the difficulties that face him and escape the reservation with Junior? Such questions are left unresolved even as the novel begins to come to a close. Junior takes stock of his first year of high school at Reardan, a year full of pain and loss, but also of new friendships and new opportunities. The novel concludes on an optimistic note. Rowdy may still be unwilling to acknowledge that he want to be friends with Junior, but the two hang out together for the first time since Junior left the reservation. This is a crucial step toward forgiveness and renewal. Life goes on, and, in the struggle to live, there is no score to keep.