Book Three, a modern-day Native folk tale.
In the conclusion of the story, all the characters end up in a deadly confrontation in the deeps of Stag-Heart, including a terrible encounter with Mandrake the bear. When a white buffalo calf is born on Amos Thunder Hawk’s ranch, Nate Cloud steals both the calf and his mother and takes a short-cut through Stag-Heart. Nate encounters Mandrake and the cow is killed, while Nate and the calf escape. Tall, who has followed Nate into the woods, encounters the face-painted Wanagi locked in a death-struggle with the bear as he attacks Nate Cloud. Nate is seriously wounded by the bear, and Tall is forced to transport him to safety by horseback, while the demonic Indian flees the scene of the attack.
Suspicions as to who savagely murdered the three kids so long ago in Stag-Heart have swirled above the heads of two men, Nathan Cloud and Gus Morgan, but in the end, Ryan learns the hard way who the real killer is, when FBI Agent Koops stabs his Irish wolfhound with the legendary deer antler. While Bran hangs between life and death, Ryan’s dealings with Koops are brought to a final con-clusion deep inside of Stag-Heart. Koops is gored by the Black Stag.
Koops became unhinged so many years ago when his young son was arrested for drug possession. The entire affair resulted in a divorce and no visitation with his son. Blaming his son’s three friends for involving his son in drugs, Koops took his revenge for suffering such a hardship by using the deer antler to savagely mutilate the three boys during their camping trip inside of Stag-Heart.
Later, back in Riverview, Ryan and his grandfather, Doc Mac, are preparing to pull the plug on Bran, when Dawn, Tall and Amos arrive at Doc’s office with the white buffalo calf. Whether it is a miracle or powerful magic of the calf, Bran is destined to live. The last lessons in the book are given by Tall to Ryan in regards to the two wolves that live inside of us all, and the wolf who wins is the wolf we feed the most. Tall, still knowing he is responsible for the death of Ryan’s mother in the drunk driving accident, talks about Crazy Horse and the troubles he had to overcome to forgive himself, when he accidently killed a woman himself before he ever became a famous war chief.