Study Guide

Bless Me, Ultima Chapter 12

By Rudolfo Anaya

Chapter 12


  • Antonio dwells on Ultima's magic and the power of the golden carp, while his father drinks heavily and complains about Antonio's two brothers that have left.
  • Narciso arrives to warn Ultima that Tenorio is coming to do her harm. It turns out Tenorio's daughter died and he blames Ultima.
  • Soon enough, Tenorio and his thugs show up and accuse the old woman of witchcraft. Not cool, dudes. 
  • Antonio's father and Narciso block his way, and Antonio's father roughs Tenorio up a little. Drama!
  • Narciso speaks of the test that will prove Ultima is not a witch. See, witches can't walk through a door that bears the mark of the Cross, so Narciso takes two needles that one of Tenorio's thugs has used to seal his mouth shut against witchcraft (yep, that dude is for real) and he fashions the needles into a cross on the door. If Ultima walks through the door, she clearly is not a witch. Sounds good to everyone.
  • Meanwhile, as Tenorio rails against Ultima, Ultima's owl swoops down from the sky and gauges one of Tenorio's eyes out. Seriously, don't mess with owls. Just ask Hedwig.
  • Tenorio vows revenge, but Ultima has walked through the door, proving she isn't a witch, so that's not looking very likely.
  • But Antonio notices that the needles that made up the Cross lay on the ground. "Whether someone had broken the cross they made, or whether they had fallen, I would never know" (12.500-501). 
  • Dun dun dun.