Lyman narrates this short chapter in the first person. The action takes place in 1983, directly after the destruction of his factory. He is scheming about how next to make money. He knows that some sort of regulation on Indian gaming will be passing through Congress, and he plans to open a casino.
Lyman expresses anger at the way Indians have been treated in the past -- "They gave you worthless land to start with and then they chopped it out from under your feet. They took your kids away and stuffed the English language in their mouth.... It was time, high past time the Indians smartened up and started using the only leverage they had -- federal law."
Lyman thus plans to use the law against the Indians’ historical adversaries. He wants to open a gigantic casino that will lure people from hundreds of miles away and lead them to pour away their money. He can employ locals from his reservation and bring prosperity to his community. Lyman even reasons that gambling would "fit into the old traditions." He has great plans and visualizes all of them coming together right before his eyes.
This three-page chapter is by far the shortest in the book, yet it still conveys important messages. Foremost is Lyman's plan to use "greed and luck" to bring fortune to himself and his people by exploiting the laws that have for so long worked against them. Central to Lyman's plan is his desire for revenge against the U.S. government and everyone who supported the government’s treatment of Indians. Lyman's paragraph of rage is particularly powerful:
"They gave you worthless land to start with and then they chopped it out from under your feet. They took your kids away and stuffed the English language into their mouth. They sent your brother to hell, they shipped him back fried. They sold you booze for furs and then told you not to drink. It was time, high past time the Indians smartened up and started using the only leverage they had -- federal law. Lyman grinned to himself, his eyebrows raised, staring at the floor. He saw farther, built bigger, until the vision was raised and solid in the dusty air."
This long quote is the most direct and impactful rant against the treatment of Indians that Erdrich has placed in the book so far. Murmurs of anger have appeared before, but Lyman's rage is concentrated and potent and demands attention. The reader does not learn whether his plan succeeds; indeed it might not, for it is fueled more by greed than by genuine enterprise. This chapter nevertheless illuminates many central aspects of Lyman’s character: creativity, opportunism, and intelligence among them.