Racing eastward towards the opposite branch of the Kezankians from where he went on the dragon hunt, Conan is not privy to the knowledge that others have discovered the Caravan east. The Merchant assumes the Barbarian has double crossed him, and he sets out at once to reclaim his property and the Barbarians hide. The king's men also come to learn of the Caravan, and piece together that it was possibly an inside job which robbed him. The Zamoran army dispatches its most loyal Calvary after the robbers.
Some days to the east of Shadizar is the Well of Kings, an oasis in the desert land of Zamora. Conan stops to water his horse, and sees that several men have a captive girl in their midst. It is a girl which Conan rescued some time ago in the Tavern. Once more he rescues her from her would be captors and once more she spurns him. So deciding to put their differences aside for the moment the two then head eastwards again.
A fair amount of time passes while they ride ever eastward, the pair eventually comes upon the Caravan but while Conan urges the girl to stay back she rushes forward into the the light of the campfires and declares herself Karela the Red Hawk! Things now go from bad to worse for the Barbarian, as her men knock him out and truss him like an animal. While they are debating what to do with him, a new person appears in camp, the merchant from before. He is bargaining with them for the Barbarian.
Things don't work out to the magicians advantage, and due to the timely arrival of the Zamoran army the Bandits have to make off further into the hills with their Barbarian captive.