Fahrenheit 451

By Ray Bradbury

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isbn 978-0-557-07764-9


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Fahrenheit 451

By Ray Bradbury

It was a pleasure to burn It was a particular pleasure to see things eaten, to see things black and changed. With the brass nozzle in his fists, with this great python spitting its toxic fuel on the world, the blood stabbing in his head and his hands were the hands of some amazing conductor playing all the symphonies of fire and burn to the tatters and charcoal ruins of history. With his symbolic helmet numbered 451 on his stolid head, and his eyes all orange flame with the thought of what came next, he flicked the igniter and the house jumped in a gorging fire that burned the evening sky red and yellow and black. He Strode in a swarm of fireflies. He wanted above all, as the old joke to push a marshmallow on a stick in the oven, while the flapping pigeon wings books deceased on the veranda and garden of the house. Although the book was in sparkling Whirl and blew away on a wind turned dark with burning. Montag grinned the fierce grin of all men singed and driven by flame. He knew that when he returned to the FIRE HOUSE, he can nod to himself, a minstrel man, burnt-corked, in the mirror. Later, go to sleep, he feels the fiery smile still gripped by his face muscles, in the dark. It never went away, that smile, but never went away, until he recalled.

He hung up his black beetle-colored helmet and shined it, he hung his flameproof jacket neatly, he showered luxury, and then, whistling, hands in pockets, walked in the top floor of the fire station and fell down the hole. At the last moment, when disaster seemed positive, he pulled his hands from his pockets and broke his fall by grasping the golden pole. He moves to a wheezing halt, the heels one inch of the concrete floor below. He ran from the fire station and midnight along the street to the subway where the silent, air-powered train moves silently its lubricated flue in the earth and leave him with a great puff of warm air to the cream-tiled escalator rising to the city. Flutes, he let the escalator waft him into the still night air. He walked to the corner, thinking little of everything about nothing in particular. Before the corner, but he delayed if a wind had arisen out of nothing, as if someone had mentioned his name. The last few nights he had the most uncertain feelings about the sidewalk around the corner here, moving in the star light to his house. He felt a moment to turn someone had. The air seemed charged with a very calm as if someone had waited, quietly, and only a moment before he came, it was just a shadow and let him by. Perhaps his nose detected a faint perfume, perhaps the skin on the backs of his hands on his face, felt the temperature rise is a place where a person standing to raise the immediate atmosphere ten degrees for an instant. There was no concept. Each time he's turn, he saw only the white, unused, buckling sidewalk, with perhaps one night, something disappear quickly in a lawn before he could focus his eyes or speak. But now, tonight, he slowed almost to a standstill. His inner spirit to reach the corner for him, had heard the weakest whisper. Breathing? Or was the atmosphere compressed merely by someone standing very quietly there, waiting? He turned the corner. The autumn leaves blew over the sidewalk on the moon so the girl moved there seem fixed to a sliding walk, the movement of the wind and the leaves carry her forward. Her head was half bent to see her shoes stir the circling leaves. Her face was slender and milk-white, and it was a kind of gentle hunger that touched over everything with tireless curiosity. It was a look, almost, of pale surprise, the dark eyes were so fixed to the world that there is no movement escaped them. Her dress was white and it whispered. He almost thought he heard the movement of her hands as they walked, and the infinitely small sound now, the white helm of her face turning when she discovered she was just like a man who stood in the middle of the sidewalk to wait . The trees overhead a great sound of letting their dry rain. The girl stopped and looked as if they could retire in the surprise, but instead stood regarding Montag with eyes so dark and shining and alive that he felt he had said something quite wonderful. But he knew his mouth had only moved to say hello, and then when she seemed hypnotized by the salamander on his arm and the Phoenix-disc on his breast, he spoke again. "Of course," he said, "you're a new neighbor, are you not?" "And you have-" She raised her eyes from his professional symbols "-the fireman." Her voice trailed off. "How strange you say that." "I'd, I'd know it with my eyes closed," she said, slowly. "What the smell of kerosene? My wife always complains," he laughed. "You were never completely off." "No, you do not," she said, with awe. He felt they walked in a circle about him, turning him end for end shaking him quietly, and emptying his pockets, without ever moving itself. "Kerosene," he said, because the silence was extended, "is nothing but perfume to me." "Is it seems that real?" "Of course. Why not?" She gave herself time to think is. "I do not know." She turned to the door go to their houses. "Do you mind if I walk back with you, I'm Clarisse McClellan." "Clarisse. Guy Montag. Come along. What do you leave to walk around and how old are you?" They walked in the warm-cool blowing night on the silvered pavement and there was the weakest breath of fresh apricots and strawberries in the air, and he looked around and realized this was impossible, so late in the year. There was only the girl walking with him now, her face bright as snow in the moonlight, and he knew she was working his questions around, looking for the best answers she could possibly give. "Well," she said, "I'm seventeen and I'm crazy. My uncle says the two always go together. When people ask your age, he said, always say seventeen and insane. Is not this a fun time of the night to run, I would like to smell things and look at things, and sometimes continue all night, walking, and watch the sun rise. " They walked back in silence and finally she said, thoughtfully, "You know, I'm not afraid of you." He was amazed. "Why would you?" "So many people. Afraid of firemen, I mean. But you're just a man, after al .." He saw in her eyes, suspended in two shining drops of bright water, itself dark and small, with fine details, the lines about his mouth, everything, as if her eyes were two miraculous bits of violet amber can capture and hold him intact. Her face, turned to him now, was fragile milk crystal with a soft and constant light. It was not the hysterical light of electricity but-what? But the remarkable comfort and rare and gently flattering light of the candle. Once, when he was a child, in a mechanical defect, his mother had found and lit a last candle and there was a brief hour of rediscovery, of such illumination that space lost its vast dimensions and drew comfortably around them and they mother and son, alone, transformed, hoping that the power can not too soon .... And then Clarisse McClellan said: "Do you mind if I ask how long have you worked for a fireman?" "I was twenty, ten years ago." "Have you ever read one of the books you burn?" He laughed. "That is against the law!" "Oh. Of course." "It's fine work. Monday burn Millay, Wednesday Whitman, Friday Faulkner, burn 'em to ashes, then burn the ashes. That's our official slogan." They walked further and the girl said: "Is it true that long ago that firefighters fires instead of starting with them?" "No. Houses have always been fireproof, take my word for it." "Strange. I heard once that a long time ago houses used to burn by accident and they needed firemen to stop the flames." He laughed. She looked quickly. "Why are you laughing?" "I do not know." He began to laugh again and stopped "Why?" "You have to laugh when I'm not funny and you answer good. You never stop to think what I have asked." He stopped walking, "You're an odd one," he said, looking at her. "Have you any respect?" "I do not mean to offend. It's just, I love to watch people too much, I think." "Well, this is not something for you?" He tapped the 451 numbers sewn on his char-colored sleeve. "Yes," she whispered. She increased her pace. "Have you ever watched the jet cars racing on the boulevards down that way? "You change the subject!" "I think that drivers sometimes do not know what grass or flowers, because they never see them slowly," she said. "If you showed a driver a green blur, Oh yes! He would say that the grass! A pink blur? This is a rose garden! White blurs are houses. Brown blurs are cows. My uncle drove slowly on a highway once . He drove forty miles per hour and they put him imprisoned for two days. Is not that funny, and sad, too? " "You do too many things," said Montag, difficult. "I rarely see the salon walls' or go to races or Fun Parks. So I have a lot of time for crazy thoughts, I suppose. Have you seen the two to one hundred-meter-long billboards in the country outside the city? Did you know once billboards were only twenty meters long? But cars started rushing by so quickly they had to stretch the advertising as would last. " "I did not know that!" Montag laughed abruptly. "Bet I know something else is not. There dew on the grass in the morning." He suddenly could not recall when he knew or not, and that made him very irritable. "And if you look-" She nodded at the sky, "there is a man on Monday" He had not looked for a long time. They walked the rest of the way in silence, her thought, a kind of clenching and uncomfortable silence in which he shot her accusing eyes. When her house all the lights were blazing. "What's going on?" Montag had rarely seen that many house lights. "Oh, but my mother and father and uncle sitting around, talking. It's like a pedestrian, but rarer. My uncle was arrested another time, I tell you? For a pedestrian. Oh, we are most curious." "But what are you talking about?" They laughed at. "Good night!" She began her walk. When she seemed to remember something and came back to look at him with wonder and curiosity. "Are you happy?" She said. "Am I what?" He cried. But she was gone-running in the moonlight. Her door gently.

"Happy! Of all the nonsense." He stopped laughing. He put his hand in the glove-hole of his front door and let it know his touch. The door slides open. Of course I'm happy. What do they think? I'm not? he asked the quiet rooms. He was looking at the fan grille in the hall and suddenly remembered that something lay hidden behind the grille, something that seemed to peer down now. He moved his eyes quickly. What a strange meeting on a strange night. He remembered nothing like the store one afternoon a year ago when he met an old man in the park and they had .... Montag shook his head. He looked at a blank wall. The girl's face was really beautiful in memory: astonishing, in fact. She had a very thin face like the face of a small clock seen light in a dark room in the middle of the night when you watch the time and see the clock telling you the hours and minutes and the second, with a white silence and a glowing all security and what they tell of the night passes quickly to further darknesses but also move to a new Sunday "What?" Asked Montag of that other self, the subconscious idiot that ran babbling sometimes quite independent of will, habit formation and conscience. He looked back on the wall. How like a mirror, her face. Impossible, because how many people know that you broke your own light to you? People were often he wanted for a comparison, found in his work-torches, blazing away until they whiffed out. How often have other people's faces take of you and throw you back to your own words, your own innermost trembling thought? What incredible power of identification of the girl, she was like the eager watcher of a marionette show, anticipating each flicker of an eyelid, each gesture of his hand, every film of a finger, the moment before he began. How long had they walked together? Three minutes? Five? But how large that time seemed now. How immense a figure she was on stage for him, they threw a shadow on the wall with her slender body! He felt that if his eye itched, she can blink. And if the muscles of his jaws stretched unnoticed, she would yawn long before he would. Why, he thought, now that I think of it, she almost seemed to be waiting for me there, in the street, so damned late at night ...

He opened the bedroom door. It was like in the cold marbled room of a mausoleum after the moon had set. Complete darkness, without a hint of the silver world outside, the windows close, the room a tomb world where no sound from the big city could penetrate. The room was not empty. He listened. The little mosquito-delicate dancing hum in the air, the electrical murmur of a hidden wasp snug in its special pink warm nest. The music was almost loud enough so he could follow the tune. He felt his smile slide away, melt, fold over, and in itself as a tallow skin, like the stuff of a fantastic candle burning too long and now collapsing and now blown out. Darkness. He was not happy. He was not happy. He said that the words themselves. He recognized it as the true state of affairs. He wore his happiness like a mask and the girl ran away in the lawn with the mask and there was no way will knock on her door and ask for it back. Without the light, he thought how this room would look. His wife stretched on the bed, uncovered and cold, like a body on the lid of a tomb, her eyes fixed to the ceiling by invisible threads of steel, real estate. And in her ears the little shells, the thimble radios tamped tight, and an electronic ocean of sound, music and talk and talk and music come to the shores of its unsleeping spirit. The room was empty. Every night the waves came in and carried her off on their great tides of sound, floating her, wide-eyed, toward morning. There was no night in the last two years that Mildred had not swum that sea, did not like the road for the third time. The room was cold but he felt he could not breathe. He did not want to open the curtains and open the door because he did not want the moon in the room. So, in the sense of a man who will die in the next hour for the lack of air, he felt his way to his open, separate, and therefore cold bed. An instant hit on his foot the object on the ground that he knew he would hit such a case. It was not unlike the feeling that he had experienced before the corner and almost knocking the girl down. His foot, sending vibrations forward, received back echoes of small Barrister √ ® re in the road, even as the foot swung. His foot kicked. The object has a dull sound and moves off at darkness. He was very straight and listened to the person in the dark in bed all night without expression. The breath from the nostrils was so weak that only stirred the farthest edge of life, a small leaf, a black feather, a single fiber of hair. He still did not want outside light. He pulled his igniter, felt the salamander etched on the silver disc, gave it a movie .... Two moon stones looked up to him in the light of his small hand-held fire; two pale moon stones buried in a creek of clear water in which the life of the world ran, not touching them. "Mildred!" Her face was like a snow-covered island where rain would fall, but he felt no rain; on those clouds to pass their moving shadows, but they found no shadow. There was only the singing of the thimble-wasps in its lane-shut ears, and her eyes all glass, and breath going in and out, soft, light, and from her nose, and not care whether it came and went was or was. The object he had sent tumbling with his foot now glinted under the edge of his bed. The small crystal bottle of sleeping tablets which earlier today was filled with thirty capsules and which now provide uncapped and empty in the light of the small flare. As he stood there the sky above the house screaming. There was a tremendous ripping sound as if two giant hands had torn ten thousand miles of black linen down the seam. Montag was cut in half. He felt his chest cut and split apart. The jet-bombs ga, ga, ga, one two, one two, one two, six of them, nine of them, twelve of them, one and one and one and another and another and another, did all the screaming for him. He opened his mouth and let their shriek come and Bared between his teeth. The house shook. The flare was in his hand. The moon stones disappeared. He felt his hand diving into the phone. The planes were gone. He felt his lips move, brushing the mouthpiece of the phone. "Emergency hospital." A terrible whisper. He believes that the star was uncrushed by the sound of the black jets and that in the morning of the earth would have thought as he stood shivering in the dark, and his lips are moving and moving.

They had this machine. They had two machines, really. One of them moves into your stomach, like a black cobra in an answer in search of the old water mill and the old time collection. He drank the green matter that flowed to the top in a slow boil. Does the drink of the darkness? Does it suck all the toxic substances over the years? The fed in silence with an occasional sound of inner suffocation and blind searching. It was an Eye. The impersonal operator of the machine can, by wearing a special optical helmet, gaze into the soul of the person it was pumping out. What's in the face? He does not say. He did not see what the eyes saw. The whole operation was not unlike the digging of a trench in the yard. The woman on the bed was no more than a hard stratum of marble they had reached. Come on, by the way, sliding the bore down, slush emptiness as something could be in the right of the suction hose. The operator stood smoking a cigarette. The other machine worked well. The other machine was operated by an equally impersonal fellow in non-stain able reddish brown overalls. This machine pumped all the blood from the body and replaced by fresh blood and serum. "Got to clean 'em out both ways," said the operator, standing in silent woman. "No to the stomach if you do not clean the blood. Leave that stuff in the blood and the blood hits the brains like a hammer, Bang, a few thousand times and just give brains, just completed." "Stop it!" Montag said. "I was just saying '," said the operator. "Are you ready?" Montag said. They close the machines tight. "We are done." His anger does not even touch. She stood with the cigarette smoke curling around their noses and into their eyes without blinking or squinting. "That's fifty dollars." "Firstly, why do not you tell me whether it yourself?" "Sure, well we will have all the mean stuff right in our suitcase here can not get to her. As I said, take the old and the new and you're okay" "None of you is an MD Why did not they send an MD from Emergency?" "Hell!" The operator's cigarette moved on his lips. "We get these cases nine or ten a night. Have you so much, starting a few years ago we had the special machines built. With the optical lens, of course, that was new, the rest is the old. You do not have a MD, case like this, all you need is two handymen, clean up the problem in half hour. Look-"he started for the door" We gotta go. Just a call to the old ear-thimble. Ten blocks from here. Someone else just jumped from the cap of a pillbox. Call if you need us again. Keep it quiet. We have a contra-sedative in her. She will wake up hungry. So long. " And the men with the cigarettes in their straight lined mouth, men with the eyes of puff-adders, took their load of machine and tube, their case of liquid melancholy and the slow dark sludge of nameless stuff, and strolled the door . Montag sank into a chair and looked at this woman. Her eyes are closed now, gently, and his hand to feel the hot breath on his palm ness. "Mildred," he said finally. There are too many of us, he thought. There are billions of us and that is too much. Nobody knows anyone. Strangers will violate you. Strangers come and cut your heart out. Strangers, and your blood. Good God, who were these men? I never saw them before in my life! A half hour passed. The bloodstream in this woman was new and seemed to have done a new thing with her. Her cheeks were very pink and her lips were very fresh and full of color and they looked soft and relaxed. Someone else's blood there. If only someone else's flesh and brains and memory. If they only would have taken her mind back to the dry cleaner and emptied the pockets and steamed and cleaned and reblocked and brought him back in the morning. If only ... He got up and back the curtains and opening the windows to let the night air in. It was two o'clock in the morning. Was it just an hour ago, Clarisse McClellan in the street, and his inwards, and the dark room and his foot kicking the little crystal bottle? Only an hour, but the world was melted down and turned up in a new, colorless form. Laughter blew on the moon-colored lawn of the house of Clarisse and her father and mother and the uncle who smiled so quietly and so seriously. Above all, their laughter was relaxed and cordial and not forced in any way from the house, which was so brightly lit this late at night, while all the other houses were kept to themselves in the dark. Montag heard the voices talking, talking, talking, talking, weaving, repairing their hypnotic web. Montag moved through the French windows and crosses the lawn, without even thinking of. He stood outside the house talking in the shade, thinking that he might even tap on their door and whisper, "Let me have come, I will not say. I just want to listen. What is it you say?" But he stood there, very cold, his face a mask of ice, listening to the voice of a man (uncle?) Moving along at an easy pace: "Well, after all, this is the age of disposable tissue. Blow your nose on a person, wad them wash them away, reach for another, blow, wad, flush. Everyone using everyone else coat tails. How are you you to root for the home team when you do not have a program or know the names? For that matter, what color jerseys they are wearing as they trot on the field? " Montag moved back to his own house, left the window wide, controlled Mildred, tucked the covers over her carefully, and then determine the moonlight on his cheek-bones and on the frowning ridges in his brow, with the moonlight distilled in each eye on a silver cataract there. A drop of rain. Clarisse. Another drop. Mildred. A third. The uncle. A fourth. The fire tonight. One, Clarisse. Two, Mildred. Three, uncle. Four, fire, One, Mildred, two, Clarisse. One, two, three, four, five, Clarisse, Mildred, uncle, fire, sleeping tablets, men, clothing disposable tissue, coat-tails, blow, wad, flush, Clarisse, Mildred, uncle, fire, tablets, tissues, blow, wad, flush. One, two, three, one, two, three! Rain. The storm. The uncle laughing. Thunder below. The whole world pouring down. The fire flow in a volcano. All rush down around in a spouting roar and river stream to tomorrow. "I know nothing more," he said, and a sleep-lozenge dissolve on his tongue.

At nine in the morning, Mildred's bed was empty. Montag was quick, his heart pumping, and ran down the hall and stopped at the kitchen door. Toast was the silver toaster, was seized by a spidery metal hand that drenched it with melted butter. Mildred watched the toast delivered on its board. She had both ears plugged with electronic bees that were Humming hour away. She looked up suddenly saw him and nodded. "Everything okay?" He asked. She was an expert in lip-reading of ten years of apprenticeship with seashell ear-thimbles. She nodded again. She set the toaster clicking away at another piece of bread. Montag are. His wife said: "I do not know why I have so hungry." "U?" "I am hungry." "Last night," he began. "Did not sleep well. Me feel terrible," she said. "God, I'm hungry. I can not." "Last night" he said again. She watched his lips casually. "How about tonight?" "Do you remember?" "What? Do we have a wild party or something? The feeling that I have a hangover. God, I'm hungry. Who was here?" "A few people," he said. "That's what I thought." She chewed her toast. "Sore stomach, but I'm hungry as all-get-out. Hope that I am not stupid to the party." "No," he said quietly. The toaster spidered a piece of buttered bread for him. He held in his hand, feeling grateful. "It sounds like you're so hot you," said his wife.

In the late afternoon it rained and the whole world was dark gray. He stood in the hall of his house that his badge with the orange salamander burning across it. He was looking at the air-conditioning equipment guy in the hall for a long time. His wife in the TV lounge paused long enough from reading her script quickly. "Hey," she said. "The thinking man!" "Yes," he said. "I wanted to talk to you." He paused. "You have all the pills in your bottle last night." "Oh, I would not do," she said surprised. "The bottle was empty." "I would not do that. Why would I do that?" She asked. "Maybe you have two pills and forgot and took two more, and then forgot and took two more, and were so stupid you kept right on until you had thirty or forty of them in you." "Heck," she said, "what I would do a stupid thing like that?" "I do not know," he said. She was clearly waiting for him to go. "I did not," she said. "Never in one billion years." "Okay if you say yes," he said. "That is what the lady said." She turned back to her script. "What's on this afternoon?" He asked tiredly. She did not look up from her script again. "Well, this is a game is on the wall to wall circuit in ten minutes. They mail me my part this morning. I sent in some box-tops. They write the script with a part missing. It is a new idea. The mistress, I was the missing part. If the time for the missing lines, they all look at me from the three walls and I say the lines: Here, for example, the man says: "What do you think of this whole idea, Helen? "And he looks at me sitting here is central, see? And I say, I say, "She paused and ran her finger under a line in the script." "I think it's great!" And when they go to play until he says: 'Do you agree that , Helen! "And I say, 'I sure do!" Is not that nice, Guy? " He stood in the hall looking for her. "It is certainly nice," she said. "What's the game about?" "I told you. There are these people named Bob and Ruth and Helen." "Oh." "It's really fun. It will be even more fun when we can afford the fourth wall installed. How long you figure before we save and get the fourth wall torn and fourth-wall TV in? It's only two thousand dollars. " "That is one third of my annual pay." "It's only two thousand dollars," she answered. "And I think you should consider me sometimes. If we had fourth wall, why he would like this room was not ours, but all kinds of exotic people rooms. We can do without some things." "We are already working on a few things to pay for the third wall. It was only two months ago, remember?" "Is that what it was?" Saturday they are looking for him for a long time. "Well, well, honey." "Good-by," he said. He stopped and turned around. "Does it have a happy end?" "I have not read that much." He walked over, read the last page, nodded, folded the script, and handed him back to her. He ran the house in the rain.

The rain was thinning away and the girl was in the center of the pavement with her head and a few drops fall on her face. She smiled when she saw Montag. "Hello!" He said hello and then said: "What are you so far?" "I'm still crazy. The rain feels good. I love to walk into. "I do not think I want," he said. "You can if you tried." "I've never." She licked her lips. "Rain even tastes good." "What do you go around trying everything once?" He asked. "Sometimes twice." She looked for something in her hand. "What've you got there?" He said. "I think the last of the horse flowers this year. I do not think I find one on the lawn this late. Have you ever heard of rubbing it under your chin? Look." She touched her chin with the flower, laughing . "Why?" "If it rubs off, it means I'm in love. Is it?" He could hardly anything but watch. "Well?" She said. "You're yellow under there." "Fine! Let's try now." "It will not work for me." "Here." Before he could move she had the dandelion under his chin. He pulled back and she laughed. "Hold still!" She peered under his chin and fronste. "Well?" He said. "What a shame," she said. "You're not in love with someone." "Yes, I am!" "It appears not." "I am very much in love!" He tried to call a face to the words, but there was no face. "I am!" "Oh please do not look that way." "It's that dandelion," he said. "You've used it all on yourself. That is why it does not work for me." "Of course, that must be it. Oh, now I got you angry, I can see I have, I'm sorry, really I am." She touched his elbow. "No, no," he said quickly, "I'm okay. " "I have to go, so say you forgive me. I do not want you mad at me." "I'm not angry. Angry, yes." "I got to my psychiatrist now. They make me go. I have things to say. I do not know what he thinks of me. He says I'm a regular onion, I keep him busy peeling away layers." "I'm inclined to believe that the psychiatrist," said Montag. "You do not mean that." He took a deep breath and let him out and finally said: "No, I do not mean that." "The psychiatrist wants to know why I go outside and walk around in the woods and watch birds and butterflies gather. I'll show you my collection some day." "Good." "They want to know what I do with my time. I tell them that sometimes I just sit and think. But I will not tell what. I have them running. And sometimes, I tell them, I want my head back like this, and let the rain fall in my mouth. It tastes like wine. Have you ever tried? " "No I-" "You have to forgive me, did you not?" "Yes." He thought about it. "Yes, I have. God knows why. You're weird, you are aggravating, but you are easily forgiven. You say you're seventeen?" "Well, next Monday" "How strange. How strange. And my wife thirty and yet you seem so much older times. I can not get over it." "You are curious yourself, Mr. Montag. Sometimes I even forget that you are a fireman. Now I can hurt you?" "Go ahead." "How did it start? How are you there? How did you choose your work and how did you happen to remember the work you? You are not like the others. I have a couple, I know. When I talk, you look at me. When I said something about the moon, you looked at the moon, last night. The others never would. The others walk and let me talk. Or threaten me. No one has more time for someone else. You are a of the few who put up with me. That is why I think it strange that a fireman, he does not seem right for you, one way or another. " He felt his body divided into a hotness and a coldness, a softness and a hardness, a trembling and a not trembling, the two halves grinding one to another. "You'd better turn on your appointment," he said. And she walked off and left him there in the rain. Only after a long time he moved. And then, very slowly, as he walked, he tilted his head back in the rain for a few moments, and opened his mouth ....

Mechanical Hound slept but not sleeping, but not lived life in its gently humming gently vibrating, softly illuminated kennel name back in a dark corner of the FIRE HOUSE. The dim light of one in the morning, the moonlight of the open sky framed by the great window, touched here and there on the buyer and the buyer and the steel of the light vibrating beast. Light flickered on bits of ruby glass and on sensitive capillary hairs in the nylon-brushed nostrils of the creature that quivered gently, gently, gently, its eight legs spidered under it on rubber coated legs. Montag slide the brass pole. He went out to look at the city and the clouds were completely out of the way, and he lit a cigarette and came back to bend down and look at the Hound. It was just a great bee come home from some field where the honey is full of poison wildness, of insanity and nightmare, its body filled with over-rich nectar and now it was sleeping the evil of itself. "Hello," whispered Montag, fascinated as always with the dead beast, the living animal.

Nights when things got boring, that's every night, the men pushed the brass poles, and the ticking combinations of the smell of the Hound and let loose rats in the space HOUSE FIRE-way, and sometimes chicken, and sometimes cats that would be be drowned anyway, and there would be betting to see which the Hound would seize first. The animals were loose. Three seconds later the game was done, the rat, cat, chicken or fish in half the areaway, gent development in grip legs while a four-inch hollow steel needle plunged from the trunk of the Hound to inject massive shocks of morphine or procaine. The building was then tossed in the incinerator. A new game began. Montag remained the top most nights when this was. There was a time of two years ago, when he had bet with the best of them, and the loss of a week salary and faced Mildred's insane anger, which showed itself in veins and blemishes. But now at night he lay in his bed, facing the wall, listening to Whoops of laughter below and the piano-string scurry of rat feet, the violin squeak of mice, and the great shadowing, motioned silence of the Hound jump from like a butterfly in the raw light, finding that his victim, inserting the needle and go back to the kennel to die as a switch was turned on. Montag touched the muzzle. The Hound growled. Montag jumped back. The Hound half rose in its kennel and looked at him with green-blue neon light flickering in its suddenly activated eye lamps. It growled again a strange rasping combination of electrical sizzle, a Frying sound, a scraping of metal, a turning paddle of work that seemed rusty and ancient with suspicion. "No, no, boy," said Montag, his heart pounding. He saw the silver needle extended in the air an inch, pull back, extend, pull back. The growl simmered in the beast and he looked at him. Montag supported. The Hound took a step from its kennel. Montag grabbed the brass pole with one hand. The pole, reacting, moves upward, and took him through the ceiling, quietly. He stepped into the half-lit deck of the upper level. He was trembling and his face was green and white. Below the Hound had sunk back on its eight incredible insect legs and was Humming to himself again its multifaceted eyes in peace. Montag stood, the fears pass, by the drop-hole. Behind him, four men at a card table under a green-light cover in the corner looked briefly but said nothing. Only the man with the master of the hat and the sign of the Phoenix on his hat, at last, curious, his playing cards in his thin hand, talked about the long room. "Montag ...? "It's not like me," said Montag. "What is the Hound?" The Captain studied his cards. "Come out of it. It does not like or dislike. The ordinary 'functions'. It is like a lesson in ballistics. He has a job we decide to. It follows. It is, housing itself, and cuts off . It's just copper wire, storage batteries and electricity. " Montag swallowed. The calculators can be set to a combination, so many amino acids as far as sulfur, so much butterfat and alkaline. Right? " "We all know that." "All of those chemical balances and percentages on all of us here in the house in the master file below. It would be easy for someone to a partial combination on the Hound's' memory 'a touch of amino acids, perhaps. That would be good for the animal has just. responded to me. " "Hell," said the captain. "Irritated, but not angry. Just enough 'memory' set up by someone so growled when I touched it." "Who would do that '." Asked the captain. "You have no enemies here, Guy." "Not that I know." "We have the Hound reviewed by our engineers of tomorrow." "This is not the first time it is threatened me," said Montag. "Last month it happened twice." "We solve it. Do not worry" But Montag not move and only stood thinking of the fan grill in the hall at home and what was hidden behind the grille. If someone here in the FIRE HOUSE fan knew it would not "tell" the Hound ... ? The captain came to the drop-hole and gave Montag a questioning glance. "I was just given," said Montag, "what does the Hound think there nights? Is the next life on us, really? It makes me cold." "He does not think that anything we do not want to think." "That is sad," said Montag, quietly, "because everything we in the hunting and finding and killing. What a shame if all it ever know." Beatty snorted softly. "Hell! It is a beautiful piece of craftsmanship, a good rifle that can fetch its own target and ensures success every time." "Therefore," said Montag. "I would not want to be his next victim. "Why? Do you have a bad conscience about something?" Montag looked up quickly. Beatty stood there looking at him still with his eyes while his mouth opened and began to laugh, very softly.

One two three four five six seven days. And as often as he came out of the house and Clarisse was there somewhere in the world. Once he saw her shaking a walnut tree, once he saw her sitting on the lawn knitting a blue sweater, three or four times he found a bouquet of flowers to leave on his terrace, or a handful of chestnuts in a small bag, or some autumn leaves neatly attached to a sheet of white paper and thumbtacked to his door. Each day Clarisse walked him to the corner. One day it was raining, the following was clear, the day after that the wind blew strong, and the day after it was soft and quiet, and the day after that day was a calm day like an oven in summer and Clarisse with her face all sunburnt by late afternoon. "Why is it," he said, once on the subway entrance, "I feel I know you all these years?" "Because I like you," she said, "and I do not want all of you. And because we know each other." "You make me very old and very much like a father." "Now you explain," she said, "why you do not have daughters like me, if you love children so much?" "I do not know." "You're kidding!" "I mean-" He stopped and shook his head. "Well, my wife, she ... She never wanted to have children." The girl stopped smiling. "I'm sorry. I really thought you were happy at my cost. I am a fool." "No, no," he said. "It was a good question. It's been a long time since anyone cared enough to ask. A good question." "Let's talk about something else. Have you ever smelled old leaves? They do not smell like cinnamon? Here. Smell." "Why, yes, it is like cinnamon in a way." She looked at him with her clear dark eyes. "You always seem shocked." "It is but I had no time" "Did you look at the stretched-out billboards like I told you?" "I think so. Yes." He had to laugh. "Your laugh sounds much nicer than it did" "Is it?" "Much more relaxed." He felt calm and comfortable. "Why are you not at school, I see you every day walking." "Oh, do not miss me," she said. "I'm anti-social, they say. I do not mix. It is so strange. I'm very social indeed. It all depends on what you mean by social, right? Social me means talking about things like this." They area a few chestnuts that had fallen from the tree in the front yard. "Or talk about how strange the world. If people are nice. But I do not think the social to a group of people together and not talk, do you? One hour of TV class, an hour of basketball or baseball or running, an hour of transcription history or painting pictures, and more sports, but you know, we never ask questions, or at least most, but just run the answers at you, bing, bing, bing, and we sit there for four hours film teacher. That is not social to me. It is a funnel and a lot of water poured down the spout and out of the soil, and they tell us that the wine not. They run us so rough at the end of the day we can do nothing but to bed or head for a Fun Park to bully people around, break windows in the window smasher place or wreck cars in the car wrecker with the big ball. Or ga in the car and race on the streets, trying to see how close you get to light-posts, playing 'chicken' and 'knock-hub-caps. "I think I'm everything they say I am, ok. I have no friends. This is to prove I'm abnormal. But everyone I know either shouting or dancing around like wild or beating up each other. Did you notice how people hurt each other nowadays? " "You sound so old." "Sometimes I'm old. I am afraid that the children of my own age. They murder each other. I always used to be that way? My uncle says no. Six of my friends have been shot in the last year alone. Ten of them died in car wrecks. I'm afraid of them and they do not like me because I'm afraid. My uncle says his grandfather remembered when children do not murder each other. But that was a long time ago when they had things different. They believed in responsibility, my uncle says. You know, I am responsible. I was spanked when I needed it, years ago. And I do all the shopping and house cleaning by hand. "But most of all," she said, "I like to watch people. Sometimes I ride the subway all day and watch them and listen to them. I just want to find out who they are and what they want and where they go. Sometimes I even go to the Fun Parks and ride in the jet cars when they race on the outskirts of the city at midnight and the police do not care as long as they are insured. As long as everyone has ten thousand insurance everyone happy. Sometimes I sneak around and listen on the subway. Or I listen at soda fountains, and you know what? " "What?" "People do not talk about everything." "Oh, they have!" "No, not all. They name a lot of cars or clothes or swimming pools mostly and say how swell! But they all say the same things and nobody says anything different than anyone else. And most of the time in the cafes they have the joke - boxes on the same jokes most of the time, or the musical wall lit and all the colored patterns running up and down, but it's only color and abstract. And at the museums, have you ever? All abstract. That is all there now is. My uncle says it was different once. A long time back sometimes pictures said things or even showed people. " "Your uncle said, your uncle said. Your uncle, a remarkable man." "He is. He is sure. Well, I have to go. Goodbye, Mr. Montag." "Good-by." "Good-by ...."

One two three four five six seven days: the FIRE HOUSE. "Montag, you shin protectors that pole like a bird on a tree." Third day. "Montag, I see you in the back this time. The Hound you?" "No, no." Fourth day. "Montag, a funny thing. Hoorde tell this morning. Fireman in Seattle, an intentional Mechanical Hound to his own chemical complex and let him go. What kind of suicide would you?" Five six seven days. And then, Clarisse was gone. He did not know what the afternoon, but it was not seeing her somewhere in the world. The lawn was empty, the trees empty, the streets empty, and while he initially not even know he missed her or was even looking for her, the fact was that by the time the metro, there were vague stirrings of DIS-ease in him. There was the case, his routine was disrupted. A simple routine, which, in short days, and yet ... ? He was almost back to walk again, its time to appear. He determined when he tried the same route, everything would work fine. But it was too late, and the arrival of the train one stop to his plan.

The flutter cards, motion of the hands, eyelids, the drone of the time-voice in the FIRE HOUSE ceiling "... one thirty-five. Thursday, November 4th, ... a ... a thirty-six thirty-seven aM ... "The cross of the playing cards on the greasy table-top sweeteners all sounds came Montag, behind his closed eyes, behind the barrier he had temporarily raised. He could feel FIRE HOUSE full of glitter and shine and silence, of brass colors, the colors of coins, gold, silver: The unseen men in the table were sighing on their cards, waiting. "... A forty-five ..." The voice-clock mourned the cold hours of a cold morning of a still colder year. "What's wrong, Montag?" Montag opened his eyes. A radio hummed somewhere. "... War is declared every hour. This country stands ready to defend it ..." The FIRE HOUSE trembled as a great flight of jet planes whistled a note on the black morning sky.

Montag blinked. Beatty was looking for him, as if a museum statue. At any moment, Beatty can rise and walk over him, touching, exploring his guilt and self-consciousness. Guilt Feeling? What fault was that? "Your play, Montag." Montag looked at these men whose faces were sunburnt by a thousand real and ten thousand imaginary fires, whose work flushed their cheeks and their feverish eyes. These men who are always in their platinum igniter flames as they lit their eternally burning black pipes. They and their charcoal hair and soot-colored eyebrows and blue-ash-smeared cheeks where they had shaven close, but their heritage showed. Montag started up, his mouth opened. Had he ever seen a fireman who does not have black hair, black eyebrows, a fiery face and a blue-steel shaved but unshaved look? These men were all mirror images of themselves! Were all firemen picked then for their looks and their proclivities? The color of cinders and ash on them, and the constant smell of burning from their pipes. Captain Beatty there, rising in thunder heads of tobacco smoke. Beatty opening a fresh tobacco packet, Crum pling the cellophane into a sound of the fire. Montag looked at the cards in their own hands. "I-I've been thinking. About the fire last week. The man whose library we fixed. What happened to him?" "They took him screaming to the asylum "He was not crazy." Beatty arranged his cards quietly. "Any man fool who thinks that he can fool the government and us." "I tried to remember," said Montag, "what it would feel. I mean to have firemen burn our houses and our books." "We have no books." "But if we had something." "Got what?" Beatty blinked slowly. "No." Montag gazed beyond them to the wall with the typed lists of banned one million books. Their names leap in fire, burning over the years under his ax and his hose which sprayed not water but kerosene. "No." But in his mind, a cool wind blew up and the fan grille at home, soft, soft, chilling his face. And, again, he saw in a green park talking to an old man, a very old man, and the wind out of the park was cold, too. Montag hesitated, "Was-was it always so? The FIRE HOUSE, our work, I mean, well, once upon a time ..." "Once upon a time!" Beatty said. "What is that?" Funny, thought Montag to himself, you give it away. The last fire, a book of fairy tales, he looked up a line. "I mean," said he, "in the old days, before the houses were completely fireproofed" Suddenly it seemed a much younger voice spoke to him. He opened his mouth and it was Clarisse McClellan said: "Did not firemen prevent fires rather than Stoke them and they go?" "That's rich!" Stoneman and Black drew their fourth line books, including brief history of the fire of America, and laid them out where Montag, though long familiar with them could read:

"Established, 1790, to burn English-influenced books in the Colonies. First Fireman: Benjamin Franklin." Rule 1. Answer the alarm quickly. 2. Start the fire quickly. 3. Burn everything. 4. Report to FIRE HOUSE immediately. 5. Stand alert for other alarms.

Everyone looked Montag. He did not move. The alarm sounded. The clock in the ceiling kicked itself two hundred times. Suddenly there were four empty chairs. The cards fell in a flurry of snow. The brass pole shivered. The men were gone. Montag Saturday in his chair. Below the orange dragon coughed into life. Montag move the stick as a man in a dream. Mechanical Hound jump in its kennel, its eyes all green flame. "Montag, you forgot your helmet!" He grabbed it from the wall behind him ran, jumped, and they are off, the night wind hammering about their sirens screaming and their mighty metal Thursday!

It was flaking a three-storey house in the old part of town, a century old is like a day, but like all houses was a thin fireproof plastic sheath many years ago, and this preservative shell seemed to be the only company in heaven. "Here we are!" The engine slammed to a halt. Beatty, Stoneman and Black went on the sidewalk, suddenly odious and fat in the fire Plump free Slickers. Montag followed. They crashed the door and grabbed a woman, but she was not running, she was not trying to escape. She was only standing, weaving from side to side, her eyes fixed on nothing in the wall as if they were beaten her a terrible blow on the head. Her tongue was moving in her mouth and her eyes seemed to be trying to remember and then forgotten, and her tongue moved again "Play the man, Master Ridley, we shall this day light a candle, by God's grace in England as I trust never be excluded." "Enough of that!" Said Beatty. "Where are they?" He hit her face with amazing objectivity and repeated the question. The old woman came to mind a focus on Beatty. "You know where they are or you would not be here," she said. Stoneman taken with the phone alarm card with the complaint signed in duplicate phone on the back "Many reasons to suspect attic, No. 11 Elm, City. ? - E. B. " "That would be Mrs. Blake, my neighbor," said the woman, reading the initials. "Okay, guys, let's get 'em!" Next they were in black moldy, swinging silver hatchets at doors that were unlocked, tumbling by boys and all the fun and scream. "Hey!" A fountain of books Sprang down at Montag as he climbed shuddering sea stair-well. How awkward! Always before it was like snuffing a candle. The police went first and adhesive-taped the victims mouth and his band aged in their glittering beetle cars, so if you arrived you an empty house. You were not hurting anyone, you were hurting only things! And because it really was not hurt, since things felt nothing, and do not scream or whimper, as this woman might begin to scream and shout, there was nothing to tease your conscience later. You were simply cleaning up. Concierge Services assigned work. All the right place. Quick with the kerosene! Who's got a match! But now, tonight, someone had slipped. This woman was spoiling the ritual. The men made much noise, laughing, joking to cover her terrible accusing silence below. She made the empty rooms roar with accusation and shake a fine dust of guilt that was sucked into their noses as they immediately. It was not cricket nor correct. Montag felt an immense irritation. They would not be here, on top of everything! Books bombarded his shoulders, his arms, his upturned face. A book alighted, almost obediently, like a white dove in his hands, wings fluttering. In the dusky, wavering light, a page hung open and he was like a snowy feather, the words delicately painted thereon. In all the rush and fervor, Montag had only an instant to read a line, but it blazed in his eyes for the next minute as if stamped there with fiery steel. "Time has fallen asleep in the afternoon Sunday" He left the book. Immediately another fell into his arms. "Montag, here!" Montag using a closed mouth, crushed the book with wild devotion, with an insanity of mindless ness on his chest. The men above were hurling shovelfuls of magazines in the dusty air. They fell like slaughtered birds and the woman was like a little girl, between the bodies. Montag had done nothing. His hand had done it all, his hand with a brain of its own, with a conscience and a curiosity in each trembling finger, had thief. Right now the book under his arm, pressed it tight to sweating armpit, rushed out empty, with a magician's flourish! Look here! Innocent! Look! He gazed, shaken, at that white hand. He held it away, as if he were a far-sighted. He kept it close, as if he were blind. "Montag!" He jerked on. "Not there, you idiot!" The books contain as large mounds of fishes left to dry. The men danced and slipped and fell on them. Titles glittered their golden eyes and is gone. "Kerosene!" They pumped the cold fluid from the numbered 451 tanks tied to their shoulders. They covered each book, they pumped full of rooms. She hurried down Montag staggered after them in the kerosene fumes. "Come on, woman!" The woman knelt among the books, touching the drenched leather and cardboard, reading the gilt titles with her fingers while her eyes accused Montag. "You can never have my books," she said. "You know the law," said Beatty. "Where is your sense? None of those books agree with each other. You are trapped here for years with a regular damned Tower of Babel. Snap out! The people in those books never lived. Come on!" She shook her head. "The whole house is going up," said Beatty, The men walked clumsily to the door. She looked back at Montag, who stood near the woman. "You do not leave her here?" He protested. "They will not come." "Force her!" Beatty raised his hand in which was concealed the igniter. "We are due to the house. In addition to these fanatics always try suicide, the pattern is known." Montag placed his hand on the woman elbow. "You can come with me." "No," she said. "Thank you, anyway." "I'm counting to ten," said Beatty. "One. Two." "Please," said Montag. "Go ahead," said the woman. "Three. Four." "Here." Montag pulled at the woman. The woman answered quietly: "I want to stay here" "Five. Six." "You can stop counting," she said. She opened the fingers of one hand slightly and in the palm of the hand was a slender object. An ordinary kitchen match. The sight of the hurried the men and the distance from the house. Captain Beatty, the keeping of his dignity, backed slowly through the door, his pink face burnt and shiny from thousands of fires and night excitements. God, thought Montag, how true! Always at night the alarm comes. Never a day! Is it because fire is prettier by night? More spectacle, a better show? The pink face of Beatty now showed the weakest panic in the door. The woman hand twitched on the single matchstick. The fumes of kerosene bloomed up about her. Montag felt the hidden book pound like a heart against his chest. "Go ahead," said the woman, and Montag felt himself back away and away from the door, after Beatty, down the steps, on the lawn, where the path of kerosene as the track for a number of evil snail.

On the veranda, where they came up the road quietly with her eyes, her quietness a condemnation, the woman stood motionless. Beatty flicked his fingers to spark the kerosene. He was too late. Montag gasped. The woman on the porch reached with contempt for them all, and hit the kitchen match against the railing. People ran from all houses in the street.

They said nothing on their way back to the FIRE HOUSE. Nobody looked at anyone else. Montag Saturday in the front seat with Beatty and Black. They have not even smoke their pipes. She sat there looking at the front of the great salamander as a corner and went silently on. "Master Ridley," said Montag at last. "What?" Said Beatty. "They said, 'Master Ridley." She said some crazy thing when we came in the door. "Play the man," she said, 'Master Ridley. "Something, something, something." "" We shall this day light a candle, by God's grace in England as I trust never to be, "said Beatty. Stoneman looked at the Captain, as Montag, startled. Beatty rubbed his chin. "A man named Latimer said that a man named Nicholas Ridley, as they were burned alive in Oxford, for heresy, on October 16, 1555. Montag and Stoneman went back to looking at the street as he wheels the engine. "I am full of Bits and Pieces", Beatty said. "Most fire captains have to be. Sometimes I surprise myself. Watch it, Stoneman! Stoneman braked the truck. "Damn!" Said Beatty. "You have the right by the corner where we turn for the FIRE HOUSE."

"Who is it?" "Who would it be?" Said Montag, leaning back against the closed door in the dark. His wife said, finally, "Well, in the light." "I do not want the light." "Come to bed." He heard her role impatient, the bedsprings squealed. "Are you drunk?" She said. So it was the hand that started it all. He felt a hand and then the other works are quite low and the slump to the floor. He held his pants off in an abyss and let them fall into the darkness. His hands were infected, and soon would be poor. He felt the poison works his wrists and his knees and his shoulders, and then jumped over the shoulder to shoulder-blade knife as a spark jumping a gap. His hands were ravenous. And his eyes were beginning to feel hungry, as if they need to look at something, everything, everything. His wife said: "What are you doing?" He balance in the room with the book in his sweating cold fingers. A minute later she said: 'Well, just not in the middle of the floor. " He made a small sound. "What?" She asked. He made more soft sounds. He stumbled towards the bed and slide the book clumsily under the cold pillow. He was in bed and his wife cried, startled. He was much in the room with her, on a winter island separated by an empty sea. She talked to him for what seemed a long time and they talked about this and they talked about that and it was only words, just as the words he had heard once in a nursery with a friend's house, a two year old child building word patterns, talking jargon, making pretty sounds in the air. Montag, but said nothing and after a long time, when he only small sounds, he felt her move in the room and his bed and him and put her hand to feel his cheek. He knew that if she pulled her hand away from his face was wet.

Late in the night he looked over at Mildred. She woke up. There was a small dance of the melody in the air, her seashell was tamped in her ear again and she was listening to many people in many places, her eyes wide and staring into the fathoms of black in the ceiling above her. Was not there an old joke about the woman who so much talk on the telephone that her desperate husband ran to the nearest store and telephoned her to ask what's for dinner? Well, then, why didn, AOT he buy himself an audio-Seas Hell broadcasting station and talk to his wife late at night, murmur, whisper, shout, scream, yell? But what would he whisper, what would he yell? What could he say? And suddenly she was so strange that he could not believe he knew her at all. He was in the house of someone else, like those other jokes people told of the man, drunk, coming home late at night, unlocking the wrong door, entering a wrong room and bedding with a stranger and get up early and go and none of them the wiser. "Millie..." He whispered. "What?" "I did not mean to surprise you. What I want to know is..." "Well?" "When we meet? And where? "When we met for what?" She asked. "I mean, originally." He knew she must be frowning in the dark. He clarified it. "The first time we ever met, where was it and when?" "Why was it" She stopped. "I do not know," she said. He was cold. "Can you remember?" "It's been so long." "Only ten years, that's all, just ten!" "Do not get excited, I try to think." She laughed a little strange laugh that went up and up. "Funny, how funny, not to remember where or when your man r woman." He was massaging his eyes, his eyebrows, and the back of his neck, slowly. He held both hands on his eyes and a constant pressure as to crush memory into place. It was suddenly more important than any other thing in a life-threatening time he knew where he had met Mildred. "It does not matter," She was in the bathroom now, and he heard the water running, and swallowing them well. "No, I guess not," he said. He tried to count how many times she swallowed and he thought of the visit of the two zinc oxide-faced men with the cigarettes in their mouths and straight lined the electronic eyed snake in the layer after layer of night and stone and stagnant spring and he wanted to call her, how much have you taken tonight! the capsules! how will you later and do not know? and so on, every hour! or maybe not tonight, tomorrow night! And I do not sleep tonight or tomorrow evening or night for a long time, now that it has begun. And he thought of her lying on the bed with the two technicians standing straight with her, not bent with concern, but only straight ahead, arms folded. And he remembered thinking then that if she died, he was certain that he would not cry. Because it would be the death of an unknown, a street face, a newspaper image, and it was so bad that he suddenly began to cry, not death, but the thought of not crying at death, a silly empty man near a silly empty woman, while the hungry snake made her still more empty. How do you get so empty? He wondered. Who takes it from you? And that awful flower the other day, the dandelion! She had summed up everything, was not it? "What a shame! You're not in love with someone!" And why not? Well, there was not a wall between him and Mildred, when you came to? Not only literally a wall, but so far, three! And expensive, too! And the uncles, the aunts, the cousins, the nieces, the nephews, who lived in the walls, the gibbering pack of tree-monkeys who said nothing, nothing, nothing and said it loud, hard, hard. He had taken to calling them relatives from the first. "How's Uncle Louis today?" "Who?" "And Aunt Maude?" The main memory he had of Mildred, really, was a little girl in a forest without trees (how odd!), Or rather a little girl lost on a plateau where there used to be trees (you can feel the memory of form all over) are in the center of the "living room". The living room, what a good job of labeling that was present. Does not matter when he, the walls are always talking to Mildred. "Something must be done!" "Yes, something must be done!" "Well, let's not talk!" "Let's do it!" "I'm so mad I could spit!" What was it all about? Mildred could not say. Who was mad at whom? Mildred not know. What were they going to do? Well, said Mildred, wait around and see. He had waited to see. A great storm of sound gushed from the walls. Music bombarded him such a huge volume that his bones were almost shaken from their tendons, he felt his jaw vibrate, his eyes wobble in his head. He was a victim of a brain concussion. When it was over he felt like a man who was thrown from a cliff, whirled in a centrifuge and spat on a waterfall that fell and fell into emptiness and emptiness and never-quite-touched-bottom-never-never-free -- no not quite-touched-bottom. . . and you as soon as you fell no contact with the two sides. . . never. . . quite. . . touched. . . something. Thunder faded. The music is deceased. "There," said Mildred, And it was indeed remarkable. Something had happened. Although people in the walls of the room was barely changed, and nothing was really solved, you had the impression that someone had a washing machine or you sucked in a huge vacuum. You drown in the music and pure cacophony. He came out of the room sweating and on the verge of collapse. Behind him, Mildred Saturday in her chair and went to vote again: "Well, everything will be okay now," said an aunt. " "Oh, do not be so sure," said a cousin. " "Now is not angry!" "Who is angry?" "You are!" "I am?" "You're crazy!" "Why would I be crazy!" "Because!" "That's all well and good," cried Montag, "but what are they angry about? Who are these people? Who is this man and who is that woman? Are they husband and wife, they divorced, engaged, what? Good God, nothing is connected. " "They" said Mildred. "Well, they-they had this fight, you see. They fight a lot. You have to listen. I think they're married. Yes, they are married. Why?" And if not the three walls soon four walls and the dream complete, then it was the open car and Mildred riding one hundred miles per hour in the city, he yells at her and she screams back and both trying to hear what was said, but heard only the cry of the car. "At least keep it down to the minimum!" He cried, "What?" She cried. "Keep it fifty-five, the minimum!" Did he. "The what?" She shrieked. "Speed!" He cried. And they pushed it to a hundred and five miles per hour and tore the breath of his mouth. When she stepped out of the car, they had filled the shells in her ears. Silence. Only the wind is blowing gently. "Mildred." He stirred in bed. He reached over and pulled one of the small musical insects out of her ear. "Mildred. Mildred?" "Yes." Her voice was faint. He felt he was one of the things electronically inserted between the slots of the phono-color walls, but the speech not piercing the crystal barrier. He could only pantomime, hoping she would be away and see him. They could not touch the glass. "Mildred, you know that girl I was telling you about?" "What girl?" She was almost asleep. "The girl next door." "What kind of girl next door?" "You know, the high-school girl. Clarisse, her name is." "Oh, yes," said his wife. "I have not seen her for a few days to four days to be exact. Have you seen her?" "No." "I have the intention to talk to you about her. Odd. " "Oh, I know you mean." "I thought you would." "Her," said Mildred in the dark room. "What happened to her?" Asked Montag. "I must tell you. I forgot. I forgot." "Tell me now. What is it?" "I think she is gone." "Gone?" "The whole family moved out somewhere. But she is gone for good. I think they killed." "We can not talk about the same girl." "No. The same girl. McClellan. McClellan, Run over by a car. Four days ago. I'm not sure. But I think she is dead. The family moved in anyway. I do not know. But I think she is dead . "You're not sure!" "No, not sure. Confident." "Why did not you tell me sooner?" "Forgotten". "Four days ago!" "I forgot all about it." "Four days ago," he said, quietly, lying there. She lay there in the dark room not moving, one of them. "Good night," she said. He heard a soft rustle. Her hands moved. The electric thimble moved as a praying mantis on the pillow, touched by her hand. Now it was humming in her ear again. He listened and his wife singing under her breath. Outside the house, a shadow moved, an autumn wind rose and faded away. But there was something else in the silence he heard. It was like a breath exhaled on the window. It was like a faint drift of greenish luminescent smoke, the motion of a single huge October leaf blowing on the lawn and distance. The Hound, he thought. It is there tonight. It is there now. When I opened the window. . . He did not open the window.

He had chills and fever in the morning. "You can not sick," said Mildred. He closed his eyes on the hotness. "Yes." "But you were all right last night." "No, I was not OK" He heard the "relatives" shouting in the hall. Mildred stood over his bed, strange. He felt her there, he saw her without opening his eyes, her hair burnt by chemicals to a brittle straw, her eyes with a kind of cataract unseen but suspect far behind the pupils, red pouting lips, the body as thin as a prayer mantis from dieting, and her flesh like white bacon. He could recall no other way. "Can you give me aspirin and water?" "You've got to get up," she said. "It is noon. You've slept five hours later than usual." "Are you living in?" He asked. "This is my family." "If you turn it off for a sick man?" "I put him down." They came out of the room and did nothing to the living room and came back. "Is that better?" "Thanks." "This is my favorite program," she said. "What about the aspirin?" "You've never been sick before." She went away again. "Well, I'm sick now. I'm not going to work tonight. Call Beatty for me." "You acted funny last night." She returned, humming. "Where's the aspirin?" He looked at the water-glass she. "Oh." She ran to the bathroom again. "Is there something happened?" "A brand is everything." "I had a nice evening", she said, in the bathroom. "What to do?" "The Salon." "What was wrong?" "Programs". "What programs?" "Some of the best ever." "Who?". "Oh, you know, the forest." "Yes, everything, everything everything." He expressed the pain in his eyes and suddenly the smell of kerosene made him vomit. Mildred came humming. She was surprised. "Why'd you do that?" He looked with dismay on the floor. "We burned an old woman with her books." "It is a good back is washable. She took a mop and worked on it. "I went to Helen's last night." "Could you see it in your own living room?" "Sure, but it's fun to visit." She went to the salon. He heard her sing. "Mildred?" He cried. She returned, singing, photograph her fingers gently. "Are not you going to ask me about last night?" He said. "What about?" "We burned thousands of books. We burned a woman." "Well?" The room was exploding with sound. "We burned copies of Dante and Swift and Marcus Aurelius." "Was not he a European?" "Something like that." "Was not he a radical?" "I never read him." "He was a radical." Mildred fiddled with the phone. "You do not expect me to call Captain Beatty, do you?" "You must!" "Do not shout!" "I was not screaming." He was in bed, suddenly love and flushed, shaking. The room roared in the hot air. "I can not make calls. I can not say that I'm sick." "Why?" Because you are afraid, he thought. A child feigning illness, afraid to call because after a moment of discussion, the conversation would run thus: "Yes, master, I feel better already. I'll be at ten tonight." "You're not sick," said Mildred. Montag fell back in bed. He under his pillow. The hidden book was still there. "Mildred, how would it be, well, perhaps I should work my mind?" "You want it? After all these years of working as a night, a woman and her book" "You have seen her, Millie!" "She is nothing for me, they had no books. It was her responsibility, she should have thought. I hate her. She has you, next thing you know we get out, no house, no job, nothing." "You were not there, you did not see," he said. "There must be something in books, things we can not think for a woman in a burning house, there must be something. You do not stay for nothing." "She was simple-mindedness." "She was as rational as you and I, more so perhaps, and we burned her." "That is water under the bridge." "No, no water, fire. You ever burned a house? The smoulders for days. Well, this fire'll last me the rest of my life. God, I've tried to, in my eyes all night. I love to try. " "You should have thought before a fireman." "I thought!" He said. "Was I a choice? My grandfather and father were firemen. In my sleep, I ran after them." The salon is playing a dance tune. "This is the day you go on the early shift," said Mildred. "You should have gone two hours ago. I've noticed." "It is not only the woman who is deceased," said Montag. "Last night I thought about all the kerosene I've used in the past decade. And I thought of books. And for the first time I realized that a man behind each of the books. A man should believe them. A man had a long time for them on paper. And I would never even thought that thought before. "He came out of bed. "It took some man a lifetime maybe to put some of his thoughts down, look around the world and life, and then I came along in two minutes and prosper! It's all over." "Leave me alone," said Mildred. "I did nothing." "Let you alone! That's all well and good, but how can I myself alone? We must not let alone. We really need to bother now and again. How long is it because you were really worth? About something important something real? " And when he silenced, for he remembered last week and the two white stones staring at the ceiling and the pump-snake with the penetrating eyes and the two men face soap, the cigarettes into their mouths as they spoke. But that was another Mildred, that was a Mildred so deep into this, so the effort really worth that the two women had never met. He turned away. Mildred said: "Well, now you've done. Out front of the house. Look who is here.". "I do not care." "There is a Phoenix car just driven and a man in a black shirt with an orange snake stitched on his arm, the front walk." "Captain Beauty?" Did he "Captain Beatty." Montag not move, but was looking into the cold whiteness of the wall directly in front of him. "Go it, do you want? Tell him I'm sick." "Tell him yourself!" She walked a few steps this way, a few steps and stopped, eyes wide, when the door speaker called her name, softly, softly, Mrs. Montag, Mrs. Montag, someone here, someone here, Mrs. Montag, Mrs. Montag , someone here. Fading. Montag made sure the book was well hidden behind the pillow, climbed slowly back into bed, arranged the covers over his knees and his chest, half-sitting, and after a while Mildred moved and went out of the room and Captain Beatty strolled in, his hands in his pockets. "Keeping families up," Beatty said, looking at everything except Montag and his wife. This time, Mildred was. The yammering voices stopped yelling in the hall. Captain Beatty sit in the most comfortable chair with a peaceful look on his face red. He took the time to prepare and light copper pipe and blow a big cloud of smoke. "I thought I would come and see how the sick man." "How'd you guess?" Beatty smiled his smile that candy pink ness of his gums and small candy whiteness of his teeth. "I've seen it all. You had to call for a night off." Montag Saturday in bed. "Well," said Beatty, "take the night away!" He examined his eternal Matchbox, the lid of which said guaranteed one million lamps in the igniter, and began to match the chemical subtracted, blow out, strike, blow out, strike, speak a few words, blow out. He looked at the flames. He blew, he looked at the smoke. "Where are you okay?" "Tomorrow. The next day maybe. First of the week." Beatty puffed his pipe. "Every fireman, sooner or later it hits. They need only understand, to know how the wheels turning. Should know the history of our profession. They do not feed Rookies making. Damn shame." Puff. "Only fire leaders remember it now." Puff. "I leave you there." Mildred fidgeted. Beatty took a full minute to settle in and think back to what he would say. "When did it all begin, you ask, the task of us, how it is created, where, when? Well, I would say that it really started about a thing called the Civil War. While our rule-book claims it was earlier. The fact is that we do not get along and photography came into his own. Dan-motion pictures in the beginning of the twentieth century. Radio. Television. Things began to have mass. " Montag Saturday in bed, not moving. "And because the mass, they were simpler," said Beatty. "Once, books appeal to a few people here, there, everywhere. They could afford to be different. The world was wide. But when the world got full of eyes and elbows and foot. Double, triple, quadruple population. Movies and radio, magazines, books to a kind of paste pudding norm, do you follow me? " "I think so." Beatty peered at the smoke pattern he had on the air. "Image is. Nineteenth-century man with his horses, dogs, carts, slow motion. Then, in the twentieth century, the speed of your camera. Books cut shorter. Abridged, Digests. Tabloids. Everything down to the gag, the module ends. " "Snap ends." Mildred nodded. "Classics cut to fit fifteen-minute radio shows, then cut again to fill two minutes book liquidation last column as a ten-or twelve-line dictionary resume. I exaggerate, of course. The dictionaries for reference. But many were those whose sole knowledge of Hamlet (you know the title certainly, Montag, it's probably only a faint rumor of a title to you, Mrs. Montag) whose sole knowledge, as I said, of Hamlet was a one-page digest in a book that claimed: now at least you can read all the classics, with your neighbors. You see? From the nursery in the college and back to kindergarten, there's your intellectual pattern for the last five centuries or more. " Mildred arose and began to move around the room, picking things and down. Beatty ignored her and continued "Speed of the film, Montag, quick. Click, Pic, Look, Eye, now Flick, here, there, Swift, Pace, Up, Down, In, Out, why, how, who, what, where, huh? Uh ! Bang! Smack! Pats, Bing, Bong, Boom! Digest Digest, digest-digest-digests. Politics? Single column, two sentences, a headline! Then, in mid-air, everything disappears! Whirl man mind around about so rapidly pumping the hands of publishers, exploiters, broadcasters that the centrifuge Fling off all unnecessary, time consuming thought! " Mildred smoothed the bedclothes. Montag felt his heart jump and jump again as she patted his pillow. At this time, she was pulling on his shoulder trying to move him, so they can kiss and repair beautiful and turn it back. And maybe cry and stare or simply reach of her hand and say: "What is this?" And keep it hidden book with touching innocence. "School is shortened, discipline relaxed, philosophy, history, languages declined, English and spelling gradually neglected, finally almost completely ignored. Life is immediate, the job counts, pleasure lies all about after work. Why learn anything save pressing buttons , pulling switches, fitting nuts and bolts? " "Let me fix your pillow," said Mildred. "No!" Whispered Montag, "The zipper displaces the button and a man lacks just as much time to think while dressing at dawn, a philosophical hour, and thus a melancholy hour." Mildred said: "Here." "Go away," said Montag. "Life is a big prat fall, Montag, are afraid, Boff, and wow!" "Wow," said Mildred, yanking at the pillow. "For God's sake, leave me!" Cried Montag passionately. Beatty opened his eyes wide. Mildred hand had frozen behind the pillow. Her fingers were tracing the book outline and the form became known as her face looked surprised and dismayed. Her mouth opened to ask a question. . . "Empty the theaters save for clowns and decor of the rooms with glass walls and beautiful colors running up and down the walls like confetti or blood or sherry or Sauterne. Do you love baseball, not you, Montag?" "Baseball is a great game." Now Beatty was almost invisible, a voice somewhere behind a screen of smoke. "What is this?" Asked Mildred, almost with joy. Montag heaved back against her arms. "What is it here?" "Sit down!" Montag called. She jumped away, her hands empty. "We talk!" Beatty was as if nothing had happened. "You like bowling, not you, Montag?" "Bowling, yes." "And golf?" "Golf is a beautiful game." "Basketball?" "A great game." "Billiards, pool? Football?" Fine games, all. " "More sports for everyone, group spirit, fun, and you do not have to think, huh? Organize and organize and organize super super super sport. More cartoons in books. More pictures. The mind drinks less and less. Impatience. Motorways vol crowd goes somewhere, sometime, somewhere, anywhere. The gasoline refugee. Cities change in motels, people in nomadic surges from place to place, following the moon tides, living tonight in the room where you slept this noon and I the night before . Mildred came out of the room and slammed the door. The salon "aunts" began to laugh in the lounge "uncles." "Now let's take the minorities in our civilization, shall we? Larger population, the greater the minorities. No step on the toes of the dog lovers, cat lovers, doctors, lawyers, merchants, chiefs, Mormons, Baptists, Unitarians, second-generation Chinese, Swedish, Italians, Germans, Texans, Brooklynites, Irish, people from Oregon or Mexico. The people in this book, this play, this TV-series are not meant to be an actual painters, cartographers, mechanics everywhere. The bigger your market, Montag, the less you controversy, remember that! Every little small minorities with their navels to be kept clean. Authors, full of evil thoughts, lock up your typewriters. They did. Magazines was a nice mix of vanilla tapioca. Books, so the damned snobbish critics said, were dishwater. No wonder books stopped selling, the critics said. But the public knows what it wanted, spinning happily, let the comic-books survive. And the three -dimensional sex magazines, of course. There you have it, Montag. It was not the government down. There was no dictum, no declaration, no censorship, to start, no! Technology, mass exploitation, and minority interests pressure the trick, thank God. Today, thanks to them, you can stay happy all the time, you have to read comics, the good old confessions, or trade magazines. " "Yes, but what about the fire, then?" Asked Montag. "Ah." Beatty leaned forward in the faint mist of smoke from his pipe. "What more easily explained and, of course? With school turning more runners, jumpers, racers, tinkerers, grabbers, Snatcher, flyers, and swimmers instead of examiners, critics, knowers and imaginative creators, the word 'intellectual,' of course, the swear word that deserves to be. You always fear the unknown. You certainly remember the boy in your class who was exceptionally 'light,' has most of the reciting and answering while the other Saturday like so many leaden idols, hating him. And was not this bright boy you selected for abuse and torture after hours? It was natural. We should all be equal. Not everyone born free and equal, if the Constitution says, but all right. Each man the image of each other, then all are happy, because there are no mountains to cower, to judge themselves against. So! A book is a loaded gun in the house next door. Burn. Take the shot from the gun. Breach man spirit. Who knows who the target of the well-read man? Me? I will not stomach them for a minute. And so when houses were finally fireproofed completely around the world (you were correct in your assumption the other night) there was no longer needed the fire for the old purposes. They were given the new job, as custodians of our peace of mind, the focus of our understandable and legitimate fear that inferior; official censors, judges, and executors. That you, Montag, and that I am. " The door to the lounge opened and Mildred stood there looking in at them, looking at Beatty and then at Montag. Behind her the walls of the room were flooded with green and yellow and orange fireworks sizzling and bursting some music composed almost completely trap drums, tom-toms and cymbals. Her mouth moved and she had something to say but the sound it. Beatty knocked his pipe in the palm of his pink hand, studied the ashes as if they were a symbol to be diagnosed and searched for meaning. "You must understand that our civilization is so great that we can not have our minorities upset and stirred. Ask yourself, what do we want in this country, especially? People would like, is not that good? Have not you heard that your entire life, I would like people say. Well, is not it? Do not we move, we do not like it? That is what we live, is not it? For pleasure, for titillation? And you must admit that our culture provides plenty of. " "Yes." Montag could lip-read what Mildred said in the doorway. He tried not to look at her mouth, because then Beatty may run and read what was there. "Colored people do not like Little Black sambo. Burn. White people do not feel good about Uncle Tom's Cabin. Burn. Someone has written a book on tobacco and cancer of the lungs • The cigarette people cry? Burn the book. Serenity, Montag. Peace , Montag. Take your fight outside. Indeed, in the incinerator. burials are unhappy and pagan? Eliminate them. Five minutes after a person is dead he is on the way to the Big Flue, the Incinerators serviced by helicopters all over the country . Ten minutes after the death of a man a Speck of black dust. Let us not quibble over individuals with Tribute. forget them. Burn them all, burn everything. Fire is bright and fire is clean. " The fireworks is deceased in the lounge behind Mildred. She stopped talking at the same time, a miraculous coincidence. Montag held his breath. "There was a girl next door," he said slowly. "She is gone now, I think, dead. I can not even remember her face. But she was different. How, how did it happen?" Beatty smiled. "Anyway, that is inevitably occur. Clarisse McClellan? We have a record on her family. We have looked carefully. Heredity and environment are funny things. You can not rid yourself of all the strange duck in a few years. The living can undo a lot you try to do at school. Therefore, we below the kindergarten age year after year until now we are almost pitch point them out. We had some false alarms on McClellan when they lived in Chicago. Never found a book. Uncle had a mixed record of anti-social. The girl? It was a time bomb. The family was feeding her subconscious, I'm sure what I saw of her school record. She did not want to know how something happened, but why not. This is embarrassing. Why do you ask to many things and you wind very unhappy indeed, if you like. The poor girl's death more closely. " "Yes, dead." "Luckily, queer as it does not happen often. We know how NIP most of them in the bud, early. You can not build a house without nails and wood. If you do not want a house built, hide the nails and wood. If you do not want a man unhappy politically, not him two sides to a question to make him give him one. Better yet, give him none. Let him forget there is such thing as war. If the government is inefficient , top heavy, and tax-mad, better than all those people worried about. Peace, Montag. Give the people contests they win by remembering the words to more popular songs or the names of state capitals or how much corn grew Iowa last year. Cram them full of noncombustible data, Chock them so damned full of 'facts' they feel stuffed, but absolutely' brilliant 'with information. Then they will feel that they think they get a sense of motion without moving. And they are happy, because facts of that type do not change. Not give them a slippery stuff like philosophy or sociology to tie things up. It's melancholy. Any man who can be a TV wall apart and put it back together again, and most men can nowadays, is happier than someone who tries to slide rule, measure, and as the universe, which simply will not be measured or equated without man feel bestial and lonely. I know, I've tried, to hell go. So bring on your clubs and parties, your acrobats and magicians, your daredevils, jet cars, motorcycle helicopters, your sex and heroin, more of everything to do with automatic reflex. If the drama is bad, as the film says nothing if the play is hollow, Sting me with the Theremin, loudly. I think I react to the game, when only a tactile reaction to vibration. But I do not care. I just like solid entertainment. " Beatty got up. "I gotta go. Lecture is over. I hope I have clarified things. The most important thing for you to remember, Montag, is that we are lucky Boys, The Dixie Duo, you and me and the others. We are against the small stream of people who want to make everyone unhappy with conflicting theory and thought. We have our fingers in the dike. Hold steady. Let not the torrent of melancholy and drear philosophy drown our world. We depend on you. I do not think that you realize how important you are, we are pleased with our world as it is now. " Beatty shook Montag's limp hand. Montag even Saturday, if the house were collapsing about him and he could not move in bed. Mildred had vanished from the door. "One last thing," said Beatty. "At least once in his career, every fireman gets an itch. What do the books say, he wonders. Oh, scratch that itch, eh? Well, Montag, take my word for it, I had to read what my time, to know what it was about and the books say nothing! Nothing you can teach or believe. They are not people, figments of the imagination, if fiction. And if they Nonfiction, it's worse, a Professor calls another an idiot, one philosopher screaming down another of the esophagus. Each of them is over, the stars and extinguishing the Sunday You lost. " "Well, then, what if a fireman accidentally, really not planning something, a book home with him?" Montag twitched. The open door looked at him with his big eyes Friday "A natural error. Curiosity alone," said Beatty. "We do not get concerned or angry about. We let the fireman keep the book twenty-four hours. If he has not burned by then we just come and burn for him." "Of course." Montag mouth was dry. "Well, Montag. Would you take another, later shift, today? Will we see you tonight maybe? "I do not know," said Montag. "What?" Beatty looked slightly surprised. Montag closes his eyes. "I come in later. Maybe." "We certainly want to miss if you do not show," Beatty said that his pipe in his pocket thoughtfully. I'll never again, thought Montag. "Get well and stay well," said Beatty. He turned and went through the open door.

Montag looked through the window as Beatty drove away in his shiny yellow flame-colored beetle with the black, char-colored bands. Across the street and down the way the other houses stood with their flat fronts. What was it Clarisse had said one afternoon? "No front Porches. My uncle says there used to be for Porches. And sometimes people Saturday night, talking when they wanted to talk, rocking, not talking as they do not want to talk. Sometimes they just sat there and thinking about things, turned things over. My uncle says the architects got rid of the front Porches because they do not look good. But my uncle says that only rationalize the real reason, hidden below, it may not want people to sit as that doing nothing, rocking, talking, that's the wrong kind of social life. People talk too much. And they had time to think. So they went with the Porches. And the gardens, too. Not many gardens to sit in. And look at the furniture. No.. rocking chairs more. They are too comfortable. Get up and running people around. My uncle says... and... my uncle... and... my uncle... "Her voice faded.

Montag turned and looked at his wife on Saturday in the middle of the room talking to a broadcaster, which in turn was talking to her. "Mrs. Montag," he said. This, that and the other. "Mrs. Montag," Something else, and others. The converter attachment, which cost them one hundred dollars, automatically its name as the announcer addressed his anonymous audience, leaving a blank where the proper syllables could be filled in a special spot wavex-Scrambler also caused television image in the field directly his lips, to mouth the vowels and consonants beautifully. He was a friend, no doubt, a good friend. "Mrs. Montag, now here." Her head turned. Although they are obviously not listening. Montag said, "It is only a step from not going to work today, not tomorrow, not working at the FIRE HOUSE ever again." "You are going to work this evening, huh?" Said Mildred. "I have not decided. Now I have a horrible feeling I smash things and things murder." "Go with the Bug." "No thank you." "The keys to the beetle in the night table. I always like to drive fast when I feel that way. You get the ninety-five around and you feel great. Sometimes I drive all night and come back and you know yet. It's fun in the country. You hit rabbits, sometimes you dogs. Go to the beetle. " "No, I do not want this time. I would stick with this funny thing. God, it's gotten big on me. I do not know what it is. I'm so damn happy, I'm so angry, and I do not know why I feel like I'm on weight. I feel fat. I feel like I am saving a lot of things, and do not know what. I might even start reading books. " "They want you in jail, would they not?" She looked at him as if he behind the glass wall. He started on his clothes, moving restlessly about the bedroom. "Yeah, and maybe a good idea. Before I hurt somebody. Did you hear Beatty? Do you listen to him? He knows all the answers. He is right. Happiness is important. Fun is everything. And yet I kept sitting there saying to myself, I am not happy, I'm not happy. " "I am." Mildred mouth bars. "And proud of it." "I'm going to do something," said Montag. "I do not even know what, but I'm going to do something big." "I'm tired of listening to this mess," said Mildred, turning from him to the announcer again Montag touched the volume control in the wall and the announcer was speechless. "Millie?" He paused. "This is your home as good as mine. I think it only fair that I tell you something now. I have told you, but I was not even admit to myself. I have something I want you to see something I have removed and hidden in the past year, occasionally, once in a while, I did not know why, but I did it and I have never said that. " He took possession of a straight chair and moved it slowly and gradually in the hall near the front door and climbed in and stood for a moment like a statue on a pedestal, his wife standing by him to wait. When he reached and pulled back the grille of the air-conditioning system and reached far back in to the right and moved a sliding scale of metal and has a book. Without looking at it he fell to the floor. He put his hand back and got two books and moved his hand down and left her two books on the floor. He kept moving his hand and fall books, small, rather large, yellow, red, green. When he was he looked down to twenty books are his wife feet. "I'm sorry," he said. "I did not really think. But now it seems like we're in the same boat." Mildred backed away as if they were suddenly faced with a pack of mice that had come from the floor. He heard her breathing fast and her face was paled and her eyes were fastened wide. She said his name more than two times, three times. Then moaning, she ran forward, seized a book and ran to the kitchen incinerator. He caught her, shrieking. He loved her and she tried to fight away from him and scratches. "No, Millie, no! Wait! Stop it, do you want? You do not know... Stop it!" He hit her face, he grabbed her again and shook her. They said his name and began to cry. "Millie!" He said. "Listen. Give me half, will you? We can do nothing. We can not burn. I look at them at least once to see them. What if the master says is true, we burn them , believe me, we burn them. You must help me. "He looked at her face and took hold of her chin and held her firmly. He looked not only at her, but for himself and what he should do in her face. "Whether we like it or not, we are. I've never asked for much from you all these years, but I ask now, I advocate. We have to start somewhere here, figuring out why we are so n shit, you and the medicine in the night and the car, and me and my work. We are heading for the cliff, Millie. God, I do not want it on. This will not be easy. We have nothing to go but maybe we can piece and figure and help each other. I need you so much now, I can not tell you. If you love me at all you put up with this two thousand and four, eight hours, that's all I ask, then will be. I promise, I swear! And if there is something, but a small thing of a whole bunch of things, maybe we can pass it on to someone else. " She was no longer fight, so he let her go. She sagged away from him and off the wall, and sat on the floor looking at the books. Her foot touched one and they saw this and pulled her mouth away. "That woman, the other night, Millie, you were not there. You do not see her face. And Clarisse. You have never talked to her. I spoke with her. And men like Beatty are afraid of her. I can not understand . Why was she so afraid of someone like her? But I remained to her with the fire in the house tonight, and I suddenly realized I do not think they do not, and I do not like me no more. And I thought perhaps it would be best if the firemen themselves were burnt. " "Guy!" The front voice cried softly, "Mrs. Montag, Mrs. Montag, someone here, someone here, Mrs. Montag, Mrs. Montag, someone here." Softly. She turned to stare at the door and the books toppled everywhere, everywhere in heaps. "Beatty!" Said Mildred. "It can not be him." "He is back!" She whispered. The front soft voice again. "Someone here..." "We will not be answered." Montag lay back against the wall and then slowly sank to a position knees and began to nudge the books, bewilderedly, with his thumb, his index finger. He was shivering and he wanted to move to the books through the fan again, but he knew he could not face Beatty again. He crouched and he sat and the voice of the front door spoke again more emphatically. Montag took a small volume of the word. "Where do we start?" He opened the book halfway and peered into. "We start with the beginning, I think." "He will come," said Mildred, "and burn us and the books!" The front voice faded at last. There was a silence. Montag felt the presence of someone outside the door waiting, listening. Then the footsteps of the road and walk on the lawn. "Let's see what this is," said Montag. He spoke the words haltingly and with a terrible self-consciousness. He read a dozen pages here and there and finally came to this: "It is estimated that eleven thousand persons have at different times ago die than submit to break eggs at the smaller end. " Mildred Saturday in the hall from him. "What does it mean? It does not mean anything! The captain was right!" "Here now," said Montag. "We start back at the beginning."

They read the long afternoon, while the cold November rain fell from the sky in the quiet house. She sat in the hall because the hall was so empty and gray-looking without its walls lit with orange and yellow confetti and sky-rockets and women in gold-mesh dresses and men in black velvet draw one to one hundred pound rabbits from silver hats. The room was dead and Mildred kept peering in with a blank expression Montag pace the floor and came back and cracked down and read a page as much as ten times out loud. "" We can not tell the precise moment when friendship is created. As in filling a vessel drop by drop, there is at last a drop which makes it run over, so in a series of kindnesses there is at last the heart run over. " Montag Saturday listening to the rain. "Is that what it was in the girl next door, I've tried so hard to be." "She is dead. Let's talk about someone alive, for God's sake." Montag not look back at his wife as he went trembling along the hall to the kitchen, where he was a long time watching the rain hit the windows before he came back into the hall in the gray light, waiting for the shaking to subside. He opened another book. "That favorite subject, Myself." " He squinted at the wall. "The favorite subject, Myself." " "I understand that," said Mildred. "But Clarisse favorite subject was not herself. It was all, and me. She was the first person in a good many years, I really like. She was the first I remember that looked right at me like I counted." He lifted the two books. "These men are dead long time, but I know their words point, one way or another, to Clarisse." Outside the door, in the rain, a faint scratches. Montag froze. He saw Mildred thrust itself back to the wall and gasp. "Someone has the door-why not the door voice tells us" "I close it." Under the door Sill, a slow, probing sniff, an exhalation of electric steam. Mildred laughed. "It's just a dog, that is, you want me to shoo him?" "Stay where you are!" Silence. The cold rain falling. And the smell of blue electricity blowing under the locked door. "Let's back to work," said Montag quietly. Mildred started on a book. "Books are not people. You read and I look around, but there is not everyone!" He stared at the salon who was dead and gray as the waters of an ocean that swarm with life if they switched to electronic Sunday "Now," said Mildred, "my 'family' is people. They tell me things that I laugh, they laugh! And the colors! " "Yes, I know." "And indeed, if Captain Beatty knew the book" She thought about it. Her face grew amazed and shocked. "He could come and burn the house and the family." That is terrible! Think of our investment. Why should I read? What? " "What! Why," said Montag. "I saw the damnedest snake in the world the other night. It was dead, but he was still alive. She could see, but could not see. You want to see the snake. It is in an emergency hospital where they submitted a report on all junk the snake got from you! Would you like to go and file? Perhaps you should look under Guy Montag or maybe under Fear or War. Would you like to that house that burnt last night? And rake ashes for the bones of the woman who set fire in her own home! What about Clarisse McClellan, where do we find her? The morgue! Listen! " The bombers crossed the sky and crossed the sky above the house, gasping, murmuring, whistling like a huge, invisible fan, circling in emptiness. "Jesus God," said Montag. "Every hour so many stupid things in the sky! How the hell did those bombers come every second of our lives! Why does not anyone want to talk, we have started and won two atomic wars since 1960. Is it because we have so much fun at home we forget the world? Is it because we are so rich and the rest of the world is so bad and we just do not care if they are, I've heard rumors, the world hunger, but we are well fed. Is it true, the world working hard and we play? Is that the reason why we are hated so much, I've heard rumors of hate, a time in a long time, over the years. You know why I do not understand, that is! Perhaps the books can get us half out of the cave. They can only stop us from making the same mistakes fucking crazy! I do not hear those idiot bastards in your living room talking. God, Millie, do you not see? One hour per day, two hours with these books, and perhaps... " The phone rang. Mildred away the phone. "Ann!" She laughed. "Yes, the White Clown's on tonight!" Montag walked into the kitchen and threw the book down. "Montag," he said, "you are really stupid. Where are we going? Are we doing the books in, forget it?" He opened the book to read about Mildred laughter. Poor Millie, he thought. Poor Montag, it's mud to you. But where do you get help, where do you find a teacher this late? Hold on. He closes his eyes. Yes, of course. Again he found himself thinking of the green park a year ago. The thought was with him many times recently, but he forgot what it was that day in the city park when he had seen the old man in the black suit hide something, quickly in his coat. . . . The old man jumped up as if to run. Montag said, "Wait!" "I have not done!" Cried the old man trembling. "Nobody said you did." They had Saturday in the soft green light, without a word to say for a moment and then Montag talked about the weather, and then the old man responded with a pale voice. It was a strange quiet meeting. The old man belonging to a retired professor of English, which was thrown out on the world forty years ago, when the last liberal arts college because of lack of students and patronage. His name was Faber, and when he finally lost his fear of Montag, he talked in a cadenced voice, looking at the sky and the trees and the green park and an hour when he was something to Montag and Montag sensor measurement was less a rhyme poem. Then the old man grew even more courage and said something else and that was a poem too. Faber held his hand over his left coat-pocket and spoke these words gently, and Montag knew if he left, he could pull a book of poetry from the man the coat. But he does not reach. His hands remained on his knees, stunned and useless. "I talk no more, sir," says Faber. "I express the meaning of things. I sit here and know that I am alive." That was all there is, really. An hour of monologue, a poem, a comment, and then without even recognizing the fact that Montag is a fireman, Faber with a certain trembling, wrote his address on a slip of paper. "For your file," said he, "in case you decide to be mad at me." "I'm not angry," Montag said, surprised.

Mildred shrieked with laughter in the room. Montag went to his bedroom closet and flipped through his file-portfolio to the post: future (?). Faber's name was there. He had not turned in and he had not erased. He elected to call a secondary phone. The phone at the end of the line called Faber's name a dozen times before the professor answered in a weak voice. Montag himself was identified with a long silence. "Yes, Mr. Montag?" "Professor Faber, I have a rather strange question. How many copies of the Bible, in this country?" "I do not know what you're talking about!" "I want to know if there are copies left." "This is kind of a trap I can not just talk to someone on the phone!" "How many copies of Shakespeare and Plato? "No, you know as well as I do. No!" Faber suspended. Montag put down the phone. None. One thing he knew of course, the FIRE HOUSE offers. But somewhere he wanted to hear from Faber himself. In the hall Mildred's face was suffused with excitement. "Well, the ladies come over!" Montag showed her a book. "This is the Old and New Testament, and..." "Do not start that again!" "It is probably the last copy in this part of the world." "You have to back tonight, do not you know? Captain Beatty knows you disagree with him?" "I do not think he knows which book I stole. But how can I choose an alternative? Do I turn in Mr. Jefferson? Mr. Thoreau? The least valuable? If I get a replacement and Beatty has which book I stole, he 'll we recommend a complete library here! " Mildred mouth twitched. "See what you do, you ruin us! Who is more important, me or that Bible?" She was beginning to shriek now sit as a wax doll melting in its own heat. He could hear Beatty's voice. "Sit down, Montag. View. Delicately, like the petals of a flower. Light the first page, the second page. Each is a black butterfly. Mooi, h √ ®? Light the third page of the second and so Furthermore, chain-smoking, per chapter, all the crazy things that the words mean, all false promises, all second-time-worn notions and philosophies. "There Saturday Beatty, perspiring gently, the floor littered with swarms black moths that deceased was in a storm . Mildred stopped screaming as soon as they began. Montag was not listening. "There is only one thing to do," he said. "Some time v √ ≥ √ ≥ r tonight when I give the book to Beatty, I got a copy." "You are here tonight for the White Clown, and the ladies come over?" Cried Mildred. Montag stopped at the door, with his back. "Millie?" A silence "What?" "Millie? Does the White Clown love you?" No answer. "Millie does" He licked his lips. "Does your family love you, love you very much, love you with all their heart and soul, Millie?" He felt her blinking slowly at the back of his neck. "Why'd you a stupid question like that?" He felt that he wanted to cry, but nothing would happen to his eyes and his mouth. "If you see the dog outside," said Mildred, "give him a kick for me." He hesitated, listening at the door. He opened it and stepped out. The rain had stopped and the sun was setting in the clear sky. The street and the lawn and the porch was empty. He let his breath go in a big sigh. He slammed the door.

He was in the subway. I'm numb, he thought. When did the numbness is starting in my face? In my body? The night I kicked the pill-bottle in the dark, like kicking a buried mine. The numbness will go away, he thought. It will take some time, but I will do it, or Faber will do for me. Somebody gives me back the old face and old hands the way they were. Even the smile, he thought, the old burnt-in smile, that disappeared. I'm lost without. The subway ran past him, cream-tile, jet-black, cream-tile, jet-black, numerals and darkness, in darkness and the total adding itself. Once as a child he had Saturday on a yellow dune by the sea in the middle of the blue and warm summer day, try to fill a sieve with sand, because some cruel cousin had said, "Fill this sieve and you'll get a dime! "" And the faster he poured, the faster it sifted through with a hot whispering. His hands were tired, the sand was boiling, the sieve was empty. Sitting in the middle of July, without sound, he felt the tears on his cheeks move. Now if vācu √ º m-underground rushed him through the death cellars of the city, shot him, he remembered the terrible logic of the screen, and he looked down and saw that he had the Bible open. There were people in the draining-board, but he had the book in his hands and the crazy idea came to him, if you read fast and read all, maybe some of the sand remains in the sieve. But he read and the words came through, and he thought, in a few hours, there will be Beatty, and here I will hand it over, so no need to escape me, each line must be stored. I will myself to do. He clenched the book in his fists. Trumpets blared. "Denham's dental powder." Shut up, thought Montag. Consider the lilies of the field. "Denham's dental powder." They toil not -- "Denham's" Consider the lilies of the field, shut up, shut up. "Tooth Powder!" He tore the book open and flicked the pages and she felt as if he were blind, he went to the shape of individual letters, not blinking. "Denham's. Spelled: D-E.N" They toil not, neither are they. . . A fierce whisper of hot sand through empty sieve. "Denham's does it!" Consider the lilies, the lilies, the lily. . . "Denham's dental detergent. "Shut up, shut up, shut up!" It was a plea, a cry so terrible that Montag found himself on his feet, the terrified inhabitants of the loud car staring, moving back from this man with the insane, gorged face, the gibbering, dry mouth, flapping book in his fist . The people who were sitting a moment v √ ≥ √ ≥ r, tapping their feet to the rhythm of Denham's tooth powder, Denham's Dandy Dental Detergent, Denham's toothpaste toothpaste toothpaste, one two, one two three, one two, one two three. People whose mouth was slightly twitching the words tooth powder toothpaste toothpaste. The train radio vomited on Montag, in retaliation, a large load tons of music made of tin, copper, silver, chrome and brass. The stabbing people in the submission, they do not walk, there was no place to run, the large air-train was its axis in the earth. "Lilies of the Field." "Denham's." "Lilies, I said!" People stare. "Call the guard." "The man off "Knoll View!" The train hissed her stop. "Knoll View!" A cry. "Denham's." A Whisper. Montag mouth barely moved. "Lilies..." The train whistled door. Montag stood. The door gasped, started shut. Only then did he leap past the other passengers screaming in his mind, diving through the door only slices in time. He walked on the white tiles up through the tunnels, ignoring the escalators, because he wanted to feel his feet moving, arms waving, lungs balls, relax, feeling his throat go raw with air. A voice drifted after him, "Denham's Denham's Denham's," the train hissed like a snake. The train disappeared into the hole.

"Who is it?" "Montag here." "What do you want?" "Let me in." "I have not done!" "I am alone, Dammit!" "You swear?" "I swear!" The door opened slowly. Faber peered out, looking very old, in the light and very fragile and very scared. The old man looked as if he was not out of the house in years. He and the white stucco walls inside were much the same. It was white in the flesh of his mouth and his cheeks and his hair was white and his eyes had faded, with white in the vague blue-ness there. Then his eyes talking about the book under his arm Montag and he does not look so old no longer and not so vulnerable. Slowly his fear went. "I'm sorry. We must be careful." He looked at the book under Montag arm and could not stop. "So it is true." Montag stepped inside. The door closed. "Sit down." Faber a back-up, as if he feared the book would disappear as his eyes. Behind him, the door to a bedroom was open, and in that room a litter of machinery and tools of steel is strewn on a desk top. Montag had only a glimpse, before Faber, see Montag's attention diverted, turned quickly and shut the bedroom door and stood holding the knob with a trembling hand. His gaze returned unsteadily to Montag, who are now with the book in his lap. "The book-where-you?" "I have stolen." Faber, for the first time raised his eyes and looked directly into Montag's face. "You are brave." "No," said Montag. "My wife is dead. A friend of mine is already dead. Someone who may have been a friend was burnt less than twenty-four hours ago. You're the only one I knew could help me. To see. To see..." Faber itched hands on his knees. "Can I?" "Sorry." Montag gave him the book. "It was a long time. I am not a religious man. But it's been a long time." Faber turned the pages, stopping here and there to read. "It is as good as I remember. Lord, how they changed in our 'Parlor' these days. Christ is one of the 'family' now. I often wonder if God recognizes His own son the way we dressed him, or is it dressed him down? He is a regular peppermint stick now all sugar-crystal and saccharine when he is not making veiled references to certain commercial products that every worshiper absolutely needs. "Faber sniffed the book." Do you know that books smell like nutmeg or spice from a foreign country? I loved to smell them when I was a boy. Lord, there were many lovely books once, before we let them go. "Faber turned the pages." Mr. Montag, you're looking at a coward. I saw how things would go a long time back. I said nothing. I am one of innocent people would have spoken, and when nobody would listen to the 'guilty,' but I did not speak and thus became guilty myself. And when she finally structure for the burning of books, using the, firemen, I grunted a few times and disappeared, because there were no others grunting or yelling with me, then. Now, it's too late. "Faber closed the Bible. "Well you tell me why you came here?" "Nobody listens anymore. I can not talk to the walls because they yell at me. I can not talk to my wife, she listens to the walls. I just want someone to hear what I say. And maybe if I talk long enough, it'll make sense. And I want you to teach me to understand what I read. " Faber Montag examined the thin, blue-jowled face. "How have you shaken? What knocked the torch out of your hands?" "I do not know. We have everything we need to be happy, but we are not happy. There something missing. I looked around. The only thing I positively knew was gone was the books I'd burned in ten or twelve years. So I think books can help. " "You're a hopeless romantic," says Faber. "It would be funny if it were not serious. It is not the books you need, the number of things that once were in the books. The same things could be in the family room today. The same infinite detail and awareness can be projected through the radios and téléviseur, but are not. No, no, it's not at all the books you need! Take it where you can find in old phonograph records, old movies, and old friends , look for the nature and look for in yourself. Books are only one type of receptacle where we stored a lot of things we were afraid we might forget. There is no magic to them all. The magic is only in what books say, how they stitched the patches of the universe together into one garment for us. Of course, you could not know, of course you still can not understand what I mean when I say all this. You are intuitively right, that's what counts . Three things are missing. "Number one: Do you know why books like this are so important? Because they have the quality. And what does the word quality mean? For me means texture. This book has pores. It has features. This book can go under the microscope. You'd find life under the glass, streaming past in infinite abundance. The more pores, the greater the truth of life data per square inch can be a sheet of paper, the more 'literary' you are. That is my definition, anyway. Telling detail. Fresh details. The good writers touch life often. The average time which a quick hand over her. The poor raped her and let her fly. "So now you see why books are hated and feared? They show the pores in the face of life. The comfortable people want only wax maangezichten, poreless, its free, expressionless. We live in a time when flowers are trying to live on flowers, instead of always a good rain and black loam. Even fireworks, for all their prettiness, come from the chemistry of the earth. But we think that somewhere we can grow, feeding on flowers and fireworks, without completing the bike back to reality. You know the legend of Hercules and Antaeus, the giant wrestler, whose strength was incredible so long as he stood firmly on the earth. But when he was arrested, displaced, in the middle of the air, by Hercules, which he easily. If there is something in that legend for us today, in this city, in our time, I am completely crazy. Well, there we have the first thing I said that we need. Quality, texture of information. " "And the second?" "Free Time". "Oh, but we have plenty of off-hours." "Off-hours, yes. But the time to think? If you do not drive one hundred miles per hour at a clip where you can not think of anything else, but the danger is, you play a game or sit in the only area where you can not argue with the four - wall téléviseur. Why? The téléviseur is "real." It is direct, it has dimension. It tells you what to think and detonated it in. It must be true. The seems so good. The reed you as quickly to its own conclusions your mind has no time to protest, "What nonsense!" "Only the 'family' is' people '." "Pardon?" "My wife says books are not 'real'." "Thank God. You can close them say:" Wait. "You're playing God. But who has ever torn himself from the claw that encloses you when a drop of seed in a TV lounge? It grows each form you wish ! It is an environment that is as real as the world. It is the truth. Books can be beaten with the reason. But with all my knowledge and skepticism, I have never been able to argue with a one to one hundred -piece symphony orchestra, full color, three dimensions, and I and a part of this incredible Parlor. As you can see, my room is nothing but four plaster walls. And here "He has two small rubber plugs. "For my ears when I ride the subway-jets." "Denham's dental powder, they toil not, neither they spin," said Montag, eyes shut. "Where are we going? Would books help us?" "Only if the third necessary thing could be with us. Number one, as I said, the quality of the information. Number two: leisure to digest is. And number three: the right to perform actions based what we learn from the inter-action of the first two. And I hardly think a very old man and a fireman turned sour could do this too late in the game ... " "I can move forward." "You run a risk." "That's the good part of dying and when you have nothing to lose, you run a risk you want." "So, you said an interesting thing," laughed Faber, "without reading!" "Are things in the books. But it came from the top of my mind!" "All better. You do not fancy for me or anyone else, even yourself." Montag leaned forward. "This afternoon I thought that if it turned out that the books are worth it, we can pressure and print some extra copies" "We?" "You and I" "Oh, no!" Faber Saturday. "But let me tell you my plan" "If you tell it to me, I must ask you to leave." "But you're not interested?" "Not if you start talking the sort of talk that can burn me for my problems. The only way I could listen to you would be if somehow the fireman structure itself could be burnt. Now if you suggest that we print additional books and leave them hidden in the fire houses across the country, so that the seeds of mistrust were sown among these arsonists, bravo, I say! " "Plant of the books, again in an alarm, the firemen and see the houses burning, is that what you mean?" Faber raised his eyebrows and looked at Montag as if he has a new man. "I was a joke." "If you thought it would be a plan worth trying, I should take your word would help." "You can not guarantee that sort of thing! Indeed, when we had all the books we needed, we still insisted on finding the highest cliff jump. But we need a breather. We have knowledge. And maybe in a thousand years we might pick smaller cliffs to jump. The books are to remind us what asses and fools we are. She Caesar's Praetorian guard, whispering as the parade Roar down the avenue, 'Remember, Caesar, thou art mortal. "Most of us do not rush around, talk to everyone, know all the cities of the world, we have 't time, money or that many friends. The things you are looking for, Montag, are in the world, but the only way the average chap ever see Ninety-nine percent of them in a book. Not ask for guarantees. And do not look to be stored in a thing, person, machine, or library. Do your own bit of saving, and if you drown, at least die knowing that you get to the shore. " Faber got up and began to pace the room. "Well?" Asked Montag. "You're absolutely serious?" "Absolutely." "It is an insidious plan, if I do say so myself." Faber looked nervously at his bedroom door. "To see the fire burning houses across the country, destroyed when fire outbreaks of treason. The salamander devours his tail! Ho, God!" "I have a list of the homes firefighters everywhere. As a sort of underground" "Can not trust the people, that's the dirty part. You and I and who will burn?" "Are not there professors like yourself, former writers, historians, linguists ...?" "Dead or old." "The older the better, they go unnoticed. You know dozens, admit it!" "Oh, there are many players who have not acted Pirandello or Shaw or Shakespeare years because their plays are also aware of the world. We can use their anger. And we can use the honest rage of those historians who written a line for forty years. True, we could Classes in thinking and reading. " "Yes!" "But that would just nibble the edges. The whole culture is shot through. The skeleton needs melting and re-shaping. Good God, it's not as easy as simply picking up a book you than a half century ago. Do not forget that the firemen are rarely necessary. The public itself stopped reading of its own. You fire a circus now and then those buildings are set off and crowds gather for the beautiful glow, but it's a small sideshow indeed, and hardly needed things in line. So little to rebel more. And of the few, most, like me, scared easily. Can you dance faster than the White Clown, shout louder than 'Mr. Trick and the salon socialist' families'? If you can, you will win your way, Montag. In any case, you're an idiot. People are happy. " "Suicide! Murder!" A bomber flight was moving east all the time they talked, and only now has the two men stop and listen, feeling the great jet sound tremble inside themselves. "Patience, Montag. Let the war off" families. "Our civilization is flinging itself pieces. Stand back from the centrifuge. " "There must be someone ready when it blows up." "What? Men quoting Milton? Say, I remember Sophocles? Remember the survivors that man has his good side, too? They will only collect their stones to throw at each other. Montag, ga home. Go to bed. Why waste your final hours racing about your cage denying your a squirrel? " "Then you do not care?" "I care so much I'm sick." "And you will not help me?" "Good night, good night." Montag hands grabbed the Bible. He saw how his hands had done and he looked surprised. "Do you want to own?" Faber said, "I would my right arm." Montag stood there waiting for the next thing to happen. His hands, by itself, as two men working together, began ripping the pages from the book. The hands tore the flyleaf and then the first and second page. "Idiot, what're you doing!" Faber shot up, as if he was beaten. He was at Montag. Montag then him and let his hands continue. Six more pages fell to the floor. He picked them up and wadded the paper under Faber's gaze. "Not, oh, do not!" Said the old man. "Who can stop me, I'm a fireman. I can burn you!" The old man stood looking at him. "You would not." "I could!" "The book. Do not tear no more." Faber sank into a chair, his face very white, his mouth trembling. "Do not make me feel more tired. What do you want?" "You must teach me." "Okay, okay." Montag the book down. He began to unwad the crumpled paper and flat as the old man watched tiredly. Faber shook his head as if he was awake. "Montag, you have some money?" "Some. Four, five hundred dollars. Why?" "Come on. I know a man who printed our college paper half a century ago. That was the year I came to the class at the beginning of the new semester and found only one student to sign up for Drama from Aeschylus to O ' Neill. You see how like a beautiful statue of ice was melting in the Sunday I remember the newspapers dying like huge moths. Nobody wanted them back. No one missed them. And the government, to see how beneficial it is to people read only about passionate lips and the fist in the stomach, circled the situation with your fire-eaters. So, Montag, there's this unemployed printer. We can start with a few books, and wait for the war to the pattern and give us the push we need. A few bombs and the 'families' in the walls of houses, like harlequin rats, will shut up! In silence, our stage-whisper to perform. " Both were looking at the book on the table. "I tried to remember," said Montag. "But, hell, it's gone when I turn my head. God, how I want to say to the captain. It is enough to read so he has all the answers, or seems to have. His voice is like butter. I am afraid that he will talk me back what I was. Only a week ago, pumping a kerosene hose, I thought: God, what fun! " The old man nodded. "If you do not build must burn. It is as old as history and juvenile delinquents." "So that is what I am." "There are a number of her in all of us." Montag moved to the front door. "Can you help me in any way tonight, with the Fire Captain, I have an umbrella to keep out the rain. I am so damn scared that I'll drown if he catches me again." The old man said nothing, but looked more nervous in his bedroom. Montag caught the glance. "Well?" The old man took a deep breath, held it, and let it out. He took another, eyes closed, his mouth tight, and at last exhaled. "Montag ..." The old man appeared at last and said: "Come along. I would actually have to run you right out of my house. I am a cowardly old fool." Faber opened the bedroom door and led Montag in a small room which was a table where a number of metal tools lay among a welter of microscopic thread hairs, small rolls, bobbins, and crystals. "What is this?" Asked Montag. "Proof of my terrible cowardice. I lived alone so many years, throwing the pictures on the walls of my imagination. Fiddling with electronics, radio broadcast, is my hobby. My cowardice is of such a passion, complementing the revolutionary spirit that lives in the shadow, I was forced to the draft. " He took a small green metal object no larger than a dot, 22. "I've paid for all this, how? Playing the stock market, of course, the last refuge of the world the danger of an intellectual job. Well, I played the market and built all of this and I waited. I've waited , trembling, half a lifetime for someone to talk to me. I dared to speak to anyone. That day in the park when we were together Saturday, I knew that one day you can come, with fire or friendship, it was difficult to guess. I have this little item ready for months. But I almost let you go, I'm afraid! " "It looks like a seashell Radio." "And something more! It listens! If you in your ear, Montag, I can sit comfortably home, warming my frightened bones, and hear and analyze the firefighters of the world, find its weaknesses, without danger. I'm the Queen Bee, safe in the basket. You will be the drone, the traveling ear. Eventually I could from the ears in all parts of the city, with different people, listening and evaluation. If the drones die, I'm still safe at home, tending my fright with a maximum of comfort and a minimum of risk. See how safe I play, how despicable I am? " Montag placed the green bullet in his ear. The old man has a similar object in his ear and moved his lips. "Montag!" The voice was in Montag the head. "I hear you!" The old man smiled. "It is more than fine, too!" Faber whispered, but the voice in Montag head was clear. "Go to the FIRE HOUSE when it's time. I'll be with you. Let's listen to this Captain Beatty together. He may be one of us. God knows. I do have things to say. We give him a good show. Do you hate me for this electronic cowardice of mine? Here I am sending you in the night, while I find the lines with my damned ears listening for you to make your head chopped off. " "We do everything we do," said Montag. He put the Bible in the old man hands. "Here. I'll risk turning in a substitute. Tomorrow" "I see the unemployed printer, yes, that much I can do." "Good night, Professor." "No good night. I will be with you the rest of the night, a vinegar gnat tickling your ear when you need me. But a good night and good luck, anyway." The door opened and closed. Montag was in the dark street again looking at the world.

You could feel the war is finished in the sky that night. The way the clouds moved aside and came back and the way the stars looked, one million of them swimming between the clouds, just as the enemy drives, and the feeling that the sky would fall on the city and switch it on chalk substance, and the moon go up in red fire, which was how the night felt. Montag walk from the subway with the money in his pocket (he had visited the bank that was open all night and every night with robot tellers present) and as he walked he listens to the radio in a seashell ear .... "We have mobilized one million men. Quick victory is ours if the war ...." Music flooded the voice quickly and was gone. "Ten million men mobilized," Faber's voice whispered in his ear. "But say one million. It is happier." "Faber?" "Yes?" "I'm not thinking. I just pretend I said, just as always. You said that the money and I got it. I did not really think about it. When can I start working things on my own?" "You are all started by saying what you just said. You have to believe me." "I found the others on faith!" "Yes, and look where we are headed. You'll have to travel blind for a while. Here is my arm to follow." "I do not want to change sides and simply told what to do. There is no reason to change if I do that." "You're wise already!" Montag felt his feet moving him on the pavement opposite his house. "Keep talking." "You want me to read, I read so you can remember. I go to sleep only five hours a night. Nothing to do. So if you want, I read you to sleep nights. They say that your knowledge, even when you asleep, when someone whispers in your ear. " "Yes." "Here." Far away across the city in the night, the weakest whisper of a turned page. "The Job Book." The moon in the sky as Montag walked, his lips moving but a trifle.

He was eating a light supper at nine in the evening when the door, in the hall and Mildred ran from the salon as a native flight eruption of Vesuvius. Mrs. Phelps and Mrs. Bowles came through the front door and disappeared into the volcano mouth with martinis in their hands: Montag stopped eating. They were like a monstrous crystal chandelier tink development in a thousand chimes, he saw their Cheshire Cat smiles burn through the walls of the house, and now they are yelling at each other above the din. Montag found himself on the living room door with his food in his mouth. "Not everyone looks good!" "Nice." "You look good, Millie!" "Fine." "Everyone looks swell." 'Swell! " Montag stood watching them. "Patience," whispered Faber. "I would not be here," whispered Montag, almost himself. "I would be on my way back to you with the money!" "Tomorrow is time enough. Caution!" "Is not this show great?" Cried Mildred. "Wonderful!" On one wall a woman smiled and drank orange juice simultaneously. How they both at once, thought Montag, unbelievable. In the other walls an X-ray of the same woman, the contracting travel of the refreshing drink on the way to her stomach delicious! Suddenly the room was on a rocket flight in the clouds, is immersed in a lime-green sea where blue fish ate red and yellow fish. One minute later, Three White Cartoon Clowns chopped off each other's limbs to the accompaniment of immense incoming tides of laughter. Two minutes more and the audience whipped out of town to the jet car was circling an arena, and backing up and Bashing Bashing each other again. Montag saw a number of bodies flying in the air. "Millie, did you see that?" "I saw it, I saw it!" Montag met in the lounge wall and pulled the main switch. The images removed, as if the water had come from a gigantic crystal hysterical fish. The three women slowly and looked with unconcealed irritation and disgust at Montag. "Where do you think the war will start?" He said. "I suggest your husband are not here tonight?" "Oh, they come and go, come and go," said Mrs. Phelps. "In re Finnegan, the Army called Pete yesterday. He'll be back next week. The army said. Quick war. Eight hours they said, and everyone at home. That is what the army said. Quick war. Pete was yesterday and she said that he would be back next week. ... Fast " The three women fidgeted and looked nervously at the empty mud-colored walls. "I'm not worried," said Mrs. Phelps. "I leave Pete all the worrying." She giggled. "I let old Pete do all the worrying. Not me. I'm not worried." "Yes," said Millie. "Let old Pete do worrying." "It's always someone else the man dies, they say." "I've heard that too. I've never known a dead man killed in a war. Slain jumping from buildings, yes, like Gloria's husband last week, but from wars? No" "Not war," said Mrs. Phelps. "Anyway, Pete and I always said, no tears, nothing like that. It is our third marriage each and we are independent. Regardless, we always said. He said, if I slain off, you just go right ahead and cry, but married again and do not think of me. " "That reminds me," said Mildred. "Did you see that Clara Dove five-minute romance last night in your wall? Well, it was all about this woman, who" Montag said nothing but stood looking at the faces of women, as he had once looked at the faces of saints in a strange church he had when he was a child. The faces of those enamelled creatures meant nothing to him, but he spoke with them and stood in that church for a long time trying to be of that religion, trying to know what that religion is trying to get enough of the raw incense and substance of the special place in his lungs and thus into his blood to feel touched and concerned by the significance of the colorful men and women with the porcelain eyes and blood-ruby lips. But there was nothing, nothing, it was a walk through a store, and its foreign currency and useless, and his passion cold, even when he touched the wood and plaster and clay. It was now, in his own room, with these women to turn in their chairs under his gaze, lighting cigarettes, blowing smoke, touching their Sunday fired her and the treatment of burning their finger nails as if they caught fire from his look . Their faces grew haunted with silence. They leaned forward at the sound of Montag's swallowing his last bite of food. She listened to his feverish breathing. The three empty walls of the room were like the pale brows of sleeping giants now, empty of dreams. Montag felt that if you touched these three staring brows you would feel a fine salt sweat on your finger tips. The sweat collected with the silence and sub-audible trembling around and about and the women who were burning with tension. Every time they sing a long sputtering hiss and explode. Montag moved his lips. "Let's talk." The women jerked and stared. "How're your children, Mrs. Phelps?" He asked. "You know that I was not all! Nobody in his right mind, the Good Lord knows, would be children," said Mrs. Phelps, not quite sure why she was mad at this man. "I would not say that," said Mrs. Bowles. "I have two children by Emperor eden section. No use will all this agony for a baby. The world must reproduce, you know, the race to go. In fact, sometimes they look just like you, and that is beautiful. Two Caesarians tamed the trick, yes, sir. Oh, my doctor said, Caesarians are not necessary, you, for hips, everything is normal, but I insisted. " "Caesarians or not, children are ruinous, you're out of your mind," said Mrs. Phelps. "I am missing the children in school nine days out of ten. I have with them when they come home three days per month, it's not bad. You raise them in the 'lounge' and turn the switch. It's like washing clothing, laundry stuff and slam the lid. "Mrs. Bowles tittered. "They had just as soon kick as kiss me. Thank God, I can kick back!" The women showed their tongues, laughing. Mildred Saturday a moment and see that Montag was still in the doorway, clapped her hands. "Let's talk politics, to please Guy!" "Sounds good," said Mrs. Bowles. "I have the last elections, as everybody, and I on the line for President Noble. I think he is one of the nicest looking men ever became president." "Oh, but the man they ran against him!" "He was not much, was he? Type of small and homely and not too close shave or comb his hair very well." "What has the 'outs' to run him, you just do not go running a little short man like that against a big man. In addition, he mumbled. Half the time I could not hear a word he said. And the words I hear I do not understand! " "Fat also, and not dress to hide. No wonder the landslide was Winston Noble. Even their names helped. Compare Winston Noble Hubert Hoag's for ten seconds and you can almost figure the results." "Damn!" Cried Montag. "What do you know about Hoag's and Noble?" "Why were they in that room wall, not six months ago. One of them was always pulls his nose, but drove me wild." "Well, Mr. Montag," said Mrs. Phelps, "do you want us to vote for a man like that?" Mildred beams. "You walk away from the door, Guy, and not us nervous." But Montag was gone and back in a moment with a book in his hand. "Guy!" "Damn it all, damn, damn!" "What've you got there is not a book, I thought that all special training these days was made by the film." Mrs. Phelps blinked. "You reading on theory fireman?" "Theory, hell," said Montag. "It is poetry." "Montag." A Whisper. "Leave me alone!" Montag felt himself turning in a great circling roar and Buzz and hum. "Montag, wait, do not ..." "Did you hear them, you hear talk about these samples samples? Oh God, the way they jabber about people and their children and themselves and how they talk about their husbands and the way they talk about war, damn it I am here and I can not believe it! " "I did not say a single word about the war, I have you know," said Mrs. Phelps. "As for poetry, I hate it," said Mrs. Bowles. "Have you ever read? "Montag," Faber's voice scraped away from him. "You ruined everything. Shut up, fool!" "All three women were on their feet. "Sit down!" It Saturday "I'm going home," quavered Mrs. Bowles. "Montag, Montag, please, in the name of God, what are you doing?" Called Faber. "Why do not we just read one of these poems from your book," Mrs. Phelps nodded. "I think he would be very interesting." "That is not good," wailed Mrs. Bowles. "We can not do!" "Well, look at Mr. Montag, he wants, I know he does. And if we listen nice, Mr. Montag will be happy and we can maybe go and do something else." She looked nervously at the long emptiness of the walls enclosing them. "Montag, ga with this and I will cut off, I leave." The beetle jabbed his ear. "What good is this, what your evidence?" "Scare hell of them, that's what scares the living daylight out!" Mildred looked at the empty air. "Now Guy, who are you talking to?" A silver needle pierced his brain. "Montag, listening, but one way out, play as a joke, decks, pretend you're not mad at all. Then walk to your wall-incinerator, and throw the book!" Mildred had been expecting that in a shaky voice. "Ladies, every year, every firefighter is allowed to book a home, from the old days, his family to show how stupid it all was, how nervous that sort of thing, you just how crazy. Guy's surprise tonight is to read you a sample to show how mixed up things, so none of us will ever bother our little heads about that old junk again, is not that good, sweetheart? " He crushed the book in his fists. "Say 'yes'." His mouth moved like Faber's: "Yes." Mildred away the book with a smile. "Here! Read this. No, I take it back. This is really funny that you read aloud today. Ladies, you will not understand a word. It goes umpty-tumpty-UMP. Go ahead, Guy, that page, sweetheart. " He looked at the opened page. A flight stirred its wings softly in his ear. "Read." "What is the title, baby?" "Dover Beach." His foot was numb. "Now read in a beautiful clear voice and go slow." The room was blazing hot, he was fire, he was all coldness, but Saturday in the middle of an empty desert with three chairs and him standing, waving and waiting for him to Mrs. Phelps to stop right ironing her dress him and Mrs. Bowles's fingers away from her hair. Then he began to read in a low, stumbling voice that grew stronger block as he progressed from line to line, and his voice was in the desert, in the whiteness, and around the three women are there in the great hot emptiness:

"The Sea of Faith Was once on the high shore and round earth Lay like the folds of a bright belt furled. But now I only hear The melancholy, long, withdrawing roar, Back to the breath Of the night wind, the vast edges drear And naked shingles of the world. "

The chairs creaked under the three women. Montag finished it out:

"" Ah, love, let us indeed With each other! for the world, which seems Be v √ ≥ √ ≥ r us as a country of dreams, So various, so beautiful, so new Has really no joy, no love, nor light, Nor security nor peace, nor help for pain; And we are here on a Darkling Plain Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight Where ignorant armies clash by night. "

Mrs. Phelps was crying. The others in the middle of the desert looked at her crying very hard to grow as her face squeezed itself out of shape. They were not touching her, bewildered by her display. She sobbed uncontrollably. Montag himself was stunned and shocked. "SH, sh," said Mildred. "You're all right, Clara, now, Clara, get out! Clara, what's wrong?" "I," sobbed Mrs. Phelps, "do not know, do not know, I do not know, oh oh ..." Mrs. Bowles stood up and glared at Montag. "You see, I knew that's what I wanted to prove I knew it would happen, I have always said, poetry and tears, poetry and suicide and crying and awful feelings, poetry and disease, that Mush! Now I've had was for me. You are ugly, Mr. Montag, you're ugly! " Faber said, "Now ..." Montag felt himself turn and walk to the wall slot and put the book through the brass notch to the waiting flames. "Silly words, silly words, silly words terrible pain," said Mrs. Bowles. "Why do people want to hurt people? Not enough pain in the world, you have to tease people with that sort of thing!" "Clara, now, Clara," begged Mildred, pulling her arm. "Come on, let's bright, turn off the 'family' on, now. Go ahead. Let us laugh and happy, now, stop crying, we have a party!" "No," said Mrs. Bowles. "I'm trotting right straight home. You want to visit my home and family, 'well and good. But I will not come in this fireman crazy house back in my life!" "Go home." Montag fixed his eyes on her, quietly. "Go home and think of your first husband divorced and your second husband killed in a jet and your third husband blowing his brains out, go home and think of the dozens of abortions you've had, go home and think that and your damn Emperor eden departments, too, and your children who hate your guts! Go home and think how it all happened and what did you ever do to stop it, go home, go home! "Did he. "Before I knock you out and kick you out the door!" Doors slammed and the house was empty. Montag stood alone in the winter weather, the room walls the color of dirty snow. In the bathroom, water ran. He heard Mildred shake the sleeping tablets in her hand. "Fool, Montag, fool, fool, oh God you silly fool ..." "Shut up!" He pulled the green bullet from his ear and jammed in his pocket. It sizzled light. "... Fool ... fool ..." He searched the house and found the books where Mildred had stacked them behind the refrigerator. Some were missing and he knew she was starting her own slow process of dispersing the dynamite in her house, stick by stick. But he was not angry, just exhausted and bewildered with himself. He carried the books in the backyard and hid them in the bushes near the alley fence. For tonight only, he thought, in case they decide not burn. He went back through the house. "Mildred?" He called on the door of the darkened room. There was no sound. Outside, crossing the lawn, on their way to work, and he tried not to see how completely dark and deserted Clarisse McClellan's house was ... On the way downtown he was so all alone with his terrible error that he felt the need for the foreign hot ness and goodness that came from a familiar and gentle voice in the night. Already in a few hours it seemed that he had known Faber a lifetime. Now he knew he was two people that he especially Montag, who knew nothing that was not even aware that he is an idiot, but only suspected it. And he knew he was the old man who spoke with him and talked to him as the train was sucked from one end of the night city to the other on a long-term sick motion. In the days to follow, and the nights when there is no moon in the nights when there was a very clear Monday appears on earth, the old man would go with this conversation and talk, drop by drop, stone by stone, Flake by flake. His mind was finally over and he would not be Montag more, this is the old man told him, assured him, he promised. He would be Montag-plus-Faber, fire, and water, and then, one day after everything was mixed and simmered and worked away in silence, there would be no fire or water, but wine. Two different and opposite things, third. And one day he would look back on the fool and know the fool. Even now he could feel the beginning of the long journey, the leave taken, the path of self he was. It was good to listen to the beetle hum, the sleepy mosquito buzz and delicate filigree murmur of the old man's voice at first scolding him and comforting him in the late hours of the night as he left the steaming subway toward the world HOUSE FIRE . "Pity, Montag, pity. Do not haggle and nag them, you were so recently one of them. They are so convinced that they will be implemented on forever. But they will not run on. They do not know that this is already a huge blazing meteor that makes a beautiful fireplace in the room, but that day will be hit. They see only the brand, the beautiful fireplace, as you saw. "Montag, old men who stay home, afraid, tending their peanut-brittle bones, have no right to criticize. But you almost slain things at the beginning. Watch it and I'm with you, remember that. I understand how the happened. I must admit that your blind raging strengthens me. God, how young I felt! But now, I want you to feel old, I want a little of my cowardice to be distilled in you tonight. The next day, when you see Captain Beatty, tiptoe around him, let me hear him for you, let me feel the situation. Survival is our ticket. Forget the poor, stupid women .... " "I have them unhappier than they have been in years, I think," said Montag. "It shocked me to see Mrs. Phelps cry. Maybe they are right, maybe it is better not to face things to run, have fun. I do not know. I feel guilty" "No, you should not! If there is no war, if there is peace in the world, I would say good, have fun! But, Montag, you must not return to the network a fireman. Not everything is good with the world . Montag perspired. "Montag, you listening?" "My feet," said Montag. "I can not move. I feel so damn mad. My feet will not move!" "Listen. Easy now," said the old man gently. "I know, I know. You are afraid to make mistakes. Do not. They may be benefited by. Man, when I was young I slide my ignorance in people faces. They beat me with sticks. By the time I was forty my blunt instrument was Protracted to a fine cutting point for me. If you hide your ignorance, no one will hit you and you'll never learn. Now, pick up your feet in the FIRE HOUSE with you! We are a twins, we are not only more, we are not separated into different Parlor, with no contact between them. If you need help when Beatty Priesville of you, I was here in your eardrum notes! " Montag felt his right foot, then his left foot move. "Old man," he said, "stay with me." Mechanical Hound was gone. Her kennel was empty and the FIRE HOUSE was all about in plaster silence and the orange Salamander slept with its kerosene in its belly and fire Thrower crossed on its flanks and Montag came in the silence and touched the brass pole and slide in the dark air, looking back at the kennel leave his heart beating, pausing, beating. Faber was a gray moth asleep in his ear, for the moment. Beatty stood near the drop-hole guards, but with his back, as if he can not wait. "Well," he said to the men playing cards, "here is a very strange beast, in all languages is a fool." He put his hand on the one hand, palm, for a gift. Montag the book. Without even volatile at the title, Beatty tossed the book in the trash basket and lit a cigarette. "" With a little clever, the best are crazy. "Welcome back, Montag. I hope you'll stay with us, now that your fever is done and your sickness over. Sit in a hand of poker?" They sat and the cards were dealt. In Beatty's sight, Montag felt the guilt of his hands. His fingers were like ferrets that had done evil and are never alone, always stirred and picked and hidden in the bags, moving under Beatty's alcohol flames stare. If Beatty so much as breathed on them, Montag felt that his hands would wither, turn over on their sides, and never been shocked back to life, they would be buried in the rest of his life in his coat-sleeves, forgotten. These were the hands that had acted on their own, no part of him, here is where the conscience first manifested itself to snatch books, arrow with work and Ruth and Willie Shakespeare, and now in the FIRE HOUSE, these hands seemed gloved with blood. Twice in half hour, Montag had to rise from the game and go to the latrine to wash his hands. When he came back he hid his hands under the table. Beatty laughed. "Let your hands in sight, Montag. Not that we do not trust you, understand, but-" They all laughed. "Well," said Beatty, "the crisis is over and everything is good, the sheep back to the door. We are all sheep that are lost in time. Truth is the truth, to the end of reckoning, we cried. They are never alone that are accompanied with noble thoughts, we cried for ourselves. "Sweet food of sweetly uttered knowledge, 'Sir Philip Sidney said. But on the other side:" Words are like leaves and where they most abound, much fruit of feeling rarely found. "Alexander Pope. What do you think of this?" "I do not know." "Careful," whispered Faber, living in another world, far away. "Or this?" A little learning is a dangerous thing. Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring: there shallow dams drunk brains, and drinking largely sober us. "Pope. Same Essay. Where did you? " Montag bit his lip. "I will tell you," Beatty said, smiling at his cards. "That you for a while, a drunkard. Read a few lines and go over the cliff. Bang, you're ready to explode the world, chop off heads, knock down women and children, destroy authority. I know, I through it all. " "I'm okay," said Montag, nervously. "Stop flushing. I do not need development, really I'm not. You know, I had a dream, one hour ago. I for a nap and in this dream you and I, Montag was in a fierce debate about books. You towers with rage, screamed at me rates. I calmly parried every thrust. Power, said I, and you, quoting Dr. Johnson, said: "Knowledge is more than equivalent to force!" And I said, 'Well, Dr Johnson also said, dear boy, that "It is not wise man that will quit a certainty for an uncertainty. "Stick with the fireman, Montag. All else is dreary chaos!" "Do not listen," whispered Faber. "He tries to confuse. He is smooth. Look out!" Beatty chuckled. "And you said, quote," the truth will come to light, murder will not be long hidden! "And I wept in good humor, 'Oh God, he speaks only of his horse!" And "The Devil can cite Scripture for his purpose." And you screamed, 'This year, think better of a gilded fool, than a worn holy wisdom in school! "And I whispered gently:" The dignity of truth is lost with much protest. "And you screamed, 'carcasses bleed at the sight of the murderer!" And I said, patting your hand, "What can you trench mouth?" And you shrieked,' Knowledge is power "and" A dwarf on a giant like the shoulders of the furthest of the two "and I summed my side with rare calm in" The foolishness of the mistake a metaphor for a proof, a torrent of words for a source of capital truths, and as a oracle, is inborn in us, Mr. Valery once said. " Montag head whirled sickeningly. He felt beaten unmercifully on the eyebrows, eyes, nose, lips, chin, on shoulders, on upflailing arms. He wanted to scream: "No, shut up, you're confusing things, stop it!" Beatty's graceful fingers thrust to seize his wrist. "God, what a boost I got you, I, Montag. Jesus God, your pulse sounds like the day after the war. Everything but sirens and bells! Shall I talk some more? I like your look of panic. Swahili, Indian, English Lit., I speak them all. A kind of excellent dumb discourse, Willie! " "Montag, hold on!" The moth brushed Montag's ear. "He is muddying the water!" "Oh, you were scared silly," Beatty said, "because I did a terrible thing in the use of the books you clung to rebut you on every hand, at any point! What traitors books can be! Do you think they behind you, and they return to you. Others may use them, too, and there you are, lost in the middle of the moor, in a great welter of nouns and verbs and adjectives. And at the very end of my dream, I came along with the Salamander and said, Going my way? And you have and we reason back to the FIRE HOUSE in blissful silence, all dwindled away to peace. "Beatty to Montag the wrist go, let the slump limply on the table. "Everything is good, that is good in the end." Silence. Montag Saturday like a carved white stone. The echo of the final hammer on his skull, died slowly away in the black cavern where Faber wait for the echo to subside. And then when the dust had settled, fell shocked about the spirit Montag, Faber began, softly, "Okay, he had his say. You have to take in. I say my say in the next few hours. And you'll take in. And you will try to judge and decide on which way to jump, or fall. But I want it is your decision, not mine and not the Captain's. But remember that the Captain is the most dangerous enemy of truth and freedom, the solid unmoving cattle of the majority. Oh, God, the terrible tyranny of the majority. We all have our harps to play. And it's up to you now to know what you're listening ear. " Montag opened his mouth to answer Faber and was saved this error in the presence of others when the station bell rang. The alarm-voice in the ceiling chanted. There was an attach-attach sound as the alarm-report telephone typed out the address across the room. Captain Beatty, his poker cards in one pink hand walked with exaggerated slowness of the phone and tore the address where the report was ready. He looked perfunctorily, and slide it into his pocket. He came back and sat down. The others looked at him. "It can wait exactly forty seconds while I have the money to you," said Beatty, happily. Montag put his cards down. "Tired, Montag? Out of this game?" "Yes." "Stop it. Well, come to think of it, we can finish this hand later. Let your cards face down and hustle the equipment. On the double now." And Beatty rose again. "Montag, you do not look good? I hate to think you down with another fever ..." "I'll be all right." "You'll be fine. This is a special case. Come on, sure ga!" She jumped in the air and clutched the brass pole as if the last Vantage point above a tidal wave passing below, and then the brass pole, to their dismay they move in the dark, in the blast and cough and suction of the gaseous roaring dragon to live! "Hey!" They rounded corner in thunder and siren, a brain concussion of the tires, with a scream of rubber, with a shift from kerosene in bulk in the glittery brass tank, like the food in the stomach of a giant, with Montag fingers thrust in the silver rail, swinging into cold space, with the wind tearing his hair back from his head, with the wind whistling in his teeth, and him all the while thinking of women, the chaff of women in his room tonight, with the kernels blown from under them by a neon wind, and his silly damned reading a book to them. How like trying to fire with water pistols, how senseless and insane. A rage in another. A move anger of another. When he would not completely crazy and quiet, very quiet indeed? "Here we go!" Montag looked up. Beatty never drove, but he was driving tonight, slamming the Salamander around corners, leaning forward high on the driver's throne, his huge black raincoat flapping behind so he seemed like a great black bat flying above the engine, the brass numbers, account the high wind. "Here we go around the world happy, Montag!" Beatty's pink, phosphorescent cheeks mered lightning in the high darkness, and he was smiling furiously. "Here we are!" The Salamander explosive stops, throwing men off in slips and clumsy hops. Montag stood fixing his raw eyes to the cold bright rail under his clenched fingers. I can not do, he thought. How can I turn to this new contract, how can I go burn things? I can not go to this place. Beatty, smelling of the wind through which he was rushed to Montag the elbow. "All right, Montag?" The men ran like cripples in their clumsy boots, as quietly as spiders. Montag finally raised his eyes and pale. Beatty is looking at his face. "Something the matter, Montag?" "Why," said Montag slowly, "we have stopped in front of my house."

Lights flicked on and house-doors opened in the street to watch the carnival set up. Montag and Beatty stared, one with dry satisfaction, the other with disbelief at the house for them, this key ring torches which would be juggled and fire eaten. "Well," said Beatty, "now you did it. Old Montag wanted to fly near the sun and now he burnt his damn wings, he wonders why. Did not I hint enough when I sent the Hound around your house? " Montag's face was completely numb and without expression, he felt his head turn as a stone sculpture of the dark spot next door, set in its bright borders of flowers. Beatty snorted. "Oh, no! You were not fooled by that little idiot routine, now were you? Flowers, butterflies, leaves, sunsets, oh, hell! It is all in her file. I'll be Damned. I have taken Bullseye. Look at the sick look on your face. A few grass-blades and the quarters of Monday What trash. What did they ever do with all that? " Montag Saturday the cold front fender of the Dragon, moving his head half a centimeter to the left, half a centimeter to the right, left, right, left right, left ... "They saw everything. They did nothing to anyone. They leave them alone." "But, hell! She chewed around you, not with her? One of those damn do-gooders with their shocked, holier than thou silences, their one talent to others feel guilty. Damn, they grow as the midnight sun you sweat in your bed! " The door opened; Mildred came the steps, running, a suitcase with a dream-like clenching rigidity in her fist as a beetle-taxi hissed to the curb. "Mildred!" She walked past with her body stiff, her face powdered with flour, her mouth gone, without lipstick. "Mildred, you did not the alarm!" They slide the suitcase in the waiting beetle, climbed in, and Saturday murmur, "Poor families, poor family, oh everything means everything away now ..." Beatty grabbed Montag shoulder as the beetle blasted away and hit seventy miles per hour, far below the street, road. There was a crash like the falling parts of a dream fashioned from warped glass, mirrors and crystal prisms. Montag drifted about as yet another incomprehensible storm had him, to see Stoneman and Black handle axes, shattering window panes for cross-ventilation. The brush of a death's-head moth against a cold black screen. "Montag, this is Faber. Do you hear me? What happened?" "This happens to me," said Montag. "What a terrible surprise," said Beatty. "For everyone nowadays knows absolutely certain is that nothing will ever happen for me. Others die, I ga over. There are no consequences and no responsibilities. Except that there are. But let's not talk about them, huh? To time the consequences catch up with you, it's too late, it is not, Montag? " "Montag, you can walk away?" Early Faber. Montag walked but did not feel his feet touch the cement and then the night grasses. Beatty flicked his igniter nearby and the small orange flame drew his fascinated gaze. "What is there about the fire that is so beautiful? Regardless of what age we are, what attracts us?" Beatty blew the flame and burn it again. "It is perpetual motion, the thing man wanted to invent but never did. Or almost perpetual motion. If you go, our lives would burn out. What is fire? It's a mystery. Scientists give us gobbledegook about friction and molecules. But they do not really know. The real beauty is that it destroys responsibility and consequences. One problem gets too burdensome, then into the oven. Now, Montag, you're a burden. And fire will lift you on my shoulders , clean, fast, sure, nothing to rot later. Antibiotic, aesthetic, practical. " Montag stood looking now at this queer house, made strange by the hour of the night by noise neighbor votes, strewn with glass, and there on the floor, their covers torn off and spilled out like swan-feathers, the incredible books that looked so stupid and really not worth the trouble with, they were just black type and yellowed paper and ravelled binding. Mildred, of course. They have watched him hide the books in the garden and brought them back in. Mildred. Mildred. "I want you to do this job by your lonesome, Montag. Not with kerosene and a match, but piecework, with a flame thrower. Your house, your clean-up." "Montag, you can not walk, get out!" "No!" Cried Montag helplessly. "The Hound! Due to the Hound!" Faber heard, and Beatty, thinking it was for him a hearing. "Yes, the Hound somewhere on the near, so do not try everything. Ready?" "Done." Montag hit the safety catch on the flame thrower. "Fire!" A great nuzzling gout of flame leap to lap at the books and knock them against the wall. He stepped into the bedroom and fired twice and the twin beds were in a large Simmering whisper, with more fire and passion and light than he would have supposed them to contain. He burnt the bedroom walls and the cosmetics chest because he wanted to change everything, the chairs, the tables in the dining room the silverware and plastic dishes, everything showed that he lived here in the empty house with a strange woman who would it tomorrow forgotten, that was gone and almost forgotten him, listening to her seashell radio on for her and to her as they drove around the city alone. And as before, it was good to burn, he felt spraying in the fire, snatch, splitting, cracks in half of the flame, and turn away pointless problem. If no solution, and now there was no problem. Fire is the best for everything! "The books, Montag!" The book jumped and danced like roasted birds, their wings ablaze with red and yellow feathers. And when he came to the salon where the great idiot monsters lay asleep with their thoughts and their snowy white dreams. And he shot a bolt at each of the three blank walls and vācu √ º m hissed at him. The emptiness is even army whistle, a senseless scream. He tried to think about the vācu √ º m which had nothing, but he could not. He held his breath so the vacuum can not get in his lungs. He cut her terrible emptiness, drew back, and gave the entire room a gift of a huge bright yellow flower of burning. The fire-proof plastic cover on everything was cut wide and the house began to shudder with flame. "If you're ready," Beatty said behind him. "You are arrested."

The house fell in red and black coal ash. It bedded itself in sleepy pink-gray ash and smoke plume blew over it, rising and waving slowly to and fro in the air. It was three-thirty in the morning. The crowd drew back in the houses, the large tents of the circus had slumped into charcoal and rubble and the show was well over. Montag stood with the flame-thrower in his limp hands, great islands of perspiration drenching his armpits, his face soiled with soot. The other firemen waited behind him in the darkness, their faces illuminated by the light smoldering foundation. Montag started to speak twice and then finally succeeded in his thoughts together. "Was it my wife turned in the alarm?" Beatty nodded. "But her friends turned in an alarm earlier, that I let ride. One way or another, you got it. It was rather stupid, in which poetry around free and easy as that. It was the act of a silly damn snob. Enter a man a few lines of verse and he thinks he is Lord of all Creation. You think you can walk on water with your books. Well, the world can get by just fine without them. Look where they can, in slime up to your lip. If I stir the slime with my little finger, you'll drown! " Montag could not move. A major earthquake had come with fire, and leveled the house and Mildred was there somewhere and his whole life there and he could not move. The earthquake was still shaking and falling and shivering inside him and he stood there, his knees half bent under the great load of tiredness and bewilderment and anger, rental Beatty hit him without raising a hand. "Montag, you idiot, Montag, you damn fool, why do you actually do?" Montag did not hear, he was far away, he runs with his thoughts, he was gone, so that soot-covered dead body swinging for another raving mad. "Montag, ga out of there," says Faber. Montag listened. Beatty hit him a blow on the head to him reeling back. The green dot where Faber whispered voice and cried, fell to the pavement. Beatty away it up, grin. He held it half in, half out of his ear. Montag heard the distant voice calling, "Montag, you all right?" Beatty turned on the green bullet off and thrust in his pocket. "Okay, so there is more than I thought. I saw you lift your head, listening. I thought you had a seashell. But if you turned out to be clever, I wondered. We will identify and put on your friend . "No!" Said Montag. He twitched the safety catch on the flame-thrower. Beatty looked directly Montag fingers and his eyes larger the weakest bit. Montag saw the surprise itself and looked at his hands to see what new what they had done. Thinking later he could never decide whether the hands or Beatty's reaction to the hands gave him the final push toward murder. The rolling last Thursday of the avalanche stoned down about his ears, not touching him. Beatty grinned his most charming grin. "Well, that's one way to an audience. The possession of a gun on a man and forcing him to listen to your speech. Speech road. What will be this time? Why do not you belch Shakespeare at me, you clumsy snob? "There is no terror, Cassius, in your threats, because I am so strong in honesty Armored they by me as an idle wind, which I respect not!" How is that? Go ahead now your second hand literate, pull the trigger. "He took a step in the direction Montag. Montag only said, "We never burned right ..." "Give, Guy," Beatty said with a smile. And he was a shrieking brand, a jumping, large, gibbering mannikin, no longer human or known, all writhing flame on the lawn as Montag shot one continuous pulse of liquid fire on him. There was a hiss like a big mouthful of spittle banging a redhot stove, a vibrant and foaming salt was poured over a monstrous black snail to cause a terrible liquefaction and a boiling over of yellow foam. Montag closes his eyes, screamed, cried and fought for his hands on his ears to clamp and cut away from the noise. Beatty flopped over and over and over, and at last turned on itself like a charred wax doll and lay silent. The two other firefighters not move. Montag kept his sickness down long enough to aim the flame-thrower. "Turn around!" They showed their faces like blanched meat, streaming sweat, he hit his head, knocking their helmets and put them on himself. They fell and lay without moving. The blowing of an autumn leaf. He turned and the Mechanical Hound was there. It was halfway down the lawn from the shadows, moving with such ease that it was drifting like a solid cloud of black and gray smoke blown at him in silence. It made a final leap into the air, down on Montag a good three meters above its head, its spidered legs reaching, the procaine needle picture are only angry tooth. Montag caught with a bloom of fire, a wondrous blossom that curled in petals of yellow and blue and orange on the dog metals, clad in a new relationship as slammed into Montag and threw him ten meters back against the trunk of a tree, where the flame-gun with him. He felt it scrabble and seize his leg and insert the needle into a point v √ ≥ √ ≥ r the fire hit the Hound in the air burst its metal bones at the joints, and blew its interior in the single flushing of red color Skyrocket one attached to the street. Montag lay watching the dead-alive thing fiddle the air and die. Today seemed to want to go back to him and the finish of the injection, now the meat of his leg. He felt all mixed relief and horror have withdrawn just in time to have just his knee slammed by the fender of a car hurt development by at ninety miles per hour. He was afraid to wake up, afraid that he might not be able to gain his feet at all, in an anaesthetized leg. A numbness numbness in a hollow in a numbness ... And now ..? The street is empty, the house burned like an old bit of stage scenery, the other homes dark, the Hound here Beatty there, the three other firefighters a different place, and the Salamander ..? He gazed at the huge engine. That should go, too. Well, he thought, let's see how bad you are. On your feet now. Easy, easy ... there. He stood and he had only one leg. The other was just a piece of burnt pine-log he was along as a penance for some obscure sin. When his weight on a shower of silver needles gushed the length of the calf and went into the knee. He cried. Come on! Come on, you can not stay here! A few house lights went back on the street, both of the incidents just passed, or because of the abnormal silence following the fight, Montag did not know. He hobbled around the ruins, seizing on his bad leg when it lagged, talking and whimpering and shouting directions and swearing and pleading with the work for him now as it was of vital importance. He heard some people yelling and screaming in the dark. He reached the back yard and alley. Beatty, he thought, you are not a problem now. You have always said, not confronted with a problem burning. Well, now I have done both. Well, Captain. And he stumbled along the alley in the dark.

* * * * * A shotgun blast went in his leg every time he is down and he thought, you're an idiot, an idiot, an awful fool, an idiot, an awful idiot, a stupid idiot and a fool, an idiot, look at the mess and the mop, look at the mess, and what do you do? Pride, damn it, and anger, and you've junked it all, in the beginning you vomit on everyone and on yourself. But all at once, but everything on top of one another; Beatty, the women, Mildred, Clarisse, everything. No excuse, but no excuse. A fool, an idiot, go yourself! No, we save what we can, we will do what to do. If we must burn, let's have some more with us. Here! He remembered the books and again. Only on the off chance. He found a few books which he had left near the garden gate. Mildred, God bless her, had a couple missed. Four books still lay hidden where he had them. Voices were wailing in the night and flashbeams swirled about. Other Salamanders were roaring engine away, and the police sirens were cutting their way into the city with their sirens. Montag took the four remaining books and hopped, jolted, hopped his way to the alley and suddenly fell as if his head was cut off and only his body was there. Something inside had jerked him to a halt and flopped him down. He was where he had fallen and sobbed, his legs folded, his face pressed blindly to the gravel. Beatty wanted to die. In the middle of the crying Montag knew the truth. Beatty wanted to die. He just was not really trying to save himself, there was only a joke, need assessment, thought Montag, and the idea was enough to stifle his sobbing and let him pause for air. How strange, strange, wanting to die so much that you have a man walk around armed and then instead of shutting down and stay alive, go on yelling at people and making fun of them until you are angry, and then .. . At a distance, running feet. Montag Saturday. Let's get outta here. Come on, get up, get up, you can not just sit! But he was still crying, and that had to be finished. He went away now. He did not want to murder anyone, not even Beatty. His meat seized him and lost as if they were immersed in acid. He gesnoerd foot. He saw Beatty, a torch, not moving, fluttering in the grass. He bit his knuckles. I'm sorry, I'm sorry, oh God, sorry ... He tried to piece everything together, to return to the normal pattern of life a few days ago for the sieve and the sand, Denham's toothpaste, moth-voices, fireflies, the alarms and excursions, too much for a few short days, too much even for a lifetime. Feet were in the far end of the alley. "Get up!" He said to himself. "Damn it, get up!" He said to the leg and was. The pains were spikes driven in the kneecap and then only darning needle needles and then only common, ordinary safety pins, and after he had dragged along fifty more hops and jumps, filling his hand with fuses of the fence, the tingling was someone blowing a spray of scalding water on that leg. And the leg is finally his own leg again. He was afraid that might break out the loose ankle. Now, suck all night in his open mouth, and blows from pale, with black left heavily inside himself, he put out in a steady jogging pace. He carried the book in his hands. He thought of Faber. Faber was back there in the steaming lump of tar that had no name or identity now. He had also burned Faber. He felt so suddenly shocked by this that he felt Faber was really dead, fried like a roach in that small green capsule slide and lost in the pocket of a man who was now nothing more than a frame skeleton strung with asphalt tendons. Do not forget, fires or fires you, he thought. At this moment it is as simple as that. He searched his pockets, the money was there, and in his other pocket he found the usual conch which the city is talking to himself in the cold black morning. "Police Alert. Wanted: Fugitive in city. Has committed murder and crimes against the state. Name: Guy Montag. Occupation: Fireman. Last seen ..." He walked steadily for six blocks in the alley and the alley opened into a wide empty through ten lanes wide. It seemed like a frozen river boat less in the crude light of the high white arc lights, you could drown trying to stabbing, he felt it was too large, it was too open. It was a big stage without scenery, inviting him to run very easily see the lights burning, easily caught, easily shot. The seashell hummed in his ear. "... Watch for a man walk ... let the current man ... looking for a man, closely ... look ..." Montag pulled back into the shadows. Directly ahead lay a gas station, a large part of porcelain snow shining there, and two silver beetles pulling in to fill. Now he must clean and presentable as he wanted to walk, not run, walk quietly on the broad boulevard. It would be an extra margin of safety to him as he washed and combed his hair before he went on his way to get that ..? Yes, he thought, where am I running? Nowhere. There was nowhere to go, no friend to turn to, really. In addition to Faber. And when he realized that he indeed, is to Faber's house, instinctively. But Faber could not hide him, it would be suicide to even try. But he knew he would go to see Faber still for a few short minutes. Faber's the place where he could refuel quickly draining his belief in his own ability to survive. He wanted to know that there was a man like Faber in the world. He wanted to see the man alive and not burned back as a body without a cap in another body. And part of the money should be left with Faber, of course, to be spent after Montag ran on his way. Maybe he could open the country and living on or near the rivers and near the highways, in the fields and hills. A great whirling whisper made him look at the sky. Police helicopters were rising so far away that it seemed someone had blown the gray head off a dry dandelion flower. Two dozen of them flurried, wavering, vacillating, three miles off, like butterflies surprised by the autumn, and then the decrease of soil, one by one, here, there, softly kneading the streets back to where beetles, they shrieked along the boulevards or, as suddenly jumped back into the sir, are continuing their search.

And here was the petrol station, the attendants busy with customers. Approaching from the rear, Montag on men toilet. The aluminum wall he heard a radio voice say: "War is declared." The gas was pumped out. The men in the beetles were talking and the attendants were talking about the engines, the gas, the money owed. Montag was trying to do feel the shock of the quiet statement from the radio, but nothing would happen. The war would have to wait for him to achieve it in his personal file, one hour, two hours from now. He washed his hands and face and towelled himself dry, making little sound. He came from the toilet and close the door carefully and walked in the darkness and the last was back on the edge of the empty boulevard. Since submit a game for him to win a big bowling alley in the cool morning. The boulevard is as clean as the surface of an arena two minutes v √ ≥ √ ≥ r the appearance of certain unnamed victims and certain unknown killers. The sky above the vast concrete river trembled with the warmth of Montag's body alone, it was unbelievable how he felt his temperature, the whole world immediately to vibrate. He was a phosphorescent target, he knew, he felt it. And now he must begin his little walk. Three blocks away a couple headlights glared. Montag has a deep breath. His lungs were like burning brooms in his chest. His mouth was sucked dry from running. His throat tasted of bloody iron and steel was rusty in his feet. What about those lights there? Once you start walking, you should measure how quickly these beetles can make here. Well, how far it was to the other curb? It seemed like a hundred meters. Probably not one hundred, but that figure is, figure that it's very slow, on a nice walk, it can be as much as thirty seconds, forty seconds to run completely. The beetles? Once started, they could leave three blocks behind them in about fifteen seconds. So, even as he began to walk halfway down ..? He put his right foot and then his left foot and then his right. He walked on the empty avenue. Even if the street was completely empty, of course, you could not be sure of a safe crossing for a car could appear suddenly over the rise four blocks further on and on and on you before you had a dozen breaths. He decided not to count his steps. He looked not to the left or right. The light from the overhead lamps seemed so clear and revealing as the midday sun and just as warm. He listened to the sound of the car pick up speed two blocks from his right. The movable headlights jerked back and forth suddenly and caught at Montag. Continue. Montag faltered, got a grip on the books, and forced not to freeze. Instinctively he took a few quick, running steps then talked out loud to himself and went to walk again. He is now half across the street, but the roar of the beetle's engines whined as the higher speed. The police, of course. They see me. But slowly, slowly, quietly, not again, not look, do not seem concerned. Walk, that's it, walk, walk. The beetle was rushing. The beetle was roaring. The beetle raised its speed. The beetle was whining. The beetle was in high Thursday The beetle came skimming. The beetle was in orbit flutes, fired from an invisible gun. It was up to 120 mph. It was up to 130 anyway. Montag clamped his jaws. The heat of the race headlights burnt his cheeks, it seemed, and jittered his eye-lids and flushed the sour sweat from all over his body. He began to shake idiotically and talk with him and when he broke and just ran. He put his legs as far as they would go and then again and down and back and down and back. God! God! He dropped a book, broke pace, almost turned out, changed his mind, plunged on, yelling in concrete emptiness, the beetle scuttling after its running food, two hundred, a hundred meters away, ninety, eighty, seventy, Montag gasping, flailing his hands, legs up down out, up down out, closer, closer, hooting, calling, his eyes burnt white now as his head jerked over to the flashing spotlight, now that the beetle was swallowed in its own light, now it was only a torch hurt development him, all right, all blare. Now-almost on top of him! He tripped and fell. I'm ready! It is over! But it is a difference. An instant before him wild beetle cut and swerved out. It was gone. Montag shelf, his head down. Wisp laughter trailed back to him with the blue exhaust from the beetle. His right hand was extended above him, flat. Across the extreme tip of his middle finger, he saw when he lifted that hand, a weak one sixteenth of an inch of black tread where the band had touched in passing. He looked at that black line with disbelief to his feet. That was not the police, he thought. He looked at the boulevard. It was clear now. A carful of children, all ages, God knew from twelve to sixteen whistling, yelling, hurrahing had seen a man, a very special face, a man walking, a rarity, and simply said, "Let him," not to know he was the fugitive Mr. Montag, just a few children for a long night of roaring five or six hundred miles in a few hours Monday, their face with the icy wind, and coming home or not at dawn, alive or not alive, the adventure. They would have killed me, thought Montag, swaying, the air still torn and stirring about him in the dust, touching his bruised cheek. For no reason at all in the world that they would have killed me. He walked to the far curb tells each foot and to keep going. Somewhere he had picked up the spilled books, he does not remember bending or touching them. He was moving them from hand to hand as they were a poker hand he could not figure. I wonder if they are the ones who slain Clarisse? He stopped and his eyes, he said again, very loud. I wonder if they are the ones who slain Clarisse! He wanted to run after them screaming. His eyes watered. The thing that saved him was flat. The driver of that car Montag down, instinctively as the probability that runs on a body at that speed could turn the car upside down and spill them out. When Montag remained upright target ... ? Montag gasped. Far down the boulevard, four blocks away, the beetle delayed spun about on two wheels, and is now back racing, oblique to the wrong side of the street, picking up speed. But Montag was gone, hidden in the safety of the dark alley where he had a long journey, an hour or was it a minute ago? He stood shivering in the night, looking back as the beetle ran by and skidded back to the middle of the avenue, whirling laughter in the air all about it disappeared. Furthermore, as Montag moved in darkness, he could see the helicopters falling, falling, like the first flakes of snow in the long winter to come ...

The house is quiet. Montag approached from the rear, creeping through a thick smell of damp night daffodils and roses and wet grass. He touched the screen door in back, found it open, slipped in, moved in the porch, listening. Mrs. Black, are you asleep there? he thought. This is not good, but your husband has to others and never asked and never wondered and never worried. And now, because you're a fireman women, it is your house and your turn for all the houses burned your husband and the people he hurt without thinking. The house has not responded. He hid the books in the kitchen of the house and moved back to the alley and looked back and the house was dark and quiet sleep. On his way through the village, with the helicopters fluttering like torn pieces of paper in the sky, he phoned the alarm at a lonely phone booth outside a store that was closed for the night. Then he stood in the cold night air, waiting at a distance he heard the fire sirens start up and run, and the Salamanders coming, Mr. Black is to burn the house while he was away at work, to his wife stand shivering in 's morning air, while the roof let go and collapsed after the fire. But now she was still asleep. Good night, Mrs. Black, he thought.

"Faber!" Another rap, a whisper, and a long wait. Then, after a minute, a small light flickered inside the small house Faber. After another pause, the door opened. They stood looking at each other in the half-light, Faber and Montag, as if each did not believe in the other. Faber then moved and put his hand out and grabbed Montag and moved him in and sat him down and went back and stood in the door, listening. The sirens were wailing off in the morning away. He came in and shut the door. Montag said, "I was a fool all down the line. I can not stay long. I'm on my way God knows where." "At least you were a fool about the right things," says Faber. "I thought you were dead. The audio-capsule I gave you" "Burnt". "I heard the captain talking to you and suddenly there was nothing. I almost came out looking for you." "The captain is dead. He was the audio-capsule, he heard your voice, he went to trace. I killed him with the flame thrower." Faber, and not talk for a while. "My God, how did this happen?" Montag said. "It was just the other night everything was fine and the next thing I know I'm drowning. How many times can a man and still alive, I can not breathe. There is Beatty death, and he was my friend once, and there's Millie gone, I thought she was my wife, but now I do not know. And the house all burnt. And my work and I went on the run, and I planted a book in a fireman's house on the road. Good Christ, the things I've done in a week! " "You did what you had to do. He came for a long time." "Yes, I think, if nothing else I think. The saved to happen. I could feel for a long time, I was saving something up, I went around doing one thing and another feeling. God, it was all. It is a miracle that he not show me as fat. And here I am, brass up your life. They can follow me here. " "I feel alive for the first time in years," says Faber. "I feel I'm doing what I should have done a lifetime ago. For a while I am not afraid. Maybe it's because I'm doing the right thing at last. Perhaps it is because I did a rash thing and not would look cowardly to you. I suppose that I should do more violent things expose myself so I will not fall on the ground and put fear again. What are your plans? " "To keep running." "You know that the war there?" "I've heard." "God, it is not funny?" Said the old man. "It seems so remote because we have our own problems." "I have not had time to think." Montag took a hundred dollars. "I want you to continue with this, use it every way you help when I am gone." "But-" "I would be dead by noon, use it." Faber nodded. "You'd better head for the river if you can follow, and if you hit the old rail lines in the country to follow. Although virtually all the air these days and most of the tracks are abandoned, the rails still there, rusting. I have heard that there are still hobo camps throughout the country, here and there, walking camps they call it, and if you keep walking far enough, and keep an eye peeled, they say that many old Harvard degrees on the tracks between here and Los Angeles. Most of them are wild and hunted in the cities. They survive, I think. There are not many of them, and I think that the government never considered it a big enough threat to go and omit. You can hole with them for a time and contact with me in St. Louis, I am leaving on the bus five AM this morning to see a retired printer there, I'm getting myself out in the open, finally. The money will be used. Thanks and God bless you. Do you have a few minutes of sleep? " "I want to be better implemented." "Let's see." He Montag quickly into the bedroom and the removal of a picture frame aside, revealing a TV screen the size of a postcard. "I always wanted something very small, something I could talk, what I could cover with the palm of my hand, if necessary, nothing that I could scream, nothing monstrous big. So, you see." He hit it. "Montag," the TV said, and lit. "Montage." The name was spelled by the voice. "Guy Montag. Yet walk. Police helicopters are up. A new Mechanical Hound is from another district" Montag and Faber looked at each other. "Mechanical Hound never fails. Never since its first use in tracking quarry has this incredible invention made a mistake. Tonight, this network is proud to have the possibility of the Hound by camera helicopter as it starts on its way to the goal - " Faber poured two glasses of whiskey. "We need this." They drank. "Nose as sensitive mechanical Hound can remember and identify ten thousand odor indices be ten thousand men without again!" Faber trembled the least bit and looked over his house, on the walls, the door, the doorknob, and the seat which now Saturday Montag Montag saw the look. They both looked quickly about the house and Montag felt his nostrils dilate and he knew that he tries to identify himself and his nose was suddenly good enough to feel the path he had made in the air of the room and the sweat of his hand was from the doorknob, invisible, but as many of the jewels of a small chandelier, he was everywhere, in and on and on everything, he was a luminous cloud, a ghost that made breathing once more impossible. He saw Faber stop his breath for fear of drawing that ghost into his own body, may be infected with the phantom exhalations and smells of an active man. "The Mechanical Hound is now landing by helicopter in the area of the fires!" And on the small screen was the burnt house, and the crowd, and something with a sheet and from the sky, fluttering, came the helicopter like a grotesque flower. So they have their game out, thought Montag. The circus must go, even with war beginning within the hour .... He looked at the sc √ ® ne, fascinated, not wanting to move. It seemed so remote and no part of him, it was a game of separation, wonderful to watch, not without its strange pleasure. That's all for me, you thought that everything is made just for me. If he wanted, he could hang here, in comfort, and follow all hunting by rapid stages, the alleys in streets, driving on empty avenues, crossing lots and playgrounds, with pauses here and there for the commercials to other streets to the burning house of Mr and Mrs Black, and so finally to this house with Faber and himself seated, drinking, while the Electric Hound snuffed the last trail, silent as a drift of death itself, skidded to a halt outside that window there. Then, as he wished, Montag might increase, walk to the window, keeping an eye on the TV screen, open the window, lean out, look back and see himself dramatized, described, in which, there, limned in the small light TV screen outside, a drama to be watched objectively, knowing that in other Parlor was large as life, in color, perfect size! And if his eye peeled quickly he would see himself, an instant before oblivion, to be punched in the benefit of how many civilian salon-Sitters who were wakened from sleep a few minutes ago by the frantic sirens of their living room walls to come and see to the big game, hunting, the one-man carnival. Would he have time for a speech? As the Hound seized him, in the light of ten or twenty or thirty million people, he can sum his life in the last week in a single sentence or a word that would stay with them long after it. Hound had turned, clenching him in the metal supplier jaws and hammering off in the dark, while the camera remained stationary, watching the creature dwindle in the distance, a beautiful fade-out! What could he say that in a single word, a few words, that would sear all their faces and wake-up? "There," whispered Faber. A helicopter glided something that was not machine, not animal, not dead, not alive, glowing with light brightness. It was near the smoking ruins of Montag's house and the men that were discarded flame-thrower him and put him under the muzzle of the Hound. There was a whirring, clicking, humming. Montag shook his head and got up and drank the rest of his drink. "It is time. I'm sorry about this:" "About what? Me? My house, I deserve everything. Run, for God's sake. Perhaps I can here-delay" "Wait. There is no use being detected. If I leave, burn the spread of this bed that I touched. Burn the chair in the living room in your wall incinerator. Wipe the furniture with alcohol, wipe the door buttons. Burn the throw-rug in the lounge. Turn the air conditioning on full in all the rooms and spray with moth-spray if you have it. Then turn on your lawn sprinkler section as high as they go and hose the sidewalks. With any luck his , we can kill the trail here, but .. ' Faber shook his hand. "I come often. Success. If we are both in good health, next week, the week after, to come into contact. General Delivery, St. Louis. I'm sorry there is no way I can go with you time, by ear phone. That was good for both of us. But my equipment was limited. You see, I thought I would never use. What a stupid old man. No.. thought there. Stupid, stupid. So I did not a green dot, the right kind for your head. Go! " "One last thing. Fast. A suitcase, get it, fill it with your dirtiest clothes, an old suit, the dirtier the better, a shirt, some old sneakers and socks ..." Faber was gone and back in a minute. They sealed the cardboard box with clear tape. "To the old smell of Mr. Faber and naturally," says Faber sweats on the runway. Montag doused the exterior of the suitcase with whiskey. "I do not want Hound picking two fragrances together. Can I whiskey. I need it later. Christ, I hope this works!" They shook hands again and, out of the door, she looked at the TV. The Hound was on its way, followed by hovering helicopter cameras, silently, silently, sniffing the big night wind. He turned the first alley. "Good-by!" And Montag was the back door lightly, running with the half-empty suitcase. Behind him he heard the lawn-sprinkling system jump up, filling the dark air with rain that fell gently and then with a steady pour all about, washing on the sidewalks and drainage in the alley. He was wearing a few drops of rain with him on his face. He thought he heard the old man call good, but he-wasn't certain. He walked very quickly away from the house, down toward the river.

* * * * * Montag ran. He could feel Hound, like autumn, come cold and dry and fast, like a wind that does not stir grass, not jar windows or disturb leaf-shadows on the white sidewalks as it passed. The Hound no contact with the world. They claim the silence with her, so you could feel the silence building up pressure behind you the whole city. Montag felt the pressure increases, and ran. He stopped for breath, towards the river, to peer through dimly lit windows of wakened houses, and saw the silhouettes of people inside watching their living room walls and the walls of the Mechanical Hound, a breath of neon vapor, spidered along, here and gone, here and gone! Now Elm Terrace, Lincoln, Oak, Park, and the alley toward Faber's house. Ga past thought Montag, do not stop, will not again! On the lounge wall, Faber's house, with its sprinkler system pulsing in the night air. The Hound paused shake. No! Montag held on the windowsill. So! Here! The procaine needle flicked out and in and in. A clear decrease in the stuff of dreams fell from the needle disappeared in the Hound snouts. Montag held his breath, like a double fist in his chest. Mechanical Hound and plunged Faber turned away from the house of the alley again. Montag hit his gaze to the sky. The helicopters were a poet, a great blowing of insects to a single source. With an effort, Montag reminded himself that this is not unusual episode be viewed on his walk to the river, it was in reality his own chess-game he was witnessing, move by move. He cried himself to the press away from this house window, and the fascinating seance going on! Hell! and he was gone and gone! The alley, a street, the alley, a street and the smell of river. Lay out, lay down, leg and down. Twenty million Montag is soon as the cameras caught him. Twenty million Montag running, running as an ancient flickery Keystone Comedy, police, robbers, Chasers and chased, hunters and hunted, he had seen a thousand times. Behind him twenty million silently baying Hounds ricocheted across Parlor, three-cushion shot from the right center wall to wall to wall, road, right wall, wall, center, left wall, gone! Montag jammed his seashell to his ear. "Police suggest entire population in the Elm terrace as follows: Everyone in every house in every street, a front or back door or windows. The fugitive can not escape if everyone in the next minute looks from his house. Ready!" Of course! Why had she done v √ ≥ √ ≥ r! Why, in all years had not already tried this game! Everybody, everybody out! He could not miss! The only man running alone in the night city, the only man that his legs! "When the count of ten now! One! Two!" He felt the city rise. "Three!" He felt the city turn its thousands of doors. Faster! Leg up, leg down! "Four!" The people sleepwalking in their hallways. "Five!" He felt their hands on the doorknobs! The smell of the river was cool and a solid rain. His throat was burnt rust and his eyes were wept dry spinning. He screamed as if this yell would jet him, throw him the last hundred meters. "Six, seven, eight!" The doorknobs turned on five thousand doors. "Nine!" He walked away from the last row of houses on a slope leading to a moving black. "Ten!" The doors opened. He imagined thousands on thousands of faces peering into yards, into alleys and in the sky, faces hidden by curtains, light, night-frightened faces, like gray animals peering from electric caves face with gray eyes colorless, gray and gray tongues thoughts search through the numb flesh of the face. But he was on the River. He hit just to make sure that it really was. He waded in and stripped in the dark on the skin, splashed his body, arms, legs and head with raw liquor, and drank some snuffed his nose. Then he dressed in Faber's old clothes and shoes. He threw his clothes in the river and he wiped out. Then, with the suitcase, he walked into the river until there is no bottom and he was swept away in the dark.

He was three hundred meters downstream as the river reached the Hound. Overhead Projector large rack tion fans of the helicopters remained. A storm of light fell on the river and Montag dived under the big light as the sun had broken into the clouds. He felt the river pull further away in the darkness. When the lights back to the land, the helicopters swerved over the city again, as if they had picked up another trail. They were gone. The Hound was gone. Now there was only the cold river and Montag floating in a sudden calm, away from the city and the lights and the chase, away from everything. He felt like he had a stage behind and many actors. He felt like he left the big seance and noise ghosts. He was from an unreality that was a frightening reality that was unreal because it was new. The black ground moves and he was in the land between the hills for the first time in a dozen years, the stars came out above him, with large processions of Wheeling fire. He saw a large moloch of stars in the sky and threaten to roll over and crush him. He floated on his back when the bag filled and sank, the river was mild and relax, get away from the people who ate shadows for breakfast and steam for lunch and dinner for vapors. The river was very real, but kept him comfortable and gave him the time at leisure, to consider this month, this year and a term of years. He listened to his heart slow. His thoughts stopped rushing with his blood. He saw the moon low in the sky now. The moon and the light of the moon caused by what? The sun, of course. And what light from the sun? Its own fire. And the sun goes on, day after day, burning and fires. The sun and time. The sun and the time and fires. Burn. The river bobbled him gently. Burn. The sun and every clock on earth. Everything came together and became a thing in his mind. After a long time of floating on the country and a short time of floating in the river he knew why he never burn again in his life. The sun burnt every day. It burned Time. The world rushed in a circle and turned on its axis and time was busy burning the years and people still without any help from him. So if he burnt things with the fire and the sun burnt Time, that meant that everything burnt! One of them had to stop burning. The sun is not certain. So it seemed as if it had to be Montag and the people he had worked with a few short hours ago. Somewhere the saving and the introduction had to begin again and someone had to do the saving and keeping one way or another, in books, in records, in the minds of people, a way at all until it is safe, free of moths, silver-fish, rust and dry rot, and men with matches. The world was full of burning of all types and sizes. Now the guild of the asbestos-weaver must open shop very soon. He felt his heel bump land, touch pebbles and rocks, scrape sand. The river was moved to the shore. He looked at the large black creature with no eyes or light, without shape, with only one format that was a thousand miles without wanting to stop its grass hills and forests, which were waiting for him. He hesitated for the comforting flow of the water. He expects the Hound there. Suddenly, the trees can blow a great wind of helicopters. But there was only the normal autumn wind up ga if another river. Why was not the Hound running? Why did the search veered inland? Montag listened. Nothing. Nothing. Millie, he thought. All this country here. Listen to it! Nothing and nothing. So much silence, Millie, I'm wondering how you would take? Would you shout Shut up, shut up! Millie, Millie. And he was sad. Millie was not here and the Hound is not here, but the dry smell of hay blowing from some distant field put Montag on the ground. He remembered a farm he had visited when he was very young, one of the rare occasions that he had discovered that somewhere behind the seven veils of unreality, beyond the walls of Parlor and outside the tin moat of the city, cows chewed grass and pigs Saturday in warm ponds at noon and dogs barked after white sheep on a hill. Now, the dry smell of hay, the motion of the water, made him think of sleeping in fresh hay in a lonely barn away from the loud highways, behind a quiet farm, and under an old windmill that whirred like the sound of the passing years overhead. He was in the large barn loft all night, listening to distant animals and insects and trees, the little movements and stirrings. During the night, he thought, under the loft, he would hear a noise like feet moving, perhaps. He would tense and sit up. The sound would step back and he would look out the loft window, very late at night and see the lights go out in the farm itself, a very young and beautiful woman would sit in a window Unlit braiding her hair . It is difficult to see her, but her face was like the face of the girl so long ago in his past, so very long ago, the girl had known the weather and never burned by the fire-flies, the girl had known what horse flowers meant rubbed off on your chin. Then they would be gone from the warm window and back to the top of its Monday-whitened room. And then, to the sound of death, the sound of the jets cutting the sky into two black pieces beyond the horizon, he would be in the loft, hidden and safe, watching those strange new stars over the edge of the earth, the flight from the soft colors of dawn. In the morning he did not sleep for all the warm scents and sights of a complete country night would have rested and slept him while his eyes were wide and his mouth when he thought testing was a half smile. And there at the bottom of the hayloft stair, waiting for him, the incredible thing. He would step carefully down, in the pink light of early morning, so fully aware of the world that he would be afraid, and are on the small wonder and on the last bend to the touch. A cool glass of fresh milk, and a few apples and pears at the foot of the stairs. This was all he wanted now. Some sign that the immense world would accept him and give him the long time needed to think all things must be considered. A glass of milk, an apple, a pear. He stepped from the river. It rushed at him, a tidal wave. He was crushed by the darkness and the look of the country and the smells million on a wind that iced his body. He fell back under the breaking curve of darkness and noise and smell, his ears roaring. He whirled. The stars poured over his face, such as burning meteors. He wanted to dive into the river again and let it idle him safely down somewhere. This dark land rising was like that day in his childhood, swimming, when from nowhere the largest wave in the history of the memory slammed him in salt mud and green darkness, water burning mouth and nose, retching his stomach, screaming! Too much water! Too much land. Out of the black wall before him, a whisper. One form. In the form of two eyes. The night looking for him. The forest, seeing him. The Hound! After all the running and rushing and sweating it out and half-drowning, for this, this hard work, and find yourself safe and sigh with relief and come out on the land at last only to find ... The Hound! Montag gave one last agonized shout as they were too much for one man. The shape exploded away. The eyes disappeared. The leafpiles flew in a dry shower. Montag was alone in the wilderness. A deer. He smoke heavy musk-like smell mixed with blood and Gummed exhaled breath of the animal, all cardamon and moss and ragweed smell in this huge night where the trees fell on him, pulled away, pulled away, on the pulse of the heart behind his eyes. There should be one billion leaves on the ground, he waded in them, a dry river smelling of hot cloves and warm dust. And the other smells! There was a smell like a cut potatoes from the ground, raw and cold and white from the moon most of the night. There was a smell like pickles from a bottle and a smell like parsley on the table at home. There was a faint odor, like yellow mustard from a jar. There was a smell like carnations from the yard next door. He put in his hand and felt a weed rise up like a child brushing him. His fingers smoke liquorice. He was breathing, and the more he breathed the land in, the more he was filled with all the details of the country. He was not empty. There was more than enough here to fill. There was always more than enough. He walked in the shallow water of the leaves, stumbling block. And in the middle of the strangeness, a familiarity. His foot hit something that rang Dully. He moved his hand on the ground, a yard this way, a shipyard. The line. The track came from the city and rust in the country, through forests and woods, deserted now, by the River. Here is the path to where he went. Here was the only known thing, the magic charm he might need a while, to touch, feel under his feet, as he in the bramble bushes and the lakes of smelling and feeling and touching, the whispers and the blowing down of the leaves. He ran on the track. And he was surprised to learn how he suddenly was a single fact that he could not prove it. Once, long ago, Clarisse had walked here, where he was now.

A half hour later, cold, and moving onto the tracks, fully aware of his entire body, his face, his mouth, his eyes filled with black, his ears filled with sound, his legs prickled with burrs and nettles, he saw the fire forward. The fire was gone, then back as a winking eye. He stopped, afraid he might blow the fire with a breath. But the fire was there and he cautiously approached from a long way. He took most of fifteen minutes before he is very close, and he was from coverage. That small movement, the white and red colors, a strange fire because it meant a different thing to him. It was not light, it was warming. He saw many hands held to its warmth, hands without arms, hidden in the dark. Above the hands, motionless faces that were only moved and tossed and flickered with fire light. He did not know fire could look like this. He had never in his life that he could give to. Even the smell is different. How long he stood he did not know, but there was a foolish and yet delicious sense of it as an animal from the forest by the fire. He was a thing of brush and liquid eye, of fur and muzzle and hoof, he was a thing of horn and blood that smells like autumn if you bled it out on the ground. He was a long long time listening to the warm crackle of the flames. There was a silence gathered on the fire and the silence in the men's faces, and the time there was enough time to sit by this rusting track under the trees and see the world and turn it over with the eyes, as if they were the center of the bonfire, a piece of steel these men were all shape. It was not only the fire that was different. It was the silence. Montag moved to this special silence that was involved in all of the world. Then the voting started and they were talking, and he could hear nothing of what the voice said, but the sound rose and fell silent and the voices were turning all over the world and look at the votes knew the country and the trees and the city determine the course of the River. The voice of all, there was nothing they could not talk, he knew from the rhythm and movement and stirring of curiosity and wonder in them. And then one of the men looked up and saw him for the first or perhaps the seventh time, and a voice called to Montag: "Okay, now you can!" Montag stepped back into the shadows. "It's okay," said the voice. "You are welcome here." Montag walked slowly to the fire and the five old men dressed in dark blue jeans pants and jackets and dark blue suits. He did not know what to say to them. "Sit down," said the man appeared to be the leader of the small group. "Have your coffee?" He watched the dark steaming mixture pour into a collapsible tin cup, which he was immediately off. He sipped it carefully and felt they look at him with curiosity. His lips were scalded, but that was good. The faces around him his beard, but the beards were clean, tidy, and their hands were clean. They had stood up as a guest welcome, and now they sit down again. Montag sipped. "Thanks," he said. "Thank you." "You're welcome, Montag. My name is Granger." He took a small bottle of colorless liquid. "Drink this. They change the chemical index of your perspiration. Half an hour from now you smell like two other people. The Hound after you, the best thing is Bottoms up." Montag drank the bitter liquid. "You stink like a bobcat, but that's okay," said Granger. "You know my name," said Montag. Granger nodded to a portable TV by the fire. "We have looked at the pursuit. Thought you'd wind up south along the river. When we heard that you back around in the forest as a drunken elk, we do not have to hide, as we usually do. Did you that we in the river when the helicopter swung back into the camera over the city. Something funny. The chase is still active. The other way, but. " "The other way?" "Let's see." Granger hit the portable viewer. The picture was a nightmare, condensed, easily passed from hand to hand, in the forest, all whirring color and flight. A voice cried: "The chase continues north of the city! Police helicopters are converging on Avenue 87 and Elm Grove Park!" Granger nodded. "They faking. You threw them off at the river. They can not admit. They know that their audience only so long. The show you have a module ends soon! If they start looking across the river may the whole night. So they are sniffing for a scape goat to end things with a bang. View. They catch Montag in the next five minutes! " "But how-" "Look." The camera, hovering in the belly of a helicopter, now swung down on an empty street. "See that?" Whispered Granger. "It will give you until the end of that street is our victim. See how our camera is? Building the sc √ ® ne. Between Accounts. Little chance. Now, some poor fellow for a walk. A rarity. A bit of a strange. Do not think that the police do not know the habits of queer ducks like that men who walk the morning for the hell of, or for reasons of insomnia. Anyway, the police had it mapped out for months, years. Never know when such information is useful. And today shows it is indeed very useful. It saves face. Oh, God, look there! " The men at the fire bent forward. On the screen, a man turned a corner. Mechanical Hound rushed forward in the viewer, suddenly. The helicopter light shot down a dozen brilliant pillars that built a cage about the man. A voice cried, "There's Montag! The search is done!" The innocent man was confused, a burning cigarette in his hand. He stared at the Hound, not knowing what it was. He probably never knew. He looked at the sky and the wailing sirens. The cameras rushed down. The Hound jumped up in the air with a rhythm and a sense of timing, that is incredibly beautiful. The needle shot out. It was suspended for a moment in their eyes as to the general public to appreciate everything, the raw look of the victims face, the empty street, the steel head a ball metal targets. "Montag, do not move!" Said a voice from heaven. The camera fell on the victim, even if they are in the Hound. Both reached him simultaneously. The victim was seized by Hound and camera in a large spider, clenching grip. He screamed. He screamed. He screamed! Blackout. Silence. Darkness. Montag cried in silence and turned away. Silence. And then, after a while the men sit around the fire, their faces expressionless, an announcer on the dark screen said: "The search is over, Montag is dead, a crime against society Avenged." Darkness. "We take you to the Sky Room of the Hotel Lux for half hour of just-before-Dawn, a program of Granger turned it off. "She has not the man in the face image. Did you notice? Even your best friends can not see if it was you. They scrambled just enough to the imagination. Hell," he whispered. "Hell". Montag said nothing, but now, looking back, sat with his eyes to the blank screen vibrate. Granger Montag touched his arm. "Welcome back from the dead." Montag nodded. Granger went. "You might as well know all of us, now. This is Fred Clement, former occupant of the Thomas Hardy chair in Cambridge in the year before it became an Atomic Engineering School. The other is Dr Simmons from UCLA, a specialist in Ortega y Gasset, Professor West here did quite a bit for ethics, an ancient study now, for Columbia University many years ago. Dominee Padover here gave a few lectures thirty years ago and lost his herd between Sunday and the next for his views . He has been bumming with us some time. Me: I wrote a book called the fingers in the glove, the good relationship between the individual and society, and here I am! Welcome, Montag! " "I am not with you," said Montag at last slowly. "I was an idiot at all." "We are used. We all have the right kind of errors, or we would not be here. When we were separate individuals, all we had was anger. I hit a fireman, when he came to burn my library years ago. I 've been running ever since. You want to join us, Montag? " "Yes." "What do you offer?" "Nothing. I thought I had a part of the Book of Ecclesiastes and maybe a bit of Revelation, but I did not even know now." "The Book of Ecclesiastes would be fine. Where was it?" "Here," Montag touched his head. "Ah," Granger smiled and nodded. "What's wrong? Is not everything?" Said Montag. "Better than OK, perfect!" Granger turned to the priest. "Do we have a book Ecclesiastes?" "One. A man named Harris of Youngstown." "Montag." Granger has Montag shoulder firmly. "Walk carefully. Protect your health. If something should happen to Harris, the book Ecclesiastes. See how important you become in the last minute!" "But I am!" "No, nothing is ever lost. We have ways to shake your clinkers for you." "But I tried to remember!" "Do not try. They come when we need it. All of us have photographic memories, but a lifetime to learn how to block out the things that really. Simmons has worked in the twenty years and now we have the method to where we can remember what that is read once. Would you, one day, Montag, to read Plato's Republic? " "Of course!" "I am Plato's Republic. Like to read Marcus Aurelius? Mr. Simmons is Marcus." "How are you doing?" Said Mr. Simmons. "Hello," said Montag. "I want you to meet Jonathan Swift, the author of that evil political book Gulliver's Travels! And that other fellow is Charles Darwin, and this is Schopenhauer, and this is one of Einstein, and that here on my elbow is Mr. Albert Schweitzer, a philosopher very nice indeed. Here we have all, Montag. Aristophanes and Mahatma Gandhi and Gautama Buddha and Confucius and Thomas Love Peacock and Thomas Jefferson and Mr. Lincoln, if you want. We are also Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. " Everyone laughed quietly. "It can not," said Montag. "It is," replied Granger, smiling. "We're book-burners, too. We read the books and burnt them, afraid they would be found. Micro-filming not pay, we were always traveling, we did not want to bury the film and come back later. Always the chance in discovery. Better to keep the old heads, where nobody can see or suspect. We are all bits and pieces of history and literature and international law, Byron, Tom Paine, Machiavelli, or Christ, it is here. And the hour is late. And the war has started. And we are here, and the city is there, all wrapped in a coat of a thousand colors. What do you think, Montag? " "I think I was blind trying to do things my way, planting books in firemen houses and sending alarms." "You did what you had to do. Conducted on a national level, it might have worked beautifully. But our way is simpler, and we think, the better. Everything we do is keep the knowledge that we think we will should be intact and secure. We are not to incite or anger anyone yet. If we are destroyed, the knowledge is dead, perhaps forever. We are model citizens in our own special way, we walk the old songs, we are in the hills at night, and let the city people. We have stopped and searched occasionally, but there is nothing in our people accuse us. The organization is flexible, very loose and patchy. Some of us have had plastic surgery on our faces and fingerprints. At this moment we have a terrible job we wait until the war started and so quickly to an end. It is not pleasant, but it's not under control, we are the odd minority crying in wilderness. When the war is over, maybe we can some in the world. " "Denk je echt dat ze zullen luisteren dan?" "If not, we will just have to wait. We pass the books to our children, by word of mouth, and let our children wait for their turn on other people. Much is lost in this way, of course. But you can not people listen. They have to come in their own time, wondering what happened and why the world blew among them. It can not be the last. " "How many of you are?" "Thousands on the roads, leaving the rails, this evening, burns on the outside, libraries inside. It was not planned at first. Each man had a book he wanted to remember, and did. Then, over a period of twenty years or so we met, travel, and got the loose network together and make a plan. The most important thing we had to pound into us was that we were not important, we should not be pedantic, we were not to feel superior than someone else in the world. We are nothing more than dust jackets for books, of no significance otherwise. Some of us live in small towns. Chapter One of Thoreau's Walden in Green River, Chapter Two in Willow Farm, Maine. Why is there a city in Maryland, only twenty-seven people, not bomb'll ever hit the city, is the complete essays of a man named Bertrand Russell. Pick up the city, almost, and flip the pages, so many pages a person. And when the war is over, one day, a few years, the books can be written, people will be called in one by one to recite what they know, and we set it in a different kind of Dark Age, when perhaps we have not the whole thing again. But that's the beauty of man, he never discouraged or disgusted that he will do everything again, because he knows very well that it is important and worthwhile to do . "What are we doing tonight?" Asked Montag. "Wait," says Granger. "And move downstream a little way, just in case." He began throwing dust and dirt on the fire. The other men helped, and Montag helped, and there in the desert, the men all moved their hands, the fire together.

They stood by the river in the starlight. Montag saw the luminous dial of his waterproof. Five. Five o'clock in the morning. One year ticked by in an hour, and dawn waiting beyond the far bank of the River. "Why did you trust me?" Montag said. A man moved in the darkness. "The look of you is enough. You have not seen yourself in a mirror lately. Beyond that, the city has never cared so much about us with an extended chase like this to find us. A few crackpots with verses in their heads can not touch, and they know it and we know it, everyone knows that. As long as the huge population does not wander on the adoption of the Magna Carta and the Constitution, it's all right. The firefighters were able to verify that now and then. No, the cities do not disturb us. And you look like hell. " They moved along the banks of the river, go south. Montag tried to the men of the faces, old faces he remembered from the fire light, lined and tired. He was looking for a brightness, a solution, a victory tomorrow that hardly seems to be. Perhaps he had expected their faces to burn and glitter with the knowledge they carry, to glow as lanterns glow with a light in them. But though the light had come from the campfire, and these men had seemed no different from the others on a long race, searched a long search, seen good things destroyed, and now, very late, were gathering to wait for the end of the party and the blowing of the lamps. They were not entirely sure that the things in their head could make the future dawn glow with a purer light, they were sure of nothing save that the books were on file behind their quiet eyes, the books were waiting, with their pages uncut, for customers who might come in later years, with some clean and some with dirty fingers. Montag squinted from one face to another as they walked. "Do not judge a book by its cover," said someone. And they all laughed quietly, moving downstream.

There was a shriek and the jets of the city were gone overhead long before the men looked up. Montag stared back into the city, far below the river, just a faint glow now. "My wife back." "I'm sorry to hear that. The cities will not do well in the next few days," said Granger. "It's strange, I do not miss her, it's weird I'm not much of everything," said Montag. "Even if she dies, I realized ago, I do not think I feel sad. It is not good. There must be something wrong with me." "Listen," said Granger, with his arm and walk with him, in addition to the bushes to let him pass. "When I was a boy my grandfather died, and he was a sculptor. He was also a very friendly man who had a lot of love to the world, and he helped the rehabilitation of the slum in our town, and he toys for us and he did one million things in his life, he was always busy with his hands. And when he died, I suddenly realized I was not crying for him at all, but for the things he did. I wept because he never could do it again, he would never carve out another piece of wood or help us raise doves and pigeons in the backyard or play the violin the way he did, or tell us jokes the way he did. He was part of us and when he died, all actions stopped dead and there was nobody to give them just the way he did. He was individual. He was an important man. I have never been about his death. I often think, what was beautiful carvings never born, because he died. How many jokes are missing in the world, and how many homing pigeons untouched by his hands. He shaped the world. He did things in the world. The world was the failure of ten million fine actions the night came he. " Montag walked in silence. "Millie, Millie," he whispered. "Millie." "What?" "My wife, my wife. Poor Millie, poor Millie. I can not remember something. I think of her hands, but I do not see them doing anything at all. They are at his sides or they lie there on her lap or a cigarette in them, but that's all. " Montag turned and looked back. What have you to the city, Montag? As. What did the others together? Nothing. Granger stood looking with Montag. "Everyone must leave something behind when he dies, my grandfather said. A child or a book or a painting or a house or a wall built or a pair of shoes made. Or a garden planted. Something your hand touched some way so that your soul has somewhere to go when you die, and if people look at that tree or that flower you planted, you are there. It does not matter what you do, he said, as long as you just the way she was touched you into something that looks like you after your hands away. The difference between the man who just cuts lawns and a real gardener is in touch, he said. The lawn-cutter might as well not be there at all, the gardener will be a lifetime. " Granger moved his hand. "My grandfather showed me some V-2 rocket films once, fifty years ago. Have you ever seen the atom-bomb mushroom from two hundred miles up? It's a pinprick, it's nothing. The wilderness around it. "My grandfather came from the V-2 rocket film a dozen times and then hope that one day our cities would open and let the green and the land and the wilderness in order to remind people that we have a little allocated space on earth and that we survive in the wilderness back to take what he has, just as easy as blowing its breath on us or sending the sea to tell us we are not so great. If we forget how close to nature in the night, my grandfather said, one day will come to us because we have forgotten how terrible and really can be. You see? "Granger turned Montag. "Grandfather has been dead for all these years, but if you lifted my skull, by God, in the Convolution of my brains you find the big ridges of his thumbprint. He touched me. As I said earlier, he was a sculptor. "I hate a Roman named Status Quo!" He told me. "Stuff your eyes with wonder," he said, 'live as you drop dead in ten seconds. See the world. It is more than a fantastic dream made or paid in factories. Do not ask for no guarantees security, there was never such an animal. And if there would be related to the great sloth which hangs upside down in a tree all day every day, sleeping its life away. To hell with that, "he said," shake the tree and knock the great sloth on his ass. " "Look!" Cried Montag. And the war began and ended in that moment. Later, the men around Montag could not say whether they really saw. Perhaps the merest flourish of light and motion in the sky. Perhaps the bombs were there, and the jets, ten miles, five miles, one mile, for the merest instant, like grain thrown in the heavens by a great sowing hand, and the bombs drifting with dreadful speed, but sudden slowness, down on the morning city they had left behind. The bombing was in all respects ready, once the jets had sighted their target, alerted their Bombardier five thousand miles per hour, as fast as the whisper of a scythe the war was over. Once the bomb-release was yanked it was over. Now, a full three seconds, all of the time in history, v √ ≥ √ ≥ r the bombs hit the enemy ships themselves were gone half around the visible world, like bullets in which a savage islander can not believe because they invisible, but the heart is suddenly shattered, the body falls in separate motions and the blood is astonished to be freed from the air, the brains unnecessary, some precious memories and amazed, dies. This was not to be believed. It was only a gesture. Montag saw the flirt of a great metal fist over the city and he knew the scream of the airplanes that would follow, would say after the deed, disintegrate, leave no stone on another, perish. Die. Montag held the bombs in the air for a single moment, with his head and his hands reaching helplessly at them. "Run!" He cried to Faber. To Clarisse, "Run!" To Mildred, "Get out, get out there!" But Clarisse, he remembered, was dead. And Faber was in the deep valleys of the country some five AM bus was on its way from one misery to another. Although the desolation had not yet arrived, was still in the air, the number of people can make. Before the bus had run another fifty meters on the highway, its destination would be meaningless, and the place of departure changed from metropolis to junk yard. And Mildred ... Get out, run! He saw her in her hotel room somewhere now in the second half remaining with the bombs a yard, a foot, an inch of its building. He saw her leaning to the big walls of shimmering color and movement, where the family talked and talked and talked to her, where the family prattled and chatted and said her name and smiled at her and said nothing of the bomb was an inch, now half-inch, now quarter-inch from the top of the hotel. Leaning into the wall as all of the hunger of looking would be the secret of her sleepless unease there. Mildred, leaning anxiously, nervously, as if to dive, fall, fall into that swarming immensity of color to drown in its bright happiness. The first bomb found. "Mildred!" Maybe, who would ever know? Perhaps the major stations with their beams of color and light and talk and chatter went first into oblivion. Montag, is flat, go down, saw or felt, or imagined he saw or felt the walls go dark in Millie's face, heard her screaming, because in the millionth part of the time left, she saw her own face reflected there in a mirror instead of a crystal ball, and it was such a wild empty face, all by herself in the room, touching nothing, starved and eating itself, which they finally recognized it as her own and looked quickly on the ceiling and the entire structure of the hotel blasted down on her, that her one million kilo stone, metal, plaster and wood, to meet other people in the hives follows, all on their quick way to the basement where the explosion discard them in its own unreasonable way. I remember. Montag clung to the earth. I remember. Chicago. Chicago, a long time ago. Millie and I. That is where we met! I remember now. Chicago. A long time ago. Brain concussion knocked the air and down the river, was more than the men and domino tiles in a line, blew the water lifting sprays, and blew the dust and the trees above them mourn the death of a great wind south. Montag crushed himself down, squeezing himself small, eyes tight. He blinked once. And at that time saw the city, instead of the bombs in the air. They had displaced each other. For one of those impossible when the city stood, rebuilt and unrecognizable, more than he had ever hoped or sought to be greater than the man had built up finally goûts of Shattered concrete and sparkles of torn metal into a mural hung like a reverse avalanche, one million colors, one million oddities, a door where a window should be a top for a bottom, one side at a time, and then the city rolled over and fell down dead. The sound of her death came after.

Montag, lying there, eyes gritted completed with dust, a fine wet cement of dust in his now closed mouth, gasping and crying, now thought again, I remember, I remember, I remember something else. What is it? Yes, yes, part of the Ecclesiastes and Revelation. Part of that book, part of it, quickly, quickly, before it is removed before the shock is turned off before the wind dies. Book of Ecclesiastes. Here. He said that he has himself in silence, lies flat on the earth shaking, he said the words of the many times and they were perfect without trying and there was no Denham's tooth powder everywhere, it was only the Preacher by him in his eyes , looking for him .... "There," said a voice. The men lay gasping like fish on the grass. It reaches the earth as children hold to familiar things, how cold or dead, no matter what has happened or will happen, their fingers were clawed into the dirt, and they were all screaming for their eardrums burst into their healthy bursting disc , mouth open, Montag shouting with them, a protest against the wind that ripped their faces and tore at their lips, their noses bleeding. Montag watched the great dust settle and the great silence down on their world. And that is because it seemed that he saw every grain of dust and every blade of grass and all that he heard crying and screaming and whispering going on in the world today. Silence fell in the seven dust, and all the free time they might need to look around to the reality of this day into their senses. Montag looked at the River. We go over the River. He looked at the old railway line. Whether we go that way. Whether we walk on the highways now, and we have time for things in ourselves. And one day, after it put us a long time, he'll be out of our hands and our mouths. And many of them will be wrong, but just enough of it will be right. We will just start walking today and see the world and the way the world runs around and talk, the way it really seems. I want everything now. And while none of it will be me when it comes, after a while is it all together inside and it will be me. Look at the world out there, my God, my God, look at it out there, outside me, beyond my sight and the only way to really contact to where it's finally me, where in the blood, where the pumps around a thousand times ten thousand per day. I love the way that you never finished. I will hold tight to the world one day. I have a finger on it, that's a start. The wind is deceased. The other man was a while on the dawn edge of sleep, not yet ready to stand up and start with the daily requirements, the fires and foods, a thousand details to foot after foot and hand after hand. They lay blinking their dusty eyelids. You could hear them breathing fast, then slower than slow ... Montag Saturday. He did not move further, however. The other men were also. The sun was touching the black horizon with a faint red tip. The air was cold and smoke from a coming rain. Silently, Granger arose, felt his arms and legs, swear, swear incessantly under his breath, tears dripping from his face. He shuffled to the river to look upstream. "It is flat," he said, a long time later. "The city looks like a pile of baking powder. It is gone." And a long time afterwards. "I wonder how many knew it was, I wonder how many were surprised?" And across the world, thought Montag, how many other cities dead? And here in our country, how much? A hundred, thousand? Someone hit a game and he got a piece of dry paper from their bag and sliding it in a bit of grass and leaves, and after a while added small twigs that were wet and sputtered but finally caught, and the fire grew larger in the early tomorrow when the sun came up and the men slowly turned from looking up the river and are located on the fire, hard, with nothing to say and the sun colored the backs of their necks as they bent down. Granger unfolded an oilskin with some bacon in. "We have a snack. Then we turn around and walk upstream. They will have our way." Someone with a small skillet and bacon, and the frying-pan was on fire. After a time the bacon began to flutter and dance in the pan and the sputter of filling the morning air with its odor. The men watched this ritual silently. Granger looked into the fire. "Phoenix". "What?" "There was a silly damn bird called a Phoenix back before Christ: every few hundred years he built a pyre and burnt himself up. He should be first cousin to Man. But every time he burnt himself up he sprang from the ashes, he got himself born all over again. And it seems like we're doing the same thing, over and over, but we have one thing the Phoenix never. We know the damn silly thing we just did. We all know the damn silly things we have done for a thousand years, and as long as we know it and always have it around where we can see, one day we will stop making the Goddam pyres and jumping in the middle of them. We get a few people who remember, every generation. " He took the pan from the heat and let the bacon cool and they ate slowly, thoughtfully. "Now, let's go upstream," said Granger. "And stick to one thought: You're not important. You're not everything. On a day the load we carry with us can help someone. But even when we had the books at hand, a long time ago, we have no of what we of them. We went right on insulting the dead. We went right on spitting in the graves of all the poor who died for us. We go to a lot of lonely people in the next week and the next month and following year. And if they ask us what we do, you can say, We remember. That is where we will win in the long term. And one day we will not forget so much that we build the largest Goddam steam shovel in history and the largest burial site of all time and pushing war in and cover it up. Come on, we will build a mirror factory first and which nothing, but the levels for the following year and a long look at them. " They finished eating and set the fire. The day was clear about everything about them as a pink lamp was more pit. In the trees, the birds had flown away now came back and settled down. Montag began walking and after a moment that the others had fallen in behind him, to the north. He was surprised, and moved aside to let pass Granger, but Granger looked at him and nodded him. Montag went ahead. He looked at the river and the sky and the rusting track going back to the farms for which the barns were full of hay, where many people had walked through the night on their way from the city. Later, in a month or six months, and certainly not more than a year, he would walk along here again, and keep right on going until he caught the people. But now there was a long morning walk to the afternoon, and when the men were quiet, because everything to much to think and remember. Maybe later in the morning as the sun was warm and had them, they would begin to talk or just say what they think, to make sure that they were there, to be absolutely sure that things are safe were in them. Montag felt the slow stir of words, the slow simmer. And then in turn, what could he say what he could offer a day like this, to travel a lot easier? Everything has a season. Yes. A time to break and a time to build. Yes. A time for silence and a time to speak. Yes, all that. But what else. What else? Something, something ... And on both sides of the river there was a tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month, and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. Yes, thought Montag, that's the one I will save for the afternoon. For the afternoon ... When we reach the city.