The boy was sitting on the steps when he saw something move at the rear of the house across the road. A face was looking at him. A boy, about his age, wrapped in an outsized wool coat with the sleeves turned back. He stood up. He ran across the road and up the drive. No one there. He looked toward the house and then he ran to the bottom of the yard through the dead weeds to a still black creek. Come back, he called. I wont hurt you. He was standing there crying when his father came sprinting across the road and seized him by the arm.
[The Man:] What are you doing? he hissed. What are you doing?
[The Boy:] There's a little boy, Papa. There's a little boy.
[The Man:] There's no little boy. What are you doing? (131.1-131.4)
When he woke the fire had burned down and it was very cold. The boy was sitting up wrapped in his blanket.
[The Man:] What is it?
[The Boy:] Nothing. I had a bad dream.
[The Man:] What did you dream about?
[The Boy:] Nothing.
[The Man:] Are you okay?
[The Boy:] No.
He put his arms around him and held him. It's okay, he said.
[The Boy:] I was crying. But you didnt wake up.
[The Man:] I'm sorry. I was just so tired.
[The Boy:] I meant in the dream. (252.1-252.11)
He'd come down with a fever and they lay in the woods like fugitives. Nowhere to build a fire. Nowhere safe. The boy sat in the leaves watching him. His eyes brimming. Are you going to die, Papa? he said. Are you going to die?
[The Man:] No. I'm just sick.
[The Boy:] I'm really scared.
[The Man:] I know. It's all right. I'm going to get better. You'll see.
His dreams brightened. The vanished world returned. (257.1-258.1)