How we cite our quotes:
As they passed the last of the sad wooden buildings something whistled past his head and clattered off the street and broke up against the wall of the block building on the other side. He grabbed the boy and fell on top of him and grabbed the cart to pull it to them. It tipped and fell over spilling the tarp and blankets into the street. In an upper window of the house he could see a man drawing a bow on them and he pushed the boy's head down and tried to cover him with his body. He heard the dull thwang of the bowstring and felt a sharp hot pain in his leg. Oh you bastard, he said. You bastard. He clawed the blankets to one side and lunged and grabbed the flare gun and raised it and cocked it and rested his arm on the side of the cart. The boy was clinging to him. When the man stepped back into the frame of the window to draw the bow again he fired. The flare went rocketing up toward the window in a long white arc and then they could hear the man screaming. (362.1)
So The Man and The Boy are supposed to be carrying "the fire," right? And the fire represents goodness and compassion, or at least non-evil tendencies, right? So it's really sad to see The Man have to use the flare gun as a weapon instead of as a signal to the other "good guys" (or God). The flare gun becomes a violent weapon with which to set other people on fire instead of a megaphone to shout "We're here!" It's distressing, but The Man and The Boy have to protect themselves, since America isn't remotely safe anymore.