Study Guide

Timescape Chapter 43

By Gregory Benford

Chapter 43

1998

  • Peterson rolls up to his farmhouse. For years, he's been preparing the place, reinforcing the walls, stocking up on food, furnishing the place with his comforts. The farmhouse has become a fort ready to withstand any assault—be it time, nature, or other people.
  • For a moment, he wonders if he should have brought Sarah or even Marjorie, but he ultimately decides that the person he would really need here is someone like Markham.
  • A man from the village approaches, noticing Peterson has returned.
  • The village man brings bacon and dried beef, but when Peterson tries to put it on the account, the man says he wants payment in vegetables and tinned goods.
  • Peterson detects an edge in his voice.
  • Inside, Peterson has tea with his dementia-suffering aunt and reticent uncle.
  • Afterward, Peterson goes to the library and has a cigar. He thinks back to the village man and realizes that beneath the civilized niceties there was a clear threat: food for security.
  • Peterson realizes that now that he is here, he cannot leave.