Part 3 (III)
Montag sits there, trying to piece together everything he's seen and done in the last few weeks. But he can't seem to make sense of it. He hears the sound of people approaching, and forces himself to stand up and start moving. The pain in his leg grows less, and soon he can walk again.
Montag realizes he has to visit Faber, even if just for a few minutes, to say goodbye. He also wants to give him the money he promised -- which Montag is still carrying with him. In his pocket, Montag finds his "normal" Seashell, which functions as a city-wide radio. He turns it on -- only to hear that a massive manhunt is being mounted to find him. Everybody in the city has been alerted to keep an eye out for Montag and try to catch him!
Montag keeps walking, and eventually comes to a gas station and a wide street he'll need to cross. He washes up in a gas-station bathroom, hoping he will escape attention if he doesn't look like a fugitive, and starts walking slowly across the street. An approaching car suddenly begins to speed up, and to Montag's horror it chases him down the street, nearly running him down and killing him. Montag is saved only by falling down at the last minute.
At first, Montag thinks this is a police car, but then he realizes it isn't. It is only a car full of teenagers, aged twelve to sixteen, who entertain themselves like all teenagers: by driving recklessly down the highways, killing other people, and risking death themselves. Montag suddenly wonders if this was the car that killed Clarisse, and for a moment he wants to chase after the drivers, shouting. But instead he disappears into the darkness on the other side of the street -- just as well, since the teenagers have turned around and started to come back to chase him again.
On his way to Faber's house, Montag stops in at the house of his fellow fireman, Black. Black, of course, is still out "working" (presumably being revived by the police on Montag's lawn right now). Only his wife is in the house, asleep. Montag plants in the house one of the books he's still carrying, and makes an anonymous call to the firehouse from a pay phone, before continuing on his way. Behind him he can hear the sound of the firemen's sirens approaching.
When Montag makes it to Faber's house, Faber explains that he heard Montag's and Beatty's voices cut off abruptly when Montag set fire to Beatty, and he didn't know what had happened to Montag.
Montag asks, helplessly, if Faber can help explain to him what's happening. He can't think of any way to make sense of what he's seen and done -- or what he's become -- in the past week: Montag has just killed his fire chief. He feels as if he's never known his wife, His house has been burnt down and he certainly isn't a fireman nay more.
Faber tells Montag that he has only done what he needed to do. He also reassures him that he himself, Faber, feels more alive than he has in years. In this world, Faber feels, people like himself and Montag have no other choice but to do what they are doing, no matter how insane it may seem. Faber wishes he'd had the courage to do it years ago.
Faber tries to help Montag make plans for the future. He reminds Montag that war has recently been declared; Montag had known this, but hasn't really had time to think about it. Montag says he plans to keep running. He gives his money to Faber, telling him to use it, since he himself may be dead by the next day.
Faber advises Montag to follow the river out into the country, and then, if he can, to find and follow the old railroad tracks. The railroads are abandoned now (since everyone uses airplanes), but it's said that some elderly intellectuals live in hobo camps along the rails -- "they say there's lots of old Harvard degrees on the trails between here and Los Angeles." Faber himself plans to catch a five A.M. bus out to St. Louis, to meet with a retired printer there and put Montag's money to use copying books. After that, he will also flee into the open countryside.
They turn on Faber's (very small) portable TV to check the status of the hunt. From the TV announcer, the two discover that the chase to find Montag is still in full force. Another Mechanical Hound has been brought in from another district, and the TV cameras will follow the hunt as the Hound tracks down and kills Montag.
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Points to Ponder
Did You Know
Part 1 (I)
Part 1 (II)
Part 1 (III)
Part 1 (IV)
Part 1 (V)
Part 2 (I)
Part 2 (II)
Part 2 (III)
Part 3 (I)
Part 3 (II)
Part 3 (III)
Part 3 (IV)
Part 3 (V)
Part 3 (VI)