In Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451, how does Montag escape from the hound? Where does he hide?
As Montag watches the television in Faber's home, the announcer says the following about the Mechanical Hound:
"--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 opportunity to follow the Hound by camera helicopter as it starts on its way to the target . . . nose so sensitive the Mechanical Hound can remember and identify ten thousand odor indexes on ten thousand men without resetting!" (133).
Montag watches as the television crew follows the Hound around town following his scent. The Hound starts at Montag's house where Beatty was killed by his own flamethrower. Once Montag knows for sure that the Hound has his scent and is on the way, he tells Faber what to do. First, Faber must burn everything Montag has touched. Then, he is to turn on the air-conditioning all the way up, spray the house with bug spray, and turn on his outside sprinklers. Montag then asks for Faber's dirtiest clothes in a suitcase and the whiskey.
Once Montag reaches the river, he wades out into the middle of it and undresses. Then he splashes the whiskey on his body, drinks some, and puts on Faber's old clothes. Next, he lets his clothes wash down the river as he wades deeper into the middle of it. Once he cannot stand anymore, he lets himself be swept away. He hasn't gotten down the stream more than 300 yards when the Hound and the helicopter approach the river; so, Montag dives to avoid the lights and the Hound's sense of smell.
"Then the lights switched 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 peacefulness" (140).
It's pretty clever how Montag gets away. He uses water, bug spray, fire, whiskey, old clothes, and his quick wits to escape the nemesis that once worked with him, not against him. Montag's understanding of how the Hound works eventually enables him to trick it and escape.
It is important to note that Montag had to escape from the hound on two separate occasions. The first instance was after Montag killed Beatty and the mechanical hound pounced on him. Immediately after the hound stabbed Montag with the needle, he used the flame gun to blow it up into pieces. After this, he walked to his colleague’s house where he planted books and phoned the alarm so as to divert the helicopters that were surveying from the sky. He made his way to Faber’s house where he learned from Faber’s small telescreen that a new mechanical hound from a different district had arrived to hunt him down. Knowing the spectacular power of the hound in detecting odors, Faber served the two of them whiskey that would help mask Montag’s odor.
Before leaving Faber’s house, Montag instructed Faber to burn everything he had touched in the incinerator and wipe all the furniture and door knobs with alcohol. In addition to that, Faber was to turn the air conditioner to maximum and use moth spray to rid the air of any trace of Montag. Outside, Faber was to turn on the sprinklers in his lawn to clean the sidewalks on which Montag walked to and from the house. He also carried the remaining whiskey, Faber’s dirty clothes, socks and sneakers in a tightly closed suitcase to change into later.
After Montag had left, Faber did as required of him and got rid of any trace of Montag in his compound or house. Once Montag had left Faber’s house, he ran to the river where he undressed, splashed himself with the whiskey, drunk some and then changed into Faber’s clothes. His old clothes were washed away by the river and so was he. On spotting the helicopters’ lights hovering above the river, he knew the hound had got to the river and so he submerged himself in the water until they retreated. Montag was pushed further and further away to safety. That is how he managed to escape from the mechanical hounds on both occasions.
Montag goes to Faber for help in escaping the search party. He and Faber trick the hound by confusing Montag's scent. Faber is to go to St. Louis on a bus, and Montag runs from the searchers, including the hound. Montag reaches the river and wades into the middle of the river. The mixed scent Montag gave off and reaching to the water saves his life. The hound can't venture into the water and he loses the scent. The search party turns back toward the city and Montag goes into the forest.