Montag has been revealed to be a book-stealer, and after he is forced to kill his superior he goes on the run. The entire city tunes in to watch the chase, and after meeting with Faber one last time, Montag manages to escape the second Mechanical Hound by floating down the river. When he gets out, he finds a group of hobos led by a man named Granger who walk along the train tracks; it is revealed that these hobos are book readers who memorize books and then destroy them, passing them on as oral tradition. As Montag and the men watch, the city is destroyed by bombers, and Montag feels sorrow for his wife and for all the other people who were unable to break free from the collectivism of the city. Granger explains more of his philosophy, and then says:
"We'll have a bite. Then we'll turn around and walk upstream. They'll be needing us up that way."
(Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451, Google Books)
The men will go to the next city over, where there might be survivors. There, they can begin the colossal task of rebuilding society, and this time Granger says they will take time to remember history and not erase it, as the previous society had done. As they walk, Montag tries to remember the verses from Ecclesiastes that he had memorized, and realizes that for the first time in his life, he is moving towards construction, not destruction.