In this last part of Fahrenheit 451, Guy Montag makes his escape and meets the community about whom Faber has told him, a community who invite him to live among them.
[This summary will begin after a break on the page that then begins with "He was three hundred yards downstream when the Hound reached the river."]
As Montag floats down a river to disguise his scent from the Mechanical Hound, he feels as though he has left behind some kind of drama, and is moving from an unreality to something real. Contemplating the moon and its light from the sun that always burns, Montag decides that he must no longer burn because the sun burns, too, and it burns Time. So, if he burns also, everything will pass; instead, the saving and beginning must recommence.
Some time later, Montag steps out of the river and finds a hay loft in which to rest. There he continues in his meditations on nature, considering how Mildred would react and reminiscing about the delightful Clarisse. In the morning, Montag finds the railroad tracks, the path to wherever he is going. Somehow Montag feels as though Clarisse has walked this path before. In less than a hour, he sees a fire, "A strange fire because it meant something different: It was warm. Around it stands men as they talk. Soon, one of the men looks up and seeing him, calls out, "You can come out now."
A man named Granger introduces himself and hands Montag something to drink that will disguise his scent. Then, he indicates that they have a portable television set and have been watching the news about the search for him. Further, Granger tells Montag that the government will have to find a scapegoat for Montag soon because the attention span of the people is too short to be sustained.
It is not long after this conversations that the men hear a voice on the television cry out, "There's Montag! The search is done!" As the camera zooms in, the man is attacked by the Hound, and the man screams and screams as he is made the scapegoat for the government when the Mechanical Hound leaps into the air striking him and killing him. Soon, the men hear an announcer on the television declare the search finished as a blurred face of the "criminal Montag" is displayed.
Granger touches Montag's arm, saying, "Welcome back from the dead." Montag is safe now because the search for him is ended. He is introduced to the other men. Impressed with the credentials of these men who have been professors and specialists, Montag says, "I don't belong with you....I've been an idiot all the way." But the men tell him that they, too, have made mistakes--the "right kind of mistakes"--or they would not be standing there, and they invite him to join them. They are the preservers of knowledge, having each memorized pieces of history. literature, and international law. Some have had surgery to disguise their faces, but most of the time if they are stopped and searched, there is nothing to incriminate them, so they are not arrested. They await the time that people will finally realize that something has happened to the world. Then, all the thousands who have memorized books will be called in and things be put back into print again. And they will return important ideas to the people.
Granger then tells Montag of his grandfather, who was a sculptor. This man left something valuable for men when he died, Granger remarks. This is what men should do. In a short while, Montag cries, "Look!" because the war has begun and the bombs begin to fall. Sadly, he imagines Mildred dying in her hotel room. The men lie face down during the bombing, the rise to build another fire. Granger is reminded of the mythological Phoenix that also rose from ashes; he tells the others that they will remember and will meet lonely people who will need them.
Soon, the men begin to walk and after a short time, others follow them. Montag feels the "slow stir of words, the slow simmer." He prepares himself for what he can say to others that will be meaningful.