It is the day of the hanging. Nat and Hark are still in their adjoining cells. It is early in the morning, and both men are asleep. Nat is having one of his reoccurring dreams. He is in a small boat, floating down a river toward the ocean. Surrounding the river is a forest wilderness that looks untouched by man. He hears the sound of ocean waves crashing on the distant shore. Though the sound is loud and somewhat menacing, Nat is relaxed. Nothing disturbs him. He has found peace.
As he nears the mouth of the river, he sees a white building up ahead. He has no idea what the building represents, why it is there, or what activities might be taking place inside. He senses that it is not a temple or other type of monument. Though it might be a relic from all times past and future. He senses that the building is a mystery that no one can solve. The building has no doors or windows, so there is no way to penetrate it. Nat reflects that neither windows nor doors would help him understand the building anyway. Inside, he thinks, he would only discover more complex mysteries. Instead of thinking about the building any further, Nat turns his head and his thoughts toward the ocean.
When Nat awakens from this dream, he taps on the wall between his and Hark's cell. He knocks until Hark stirs. When Hark responds, Nat tells him that they will be going soon. Hark replies that he is aware of this and only wishes they would hurry up and get it over with. Hark's wounds have not been properly cared for. He is stiff and in pain. Like Nat, Hark is heavily bound in chains. He cannot stand up on his own. Hark tells Nat that Mr. Gray has told him that they will have to hang him while he is strapped in a chair. As usual, Hark's good sense of humor comes into play. He finds it amusing that he will be...
(The entire section contains 531 words.)
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