Last Updated on May 5, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 427
As Edgar and the dogs cross the sunflower field, Edgar notices a water tower with the name “Lute” painted on it. He approaches an isolated farmhouse and finds that it is unlocked. Entering, he leisurely takes food, giving some of it to the dogs. He looks specifically for insect repellant to deal with the mosquitoes but finds none. When he is satiated, Edgar leaves and begins walking along the train tracks. Suddenly, Tinder yelps in pain. At first, Edgar thinks the dog has been bitten by a snake, but he discovers a jagged piece of glass in his paw. Cutting his own thumb, Edgar manages to hold Tinder down and extricate the piece of glass. Both his cut and the dog’s are sufficiently deep that Edgar thinks they might need stitches. Edgar picks up Tinder, leaving his fishing pole and backpack by the tracks, and returns to the farmhouse. A man with a morose expression on his face brings Edgar medicine for the dog and himself. Edgar carefully cleans Tinder’s cut, applying the medicine the man provided. He signs to the man that he is not deaf but he cannot speak. The man understands and seems sympathetic, thinking that the behavior of the dogs is far from ordinary. He introduces himself as Henry Lamb and tells Edgar he may sleep on the couch.
The next morning, Henry leaves for work early. He asks Edgar what his plans are, but Edgar has no idea. Henry asks him not to steal from him (which Edgar has already done) and to lock the door if he decides to leave. He says his first instinct is to call the police to report that he has found a missing child, but he tells Edgar that his first instincts are always bad. He warns him that he may change his mind, however. During the day, Edgar cleans himself up and tends to Tinder’s wounded paw. In the afternoon, he takes the dogs out to the field and hides, not sure yet what he wants to do concerning Henry. When Henry returns and finds Edgar gone, he sets up a table and chairs in the yard and begins to grill some bratwurst. As he had planned, Edgar is overpowered by the scent of food and joins Henry for dinner. He does not tell Henry his name when he asks, but he tells him the names of the dogs. That night, Edgar and the dogs sleep outside on the stoop. He wonders why he did not want to tell Henry his name.