Days later I find a farmer who wants the roof of a barn done. By the afternoon of the second day they come for me. Had it been yesterday or even this morning I would not have seen them. Four of them already in the barn lot in a green bog of manure and mud. One has a shotgun, the others pistols in belt holsters. Nothing identifies them as cops but it doesn’t matter.
I jump off the roof and make a perfect landing and hear one of them yell. I run along the side of the barn and at the corner one of them pops up and hits me with a slat with a noise that resonates through me. I pitch headlong into dried chaff, springing up and running across the fence and through the chickenyard and hoglot where a boar comes up out of a wallow with a screech and charges me.
I can hear the pursuing man yelling Goddamn Goddamn as the boar charges him. The man goes sliding across pig shit and I hear the slat whacking on the side of the boar. I run on through waisthigh grass up a steep hill listening for the shot but it doesn’t come. When I look back they are deployed across a field a hundred feet below me. The shotgun is raised and a black flower blooms around me just before I hear the shot. The pellets go up my back like wasps.
I come out running and go into a glade of pines, dodging the trees. I run along a ravine until it draws away to the right, then slide down an embankment and jump across a creek at the bottom. I stop and after a while I vomit. I hear voices and sounds of pursuit in the distance and after a while they cease. Later I go on and walk across a field attended by grasshoppers catapulting from the sedge.
When I am tired enough to drop I fall asleep in the woods.