Looking through crisscrossings of blackberry vines, Gable could see an early sky in flashing tatters, and he knew the heat knotted thick and wiry outside. Disturbed, he had been watching for rain clouds since the night before, but even now, though it was way past daybreak, there were none in view; only fuzzy leaves, fluroscoped intricately in the sunlight, wiggled finely above him.

Slowly he rubbed his eyes, watching a butterfly blow through the triangular opening of branches, jerk down the deep tunnel and turn out of sight. He had crouched so long in the narrow passage that his back twinged from the cramped position. As he looked about him again, at the berries darkening all along the tunnel’s ceiling, he hated the knowledge that his whole wild field was to be burned, his field destroyed before the berries ripened, before he could sell them as Marv and he had planned so carefully.

He needed to sell the berries to run away. If Marv were only here to help, but he had moved. Saving the berries was up to him; there was no other way.