But when Mister Hadj started in on them cowboy songs—well, as sure as I’m standing here, when that man got to crooning a tune he made the earth itself cry. This ain’t just me tale-telling, you hear? I seen tears fall from big red rocks when the old man hummed. Heard stones weep as they parted before him. So when Mister Hadj said that a stone in the road told him where to find Parson Lucifer, I didn’t doubt it.
Carneby and the young woman attend the Apogee Swim, that moment at the height of The City's bound when the air is becalmed. Lifeguards watch over the citizens who swim into the great void with flippers and paddles made of cardboard and tape. The young woman is ecstatic as she ventures out above the green and blue smear of The Earth. They thrash their cardboard fins, flirting with the airy abyss which is the only respite from the numbing continuity of The City.
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