The cold February air passes through Devin’s coat and chills him to the very bone. He sits huddled with two other men on a flat car carrying machinery. They’re crouched behind a large slab of metal in an attempt to block the wintry wind, but it does little good. Well, at least it’s not snowing. The whipping wind and the clacking of the steel wheels upon the steel tracks preclude conversation.
Devin hugs himself tightly as the countryside slides by. The bare, leafless trees stand as silent sentinels in fields of snow, patiently awaiting spring. Here and there, a lonely cow or horse stares at the train as it passes. But none of that makes the slightest impression on Devin. He’s thinking back to the boardinghouse and the last time he spoke with Mary Callahan.