Toward the blinding afternoon of that day he saw strange lakes and pools spread out upon the distant sand and inverted mountain ranges stretching to the horizon.
Fate crept closer to his heels, waiting with the dumb patience of the desert to claim the struggling, impotent puppet whose little day was all but spent.
He stumbled across the blazing bars of steel that marked the railroad. His empty canteen clattered on the ties as he fell. He got to his knees and dragged himself from the track. He laughed, for he had thwarted Fate this once; he would not be run over by the train. He lay limp, wasted, scarcely breathing.
Serenely Fate crouched near him, patient, impassive....
He heard a man speak and another answer. He felt an arm beneath his head, and water.... Water!
He drank, and all at once his strength flamed up. It was not water they gave him; it was merely the taste o