He looked around. McVries's head had dropped, and he was walking at the crowd, fast asleep.
Harkness made a coughing, snoring sound. He was walking half-asleep.
He stepped up his pace a little, approaching McVries, who was walking with his chin against his breast, his eyes half-open but glazed and vacant, more asleep than awake.
He jerked his head up, startled. He had been half-asleep again. It was McVries, walking beside him.
"Abraham!" he stage-whispered. "Abraham, you awake?"
He looked around himself, getting a superior, lonely kind of gratification from knowing he was one of the few fully awake and aware.
The guns again, startling him awake, and there was the familiar mailsack thud of another boy going home to Jesus.
He stumbled, almost fell, and came awake with a jerk. Some fool had planted pines on the median strip.
Barkovitch snapped awake. "Wassamatter? Whozat? Garraty?"
He snapped full awake and took two running steps, sending jolts of pain all the way up from his feet to his groin before he realized they had been shooting at someone else, and the someone else was dead, facedown in the rain.
The sound of the halftrack was quiet, almost soothing. Garraty let his head drop forward and semi-dozed as he walked.
"Warning! Warning 47!" An elbow poked him rudely in the ribs. "That's you, boy. Rise and shine." McVries was grinning at him. "What time is it?" Garraty asked thickly. "Eight thirty-five." "But I've been-" "-dozing for hours," McVries said. "I know the feeling."
Baker had awakened from his own doze and had joined them.
"Look, I want to doze a little if I can. You mind?"
Garraty's head dropped. He dozed. The Walk went on.
Garraty's head dropped and he dozed again.
Garraty dozed and dreamed his shadowy dreams of relief and redemption and after what seemed to be an eternity, someone began jabbing him in the ribs. It was McVries.
Garraty tipped his canteen up, swigged deep, recapped it, and began to doze again.
Garraty dozed on fitfully, and the visions in his head were alternately of love and horror.
Garraty dozed again.
The halftrack ground and clattered and Garraty listened for the sound of his number in a warning and dozed deeper.
He waved briefly and dozed again.
He didn't want to wake McVries out of his doze. For the time being it was enough to be close to someone he liked, someone else who had made it through the night.
For Ray Garraty the entire passage was a blurred, sleep-hazed nightmare.
"Into the valley of death rode the four hundred," Garraty muttered, rubbing the sleepy-seeds out of his eyes. "I've heard too many three-gun salutes tonight. Not interested. Lemme sleep."
The crowd's cheers were a constant background to his thoughts. The sound lulled him. He began to doze again, and this time it was the image of Jan that came. For a while he had forgotten all about her. In a way, he thought disjointedly, it was better to doze than to sleep.
Walkers dozed, snorted fitfully, and seemed to pull their belts tighter and resign themselves to a long, barely understood bitterness ahead.
Barkovitch was in a doze.
"Hey, Baker," Garraty said. Baker started, then seemed to shake himself all over, like a dog. "Garraty," he said. "You." "Yea, me." "I was having a dream-an awful real one.