Every day, in the intense Arizona sunlight, the cars streamed by along the highway, crossing the desert towards California, and the old lady sat in a rocking-chair on the cement porch of the tourist cabin and counted them. She was a fragile and shrunken old lady, her face soft, blurred, yellowish-white like old putty, with delicate traceries of blue veins embedded in her temples; she wore a nightgown and a flannel bathrobe, canvas slippers, and a wide-brimmed straw hat from under which hung loose wisps of white hair; her gaze, though intent on the passing automobiles, was mild and innocent of meaning, and as she counted, she chuckled and giggled to herself. “Two hundred and seventeen... two hundred and eighteen... two hundred and nineteen... two hundred and... two hundred and... oh, I’ve lost count again,” she announced with a bemused smile, appealing to the little boy beside her.
“Two hundred and twenty-five, now,” said Dick. He sat on the cement stoop, his elbows on his knees, his chin cupped in his hands, staring so directly into the sweltering highway that his eyes smarted. He wore Levi's and a fringed buckskin jacket, a cowboy hat, boots, and had a pistol strapped to his side. He was nine years old and he didn’t much care for this game.