heard Goat's cry floating out of the forest, saying "Jamie Lockhart is the
bandit of the woods! And the bandit of the woods is Jamie Lockhart!"
"Now there must be a choice made,” he said. He walked away into the forest and placed the stones in a little circle around him and sat unheeded in the pine grove.
"What exactly is this now?" he said, for he too was concerned with the identity of a man, and had to speak, if only to the stones. "What is the place and time? Here are all possible trees in a forest, and they grow as tall and as great and as close to one another as they could ever grow in the world. Upon each limb is a singing bird, and across this floor, slowly and softly and forever moving into profile, is always a beast, one of a procession, weighted low with his burning coat, looking from the yellow eye set in his head." He stayed and looked at the place where he was until he knew it by heart, and could even see the changes of the seasons come over it like four clouds: Spring and the clear and separate leaves mounting to the top of the sky, the black flames of cedars, the young trees shining like the lanterns, the magnolias softly ignited; Summer and the vines falling down over the darkest caves, red and green, changing to the purple of grapes and the Autumn descending in a golden curtain; then in the nakedness of the Winter wood the buffalo on his sinking trail, pawing the ice till his forelock hangs in the spring, and the deer following behind to the salty places to transfix his tender head. And that was the way the years went by.