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1997, September-October

            Jarod took him to a cabin by a lake. They spent a week in the openness and stillness, getting to know one another, mostly “Smith” getting to know Jarod and the peculiarity of his life.

            The obstinate old man lived days longer than expected. Jarod knew he was defying death, just as he had defied the Village, even when it was inevitable, living—and dying—on his own terms. Then one evening, as the sun was going down, Number Six died as he had lived, a free man.

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