The hills across the valley of the Ebro were long and white. On this side there was no shade and no trees and the station was between two lines of rails in the sun. Between the rail lines were coils of concertina wire. Close against the side of the station there was the warm shadow of the building and a curtain, made of strings of bamboo beads, hung across the open door into the bar, to keep out flies. The flies were always there even when the walking dead were not. The American and the girl sat at a table in the shade, outside the building. The shotgun lay on the table between them. It was very hot and the express from Barcelona would come in forty minutes, if it came at all. It used to stop at this junction for two minutes and went to Madrid. There was talk that Barcelona had been emptied, that los muertos were the only ones left. They had passed the city a few days ago, but that was at night, and who could tell the dead from the living in darkness? What was true, the American thought, was true at first light.