The man continues to try to protect his son, blaming himself and not the boy when the pistol gets left behind. This is similar to an earlier scene in the novel when the boy forgot to turn the gas off on the stove and the man said it was his fault, that he should have checked to make sure both valves were closed.The man continues to struggle with his bloody cough, which foreshadows his death as well as his involuntary abandonment of the boy. Because the man fears he'll soon be leaving his son to fend for himself, it is even more important to him to encourage his son and inspire hope in him. When the man shoots off the flare and says he doesn't think many other people are out there, the boy says he isn't sure what they are doing then, that he doesn't know why they continue with their journey on the road if all hope is lost. The man changes his mind, deciding that it's best to tell the boy that there are
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