On his second day in the forest, Equality 7-2521 hears steps behind him. When the steps come closer, he recognizes the form of the Golden One. She is too overcome initially to speak, but he asks how she came to be in the forest. She says that she followed him and tells him that the whole city speaks of his escape. On the night of the day she heard of his escape, she fled from the Home of the Peasants, entered the forest, and followed the trail he had left. Her tunic is torn and her skin is cut, but she takes no notice of either. She is not afraid. She tells him that she will go where he goes, that she will face the dangers he faces and share the fate that befalls him. If he dies, then she will die with him. She says he may do as he pleases with her, but he must not send her away. She kneels before him. Equality 7-2521 does not understand what happens next. He bends to raise her to her feet, but when
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