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It is March, almost summer again and Jake Blount is always quite busy running the Sunny Dixie Show. He is plagued by a headache that will only abate when he drinks a small amount of alcohol. He has gotten to a stage where he doesnít need much to drink to get drunk. He cannot sleep and he has a recurring dream that haunts his waking hours. He cannot remember the contents of the dream, but it is very different in quality than his usual drunken nightmares. He seems to be in a big crowd and carrying something. He can remember nothing else of the dream. He wonders if he was trying to save some possession or steal something.
He has met the writer of the signs. He is a born again preacher named Simms, who himself seems to be mad. Once Jake showed him the scar on his hand and intimated that he had other signs on him. Simms had blanched, but then when Jake laughed at him, Simms called him a blasphemer and urged him to repent. One night at the carnival, Jake has to break up a fight between two women, one European-and one African-American. He has to keep alert since fights seem to be so immanent. Jake has been having trouble with two of the other operators of the carnival. One night he hears them talking about him, making fun of the fact that he is so short, laughing at his crazy speeches, and Jake came upon them and yelled at them for talking about him. He tells them to talk to him and he will explain things to them.
He feels as if Singer is the only one who can help him. One day he goes to Singerís apartment and finds the room empty. He sits in the room alone for two hours. He finally hears Singer return. When he asks what has kept him, Singer tells him about Willieís double amputation. Jake becomes excited and decides he must speak to Willie and organize people to do something about it.