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CHAPTER SUMMARY AND NOTES
Will, lying in bed, is glad to be back in the safety of his home. He can hear his father quietly talking to himself, repeating the word 'three.' Will realizes that 'three' was the time the train arrived, and he desperately hopes his father did not follow the train as he and Jim had. Will is, however, unsure as to why he is frightened at the thought of his father having followed the train.
Charles perches on the side of his bed and once again considers why the train might have arrived at three in the morning. He realizes that at three in the morning, women are asleep, but middle-aged men are feeling a complete sense of hopelessness. Charles goes on to consider that three a.m. is the time, according to doctors, when you're the nearest to dead, when your soul has left your body.
Will's sense of safety in his home is once again shattered by his father and thoughts of the carnival. Will knows something is evil about the carnival, but he doesn't understand it. He first felt it when Charles burned the carnival advertisement, and it is growing. Charles' thoughts of why the carnival arrives at three a.m. highlights the sense of hopelessness he representatively feels for all middle aged men who ceaselessly wish to be something they can't: youthful. His inability to answer his wife at the end of the chapter again represents his sheer inability to communicate any of his feelings, something that will cause problems for both he and Will as the novel continues.