There is no question that I am the only thing standing between these animals and the business practices of August and Uncle Al, and what my father would do--what my father would want me to do--is look after them, and I am filled with that absolute and unwavering conviction. No matter what I did last night, I cannot leave these animals. I am their shepherd, their protector.
And then I laugh, because it's so ridiculous and so gorgeous and it's all I an do to not melt into a fit of giggles. So what if I'm ninety-three? So what if I'm ancient and cranky and my body's a wreck? If they're willing to accept me and my guilty conscience, why the hell shouldn't I run away with the circus? It's like Charlie told the cop. For this old man, this IS home.