Whether or not, he felt very much at home in this state. It was to places like this that they had sent him all over the world in defense of New York, until he had come almost to believe that the concrete caverns and towers he seemed dimly to remember, the pale people themselves, were no more than childhood fantasies he had dreamed for himself. He had felt little urge to try to find them again. Hopefully he had followed the Cat out to the new coast, only to find there the same grotesque imaginary cities already erected and fanatically maintained by old children. It was his loss alone that he could not play at their game with them, but he could not. He had been born in New York, taught the rules in New York and New England, yet it seemed to him that he had been holding his breath until he reached Arivada, New Africa. Here the dream cities, no matter whether adobe or gold, had long ago been abandoned, thus had collapsed, and all that remained was the earth. It spread around him as drab and coarse as an old army blanket, inviting only those weary with fighting or dying, overlooked by the children. If still in one piece the whole world would look like this in old age - Arivada was ready, but could Manhattan support mesquite?