Tian Jaffords was plowing his field using his sister Tia Jaffords to pull the plows while he handled the reigns. Andy arrived. He was a seven-foot tall robot. His chest had a metal plate with the following information:
NORTH CENTRAL POSITRONICS, LTD.
IN ASSOCIATION WITH
La MERK INDUSTRIES
Design: MESSENGER (Many Other Functions)
Andy announced the Wolves would arrive in the Calla in thirty days. With that news Tian and Tia went home. Tia was about eight feet tall. She was very large and she wasn’t smart; she was roont.
Zalia Jeffords, Tian’s wife, took the news hard. They had two sets of twins and a singleton. With the impending raid of the Wolves she knew one of each of the twins would be stolen by the Wolves. Months later the stolen children would return on a train car from Thunderclap. The kidnapped children returned from the Wolves with their intelligence gone, dehydrated and roont. Some didn’t return at all. The returned children would experience extreme and painful growth spurts in their teens and for eighteen months they would scream in pain. By the time they were thirty or forty they became bald and died of early onset aging.
Tian sent a feather around for a meeting at the Calla’s Gathering Hall. The town men were divided on fighting the Wolves this time. After a series of hostile arguments against fighting they were interrupted by Pere Callahan. He told them to shut up their “chicken shit” and learn about how the ranchers and farmers can stand against the armed killers. Callahan told them a six-day ride from here along the Path of the Beam, were three gunslingers and one ‘prentice. Callahan turned toward Ben Slightman enlisting his support. Callahan asked for riders to go meet with the gunslingers. Jafffords, Callahan, Overholser and Jorge Estrada volunteered. Callahan explained gunslingers are forbidden to take reward because they descend from the line of Arthur Eld. Callahan got the general agreement to ride and ask the gunslingers for help.
The number nineteen became an important number to the ka-tet. Jake has found large muffin-balls and everyone was grateful for some food. Jake told them four men were watching him pick muffin-balls. Roland had noticed them yesterday. They slept that night under the influence of the muffin balls. Jake, Eddie and Oy went Todash to New York City. Jake saw himself. It was May 31st, 1977; the day Jake saw the rose. As they followed Jake, something was wrong. Jake 1977 goes into the Manhattan Restaurant of the Mind where he bought Charlie the Choo-Choo. The man who ran the book store was named Calvin Tower. Jake noticed that the author of Charlie the Choo-Choo had changed from Beryl Evans to Claudia y Inez Bachman. Eddie and Jake were about to leave and follow Jake seventy-seven when Eddie saw Enrico Balazar and Jack Andolini go into Calvin Tower’s bookshop.
In 1987 Roland and Eddie had a shoot-out at Balazar’s club where they had killed Balazar.
Tower didn’t want to talk to Balazar until July 15th. Balazar took Tower into the back room and they reviewed the paper. Eddie and Jack were invisible and were reading the agreement. Apparently, there was a legal agreement between Tower and the Sombre Corporation for Lot #298 Block #19 at 46th Street and 2nd Avenue from Calvin Tower. They had paid Tower $100,000.00 to hold this property and take care of it until July 15, 1977. Then Sombre shall have right of purchase.
Jack and Eddie were delivered back to Roland and their camp.
Roland saw Eddie, Jake and Oy go Todash. They simply faded. He couldn’t be concerned about their having gone Todash because he had to follow Susannah to keep her safe. Roland knew she was pregnant from her encounter with the demon monster while Roland pulled Jake through to this world. Susannah was unaware at night she called herself Mia and imagined she banqueted in a beautiful hall. Roland witnessed her before and again she was eating in the pond. She was squeezing frogs and leeches into her mouth. She had to eat to feed her and what she calls the “chap.”
Mia was the fourth personality of Susannah. When Roland returned to the camp fire, Eddie, Jake and Oy were back.
That morning with the information learned by Eddie and Jake about lot #19, they conceived a plan to buy the lot and place Moses Carver in charge of its care. Moses Carver was Susannah’s Father’s business manager. It involved going back in time to 1964 and get Susannah’s money. Then a second trip back in time to buy the lot #19 that held the Rose before July 15, 1977 and after May 31, 1977.
The ka-tet were commenting on how these doors to and from New York City could be hard to find.
Then Callahan interrupted the conversation, “I might be able to help you with that.” They introduced themselves to Callahan as Roland Deschain of Gilead, Eddie and Susannah Dean of New York, Jake Chambers of New York and Oy of Mid-World. Callahan identified himself as Donald Callahan. Callahan explained the situation of the Calla to the ka-tet. Roland said once they had seen the Calla and if they could help, they would accept no payment. Callahan begged them to take Black Thirteen, the last of the Wizard’s Glasses, as it had recently come alive.
Tian and Zalia Jaffords, Wayne Overholser, Ben Slightman and his son Benny Slightman and Callahan met with the gunslingers. Zalia asked them to join them for dinner. Overholser, Roland and Eddie walked up the road a piece. Overholser told Roland about the madness of each of the Jafford’s, Slightman’s and Callahan. Once he finished his emotional diatribe, he asked Roland, “Are ye what ye say?”
Roland responded, “I’m Roland of Gilead.”
In conclusion Overholser said he would listen to what the gunslingers had to say.
Roland had indeed worked his magic on Overholser.
Back at Callahan’s camp, Andy had prepared dinner. The gunslingers met Andy and they were not pleased to see the Positronics logo on him.
After dinner the gunslingers learned there were seventy other Callas who suffered the Wolves. The Callas run north and south and the Big River runs north to south on the west side of the Callas. And to the east is Thunderclap where the world is ending or has already ended and is the source of the Wolves.
When Eddie asked Andy where the Wolves come from and why do they take the children, Andy requested Eddie’s password. Eddie’s response was rejected. Andy told him he could retry once. Eddie said, “No, that’s all right.”
At their palaver the ka-tet learned about what the children were like when they returned by train. The roont ones stayed child-sized until age sixteen then grew into giants rapidly over sixteen to eighteen months screaming all day and night as their bones creaked with growth. Most roont can’t be put to work. They are just babbling and brainless. They don’t mate. They are sexually dead. All the Wolves horses were grey. It is rumored that Thunderclap has vampires and boggarts.
The Wolves have light-sticks that kill and flying metal buzz-balls called drones. They follow you wherever you go. Their Wolf-masks look like metal but rot in the sun. As of now it is twenty-six days until the Wolves arrive to take one of each of the twins.
Overholser wanted proof they were gunslingers. Roland thought, It was always the same, and it made him tired. They wanted help, but they also wanted references.
Roland told Jake, “Come to me. Say your lesson, Jake, son of Elmer, be true.”
Jake responded emotionless, “I do not aim with my hand; he who aims with his hand has forgotten the face of his father. I aim with my eye. I do not shoot with my hand, I kill with my heart.”
Roland said, “Kill these,” and threw four plates into the air. The plates seemed to explode at one time. When it was over Eddie and Susannah held pieces of the plates they had caught in the air.
After Jake’s demonstration of his lesson, Roland said they would stay with Callahan. “In the days after,” Roland said smiling, “we shall throw ourselves on the hospitality of the town.”
Roland told them they will need about five town’s people to stand with them and more to help them prepare for the battle. All agreed they were well-met.
That evening back at camp Eddie expressed his problems concerning nineteen and his sense of unreality. One concern was how things from Eddie’s world end up in this world. Eddie admitted to Roland that sometimes the sense of unreality goes away when he is with Susannah.
They all went Todash together that night. Roland wanted to see the Rose. Susannah had her legs. She wasn’t able to go near the Rose because she carried the “chap” who was evil. As Susannah waited for them she saw dead people walking around New York City. Eddie looked into the Rose and saw magical things that happened and things that didn’t happen. “The Tower and the Rose are the same,” said Roland.
Roland knew they must own this patch of land with the Rose until the Beams are restored. They know the Rose is sick. Then they heard Susannah scream. Two hubs of existence are held between the Rose and the Tower.
Then they returned to camp. Everyone slept except Mia who feasted at the banquet hall.
The next day they rode on horses to Calla Bryn Sturgis. Jake asked Roland if he could stay with Benny Slightman at the Rocking B ranch.
Overholser was first on stage and introduced the gunslingers. Each one said their name. Eddie and Susannah declared themselves to be the ka-tet of Nineteen. Jake declared himself the ka-tet of Ninety and Nine. Jake took Oy out of his pouch. Oy “…rose up on his rear legs, stuck one of them forward and actually bowed over it!” Everyone was thrilled.
Roland left Eddie to do the talking. He told the people of the Calla the gunslingers would look around and analyze the problem. If the gunslingers could help, they would devise a plan. If they can’t help they would be on their way.
The gunslingers were well received. They all sang songs one of which was “Buy Me Another Round You Booger You.”
Then Roland took the stage, crossed his arms and laid his hands on his cheeks. The Calla-folk went nuts with yelling and applause. Roland asked the Calla, “Will you be open to the gunslingers if they were open to you?”
“Aye, and thankee!” was shouted.
Then Roland asked, “Do you see us for what we are, and accept what we do?”
The crowd roared approval. And then Roland danced. Everyone there expressed pure joy. Eddie truly believed he experienced, what his English teacher called, the ecstasy of perfect recognition.
They sang “The Rice Song” as Roland continued to dance. After the song Roland dived into the crowd.
Jake went to the Rocking B with Benny Slightman. Eddie, Susannah and Roland stayed with Callahan at the Pere’s church, Our Lady of Serenity. Tonight Black Thirteen slept for they could only barely feel its presence.
Roland bunked with Callahan and Eddie and Susannah had their first bedroom to themselves since they were married.
The next morning Roland could hardly move. Callahan’s housekeeper, Rosalita Munoz, told Roland she could fix him with some cat-oil. Rosalita inspected Roland’s knee and hip and identified it as rheumatiz. It was the kind of arthritis that spreads fast. He employed her not to tell anyone about his condition. Roland knew it to be the dry twist that advances fast. As Roland and Eddie picked berries Eddie admitted knowledge of Susannah’s pregnancy by the demon of the circle while Roland was pulling Jake through almost five months ago. Eddie was exasperated that Roland said he had known for a while and it was indeed the baby of the demon.
They decided not to let Susannah know they knew about “the chap” because they needed her in twenty four days to shoot the Wolves.
Callahan related his story to the gunslingers. He was an alcoholic, went to AA and got straight. He moved from parish to parish and in 1969 ended up in Jerusalem’s Lot. There people believed in vampires. A writer, Ben Mears, and a boy, Mark Petrie believed in vampires. The vampire Barlow had killed Mark’s parents. He released Mark. Barlow saw Callahan’s faith was weak. The boy escaped but Callahan was subjected to Barlow putting his infected blood all over Callahan’s face proving Callahan had no faith. Barlow also marked Callahan by burning his hand. Callahan took the first bus out of Salem’s Lot to New York.
At a twenty-minute rest stop in Hartford, Callahan had the bus driver buy him a pint. Callahan realized this bus stop is one of America’s secret highways that lead to a network of darkside roads. At the Port Authority Callahan is drunk. As he exits he thinks the people he sees are undead.
Callahan worked at a shelter and he started to recover from being tainted by Barlow’s blood. He discovered type three vampires that would drink blood and spread aids. His friend Lupe, whom he loved, caught aids from a vampire bite. It was then when Callahan saw them bite Lupe that he killed his first vampire. Aids progressed fast and Lupe died soon.
After the funeral Callahan started hearing the chimes and seeing dead people. He got drunk and woke up in the park. Then he worked labor for three days and then he would get drunk. He did this routine all summer. In Battery Park one night he killed a number three vampire. This was his second vampire kill. The next kills were easier. Callahan had become one of the vacant people. Invisible, Callahan sensed the call of the darkside roads. He hoped there would be no more dead people or vampires. Now in New York he was being hunted. In Washington Square Park with a bottle in a bag he saw the graffiti that read, “He comes here and he has a burned hand.” It was a notice to all vampires and their notices described Callahan. The people who put up these notices were the lowmen, the regulators, and coffin hunters. They are soldiers of the Crimson King.
The gunslingers had seen signs about the Crimson King. The drunken Callahan had to decide whether to stay in New York and be found by the lowmen or leave. The darkside roads were calling.
Callahan found a wooden foot-bridge over the Hudson. This bridge was restored by the LeMerk Foundry. It was the same company name on Andy’s ID plate. Callahan wanted to say good-bye to Rowan Magruder. His story was interrupted by Rosalita. She told Callahan that the men of Calla Bryn Sturgis wanted to take Roland around to the farms this afternoon and Roland could spend the night at the Rocking B. Roland wanted the map the twins were drawing before he left Callahan. They decided to eat lunch under the trees. Callahan had something to show Roland. Callahan told Roland the eyes of the lowmen that hunted him were crimson red. Roland asked Pere if the Wolves were the lowmen and Callahan replied, “Wolves of a kind, perhaps.”
On the way to the church, Callahan continues his story. He crossed the Hudson and worked for three weeks as a fast-order cook in New Jersey. Then for five years he worked across another America staying only short periods of time and then he would go down another darkside road. He finds lowmen, crimson eyed men and vampires. Notices follow him as he moves on and he knows he is being hunted as well as others. Men in yellow coats also become visible to Callahan. Callahan knows these crimson-eyed, yellow-coated men are coming for him. He was able to escape capture by thinking himself into another America, another world.
He continues to travel. He stays sober some days and then he has spells as being a drunk. He doesn’t kill all the vampires because he doesn’t want to draw the attention of the lowmen. He just travels and works as a fry cook. He is happy sometimes. When the notices start to appear he moves on. When he tastes Barlow’s blood he drinks.
Rowan Magruder was the supervisor of Home, the shelter Callahan had worked while in New York. Magruder was in the newspaper. The Hitler Brothers had attacked Magruder and he was in serious condition in the hospital. Callahan had to go see him in New York City.
Callahan and the gunslingers are close to the church. The twins and Rosalita have arrived with the map. Roland wants to see Black Thirteen by himself. He told Eddie he didn’t want to take the chance that Black Thirteen would make the demon inside Susannah stronger.
The map was exquisite with detail. Roland folded the map and now described it as a tool. He thanked the twins big big.
Callahan took only Roland to see Black Thirteen. Symbols on the box talked to Roland as “…a leaf, a stone, a door.”
At the Rocking B that evening Roland watched Benny Slightman and Jake play in the hay. Andy was there and Roland had taken a strong dislike to the machine.
Eisenhart, the owner of Rocking B, showed Roland his guns. Roland told him the rifle was good and only one of the two pistols would work. Eisenhart’s wife Margaret showed Roland a plate with razor sharp edges. The plates appeared to be glass. They were for throwing and they proved to be deadly weapons. Roland told everyone not to tell what they had witnessed or he would kill them. Roland told them of a plan to hide the children in a dead-end gulch and everyone thought it would be a good idea. Roland knew however he was going to hide the children somewhere else because he felt there was a traitor in the group but he didn’t know who it was. He also felt terribly alone once again because he couldn’t share his plan with Eddie because he might tell Susannah and then Mia would be a threat. He couldn’t tell Jake because he had become such good friends with Benny Slightman. Roland didn’t know who to trust.
Eddie and Susannah went to see Tian Jaffords and his wife’s Gran-Pere who is rumored to have killed a Wolf three generations ago. Jamie Jaffords, Gran-Pere witnessed the death of one of the Wolves after Molly Doolin had killed it with her plate. All Jamie’s friends were killed by the Wolves’ light saber or drones. He then walked to the Wolf’s dead body and its mask was melting in the sun. Gran-Per was scared to tell Eddie but he whispered nineteen words in Eddie’s ear with the Wolves description. Eddie now understood why all the horses were grey and all the pants were grey and all the cloaks were green. It made sense.
Mia went to the castle and ate roasted pig at least in her mind. In reality she ate a small live pig. She saw Jake at the doorway in her imagination. Actually Jake was only dreaming but he witnessed her actions. Jake woke up from his dream. He and Benny Slightman had gone camping out on the ranch. Jake got up to get some fresh air and saw Ben Slightman and Andy talking in the middle of the night.
As Roland and Jake rode from the Rocking B the next morning Jake told Roland about his dream of Susannah. Jake felt their ka-tet was already broken if one of them, Susannah, was not aware of Mia’s and the chap’s presence. Roland needed Susannah to fight the Wolves and did not want Mia to place that in jeopardy.
Jake did not tell Roland about witnessing Ben Slightman and Andy having a palaver and that Ben went in the direction of Thunderclap.
As Roland and Jake talked, Jake revealed openly how much he could read Roland’s mind. Jake said he wasn’t forcibly trying to learn things. It is just that he could pick things up from Roland. Roland believes everything that happens is ka.
Regarding Susannah’s baby, Roland said they had major considerations. “In Calla Bryn Sturgis, the Wolves are coming. In New York, Balazar and his gentlemen are coming.” The question is will Mia’s chap wait until these situations can be dealt with or not?
Jake could also touch Susannah’s mind but he doesn’t pry. Roland told him to touch Susannah once a day just to make sure that Susannah stays in control and not Mia. Roland and Jake agree to tell Susannah before they would fight the Wolves or have to go to New York and acquire the lot where the Rose grows and fight Balazar.
Roland and Jake rode to see Eddie and Susannah who were at the Jafford’s. Roland asked Zalia Jaffords, “Do you ask aid and succor?!” She told Roland she did and the gunslinger’s third question had been answered.
Roland asked Zalia if she could show Susannah the plates because they only had three guns but four gunslingers.
Roland left for the Manni to talk with Henchick, the Manni’s dinh.
Eddie, Susannah and Jake shopped at Took’s General Store for clothes and other needs. Afterwards they sat on the porch and talked to the people of the Calla and they were received very well. Word traveled fast in the Calla and it was known that if anyone wanted to speak to a gunslinger they could meet them on Took’s porch.
Roland and Henchick went out to see the Doorway Cave. Henchick told Roland that he had found this door and Callahan came through this door about five years ago. It was through a cassette tape player the Manni were told where to find Callahan. There in the cave, Roland heard the voices of his Mother, Father and Walter. Now Roland understands that Walter, Flagg and Marten are all the same evil.
Susannah, Eddie and Jake had an afternoon nap after visiting with the Calla-folken. Eddie wanted to tell Susannah about Tian’s Gran-Pere but she did not want to hear about the Wolves.
Rosalita greeted Roland when he returned from the Manni. She offered her oils and herself and they spent the afternoon at her secret spring that was surrounded by moss.
Callahan continued his story that evening. His travels continued and at one shelter he had worked for over a year. That shelter was extremely poor. Then the shelter received word that a million dollar donation was waiting for them. They traveled to New York and into a high rise building and there Callahan knew he was in trouble.
There were nineteen people in the room. There were a few lowmen, many number three vampires and the man in charge had a red bleeding eye in his forehead. Callahan would not let the vampires get him and he leaped out of the window. He fell. He knew he died. Then his next thoughts were of an old building in a desert. He found a cold water supply and beef jerky. Then he met Walter the man in black. Walter showed him the two specks on the horizon. It was Roland and Jake. Callahan wanted to catch up to them but Walter said no. He gave Callahan a box with Black Thirteen in it and sent Callahan through a door where the Manni found him.
It was well after midnight when Callahan said goodnight. Roland asked if anyone had anything to say. As they were about to leave, Susannah said, “I might be in a family way?” They talked until dawn.
Father Callahan and Roland talked around noon the next day. Roland confided to him that Susannah was pregnant with a demon child. Rolland suggested abortion and Callahan replied vehemently. If Roland was to assist her or support her in any way to get an abortion, he would have Calla Bryn Sturgis’s people go against Roland and stop everything. Roland agreed to let Susannah keep the baby and support her to do so. Callahan also told Roland not to let anyone in the Calla know she was pregnant with a demon child as the Calla would turn on her.
Jake told Roland he wanted to take his Ruger with him to the Rocking B tonight. Jake was no longer the boy Roland had first met. He had earned the responsibility to take the gun if he thought he needed it.
Roland went to see the Sisters of Oriza throw the plates. Susannah had four plates in each of two purses. She had developed a double-plated throw that was masterful.
Rosalita, Zalia and Margaret Eisenhart threw their plates for all to see and witness their skill.
Afterwards, Eddie told the other gunslingers he had to go to New York in 1977. He had to check the date and verify how fast time was moving as it related to the time in the Calla. Eddie also wanted to make arrangements with Tower to buy the land to protect the Rose.
Roland and Eddie went the next morning to Our Lady of Serenity to pick up Black Thirteen. They bagged it and rode to Doorway Cave. Eddie heard his brother’s voice and it was unsettling. The chimes started. Eddie walked through the door into New York. A window-shopper told him it was the twenty-third of June 1977. Eddie was happy with this news. He thought about getting a chocolate egg-cream, maybe later.
Balazar’s town car was at the Manhattan Restaurant of the Mind. Calvin Tower was not in the book store.
Jack Andolini and George Biondi were attacking Calvin Tower with intent to severely injure him but not kill him. They wanted to make sure Tower would sell them the lot on July 15. Eddie rescued Tower and in the process told Andolini to stay away from Tower or there would be serious consequences. After Andolini and Biondi left, Eddie told Tower the plan where Eddie would buy the lot. Eddie told Tower to leave immediately. Get Aaron Deepneau and find a town in Vermont or New Hampshire. Deepneau was to write the zip code of the town on the fence surrounding the rose. Eddie has to do some convincing to get Tower to leave. Tower tested Eddie challenging him to tell him the name on a piece of paper left by his great-great-great grandfather dated March 19, 1846. Eddie knew the answer to this riddle. “It’s Deschain,” Eddied replied. And so for all intents and purposes the deal was done. Eddie knew it. Tower had one more requirement. Eddie pushed a bookcase of Tower’s most valuable books through the door to Roland.
Eddie admitted to Roland he didn’t like Tower much. Eddie thought him to be a selfish man with no interest in humanity, just in himself and his books. Roland told Eddie he knew who the rat was in the Calla. Ben Slightman is the only one with spectacles.
Jake kept Benny extremely busy all day moving hay bales and swimming. Jake wanted Benny to be very tired so he would sleep deep tonight. Jake was also tired but he had Oy wake him up at moon rise. Jake saddled his pony, pocketed Oy and rode to where he and Benny had tented. Jake wanted to find more evidence on Andy and Ben Slightman. He tied the pony and continued on foot. He let Oy smell Ben Slightman’s handkerchief and Oy picked up the scent. Jake discovered an old building. It was identified with a sign that read, “North Central Positronics.” It housed monitors and computers. All Jake knew was that the camera feed on the monitors were coming from the church, community hall and the general store. Audio and video were being recorded. On one monitor he saw Andy and Ben Slightman approaching the building. Oy and Jake hid and overheard Andy and Ben’s conversation. It was evident from Andy that he was in the employ of Thurderclap and Ben was also their spy. Slightman and Andy used the equipment to send messages to Thunderclap about the gunslinger’s latest plans. Jake feared he and Oy would be caught but soon Andy and Ben left. Jake and Oy were not discovered.
The next day the ka-tet met in the Pavilion including Pere Callahan. After hearing Jake’s story, they discussed the town meeting and decided to have it at the Pavilion as it was one location that did not have secret cameras. Now, Jake and Eddie told Pere their stories. As they were concluding, Andy led dozens of twins up the road past the ka-tet singing. Andy and the children waved. “Wave back,” Roland said, and raised his hand. “Wave back, all of you, for the sake of your fathers.”
Callahan remarked how the children loved Andy. Roland replied, “That, is about to change.”
Roland closed the meeting by telling them from this point on not to believe anything he says to other people.
Roland took Callahan to Doorway Cave to see Callahan through to New York. There Callahan saw Chew Chew Mama’s and the remnants of Tower’s book store. It had been burned. Callahan found the zip code and identified the town where Tower and Deepneau went.
While Callahan was in New York, Roland read some of the books Tower had sent through. Roland made a great discovery in those books.
The gunslingers had their town meeting and although there was some negative talk, the town people all agreed to hide their children as suggested by the gunslingers. The plan was set and everyone knew pretty much what they were going to do. Roland told them they would take the children in a cave location not disclosed and in a dead-end arroyo. There they would set the battle.
After the meeting, Roland spoke to Ben Slightmen. He enlisted his help to be one of ten people to guard the children. Roland thanked Ben for being a good man.
Eddie went with Callahan to Doorway Cave. Callahan went to East Stoneham to leave a message for Tower or Deepneau. His note told them, “Move to a different structure and leave the location in their car. He told them to “make this trip to the post office your LAST. How stupid can you be??”
When Callahan returned through the door Eddie was gone. Callahan found Eddie ready to jump off a cliff muttering, “I can fly to the Tower.”
Callahan grabbed Eddie’s shirt and saved him just in time. The chimes had gotten to him.
The next morning Susannah lost three hours of time. She was cramping and believed Mia must have taken over for the three hours.
The next day, Eddie and Tian Jaffords found Andy singing by himself at the crossroads near town. Eddie told Andy they had some big guns and asked him to help carry them out to the caves. Andy was happy to help. He would meet them at 6:00 on Wolf’s Eve at the rectory.
That night Jake hated it but Roland made him stay with Benny. It was difficult for Jake to know about Benny’s father. Jake also knew that the Slightman’s would be run out of town after the Wolves came.
Dawn of Wolf’s Eve Susannah and Eddie spent time together making love. Roland and Rosalita also had an opportunity to be together for the last time.
Roland, Eddie, Jake and Pere Callahan rode out of town with shovels. They were going to dig ditches for them to hide in before the battle. Susannah stayed with the Sisters of Oriza and helped prepare food at the Pavilion.
At 6:00 on Wolf’s Eve, Eddie and Tian Jaffords met Andy at the rectory. As Andy went to Rosa’s privy, Eddie shot Andy’s eyes out. Andy became furious, blind and set off a harsh siren. Eddie had seen this activity before with the giant bear. Eddied ordered Andy to shutdown. Eddie said, “Nineteen,” as the password. That did not work. Eddie then spoke, “Ninety-nine.” The sirens continued to wale. Finally Eddie thought of a date on the fence at the vacant lot of the Rose. “Nineteen-ninety-nine!” Eddie screamed and Andy began his shut down phase. Eddie remembered this phase as well with his previous experience with the giant bear.
Rosalita said she could bury Andy in the hole under the privy. Eddie liked the idea of Andy being buried in shit.
Roland watched as the Calla “folken” ate their great feast. All had accepted what they had to do and they knew it was the right thing.
Wayne Overholser, one of the more influential ranchers had opposed fighting the Wolves from the beginning. Now Overholser informed Roland that Caverra, a ranch hand, had taken ill and would likely not recover. Overholser asked if he could replace Caverra who was supposed to be with the children during the battle. Roland agreed and welcomed him.
Roland went back to Pere’s and told Eddie he would sleep well tonight and for Eddie to do the same.
Before dawn wagons carrying ninety-nine children went to the cave area. Ben Slightman set next to Roland. Slightman told Roland he knew they knew about him. Roland replied that Slightman knew because Andy had been shut down. Slightman’s excuse was his son of course. Roland gave him no sympathy. Roland told Slightman the town's people would not hear of Slightman’s traitorous activities from him or his ka-tet. Roland concluded their discussion by telling Slightman “…if you get a chance to die a hero today, do your son a favor and take it.”
Roland’s plan was initiated. The twins lined up and were instructed to go along a path to the caves. Jake, Benny and a set of twins would walk in advance of the children as a decoy. They were to continue along the trail while the rest of the twins turned around, at Roland’s whistle. They were to come back across the road, walk through the corn very carefully and then to hide in the green grass close to the river’s edge. Jake, Benny and the other two were to continue up the path to take the scent of the children which hopefully would draw the Wolves in further toward the caves. The Wolves were coming. Everyone could see their dust clouds.
As Susannah was taking her place she felt severe cramping and Mia wanting to take over. Susannah pulled on her inner strength and made a deal. She told Mia if she would let Susannah complete her task here in the Calla that Susannah would allow Mia to take over as soon as the battle was done. Mia agreed. Mia was the guardian of “the chap.”
As the rest of the twins doubled-back and came across the road they were instructed to go through the corn to get to the rice field and not to touch the corn so the Wolves would not see their path. Once in the rice field they were to follow one stream “…almost to the river, then have them lie down where it’s tall and still green.”
Roland explained how to attack the Wolves. Roland told the men and the plate-throwers the Wolves were robots and their horses were also robots. How to kill the Wolves is by taking the circular dish off the top of their heads. Do not aim for the gills on their chest as he had previously instructed them to do so. This information was planted by Roland for Slightman’s sake.
Back on the arroyo path with Jake, Benny and the twins, Frank got his foot stuck and Francine fainted. Jake and Benny worked hard to get Frank’s foot loose. Eventually they freed him. Eddie knew something had happened but Roland would not let Eddie go after Jake.
Roland jumped up and he saw Jake and Benny carrying Frank across the road. They fell into the ditch before any Wolves showed.
Seconds before the Wolves arrived Roland saw everything as it should be. In his mind’s eye he saw all the twins lying in the wettest part of the rice. He saw the adults almost at the river’s edge.
The Wolves arrived and Roland could hear their servomotors and hydraulic pumps. Roland’s mind’s eye saw the Wolves looking at the tracks and up the arroyo path. Roland saw thirty Wolves go up the path. Twenty Wolves were looking toward town. Another twenty were looking at the river. Roland counted to twenty. He actually counted to nineteen and thought it was enough counting.
Roland jumped out of the hide roaring, “For Gilead and the Calla! Now gunslingers! Now, you Sisters of Oriza! Now, now! Kill them! No quarter! Kill them all!”
Roland and Eddie each had a sandalwood-gripped revolver. Jake had his father’s Ruger. Margaret, Rosa and Zalia held a Risa. Susannah was holding two plates.
Roland found the Wolves exactly where he had seen them in his killer’s eye of imagination. Roland “…was never so happy to be alive as when he was preparing to deal death.” The five minutes of blood and battle were here.
Roland piled up bodies of Wolves at the path. Eddie was taking out as many Wolves as possible. The Sisters of Orisa were bringing the Wolves down as well.
The Wolves were using light sticks and drones. Eddie blasted the drones. They all reloaded their guns.
The Wolves that had gone up the path were blocked by the Wolves bodies. The ones that were toward town were decimated. There were still ten Wolves to the right side. Roland and Susannah along with Rosa and Margaret were taking them out. When Margaret stood up with another plate, a light stick cut off her head. Benny was so terrified when her head landed by him he jumped out of the ditch and was hit by a drone and Benny exploded.
Jake and Eddie went to take out the remaining Wolves blocked on the arroyo path. They were joined by Roland, Rosa and Zalia Jaffords. They left two Wolves for Jake. Jake took one out and let one jump over the blockade of bodies onto the road for Susannah. She killed the last Wolf.
Roland knew Jake would suffer with grief over the murder of his friend Benny but Oy back at the Pere’s house would see Jake through the worst of it.
Roland had counted sixty-one Wolves and now all were dead. Their masks were melting in the sun.
Gratitude for the gunslingers was expressed by everyone and they began singing “Come-Come-Commala.”
Ben Slightman showed up and started screaming at Roland but Roland threatened him to decide if he wanted to live or die.
Vaughn Eisenhart searched for his Margaret. He found her head and wailed. He carried the head and wouldn’t let anyone take it from him. Roland remembered that Eisenhart had told him if anything happened to his wife, Roland would leave the Calla with a curse on his head. This promise made Roland very uncomfortable and he asked Callahan to bless him with a cross. Roland felt the warmth of the cross on his forehead for a long time.
Eddie and Jake talked about the light sticks actually being light sabers from Star Wars which Eddie remembered. The Star Wars phenomena had occurred after Jake’s time. They identified the drones. They found one and it was labeled Harry Potter Registered Sneetch. Eddie believed that it was from the future that they had not heard of yet. They also thought the Wolves looked like Dr. Doom from Marvel Comics.
After the town’s people arrived, Rosalita told Roland that Susannah’s wheelchair was gone. They all agreed Mia was now in charge and she was off to Doorway Cave.
Roland, Eddie, Jake and Callahan left to find Susannah. She had indeed taken her wheelchair. They found it beaten up on the path. Then her trail indicated she had crawled. Someone had left a motorized tricycle for her. They found it still humming at the cave entrance.
Once inside, Eddie heard Rhea of the Coos tell him Susannah would die because her monster child would eat her when it is born.
Roland interpreted the scene. Susannah aka Mia had taken Black Thirteen, opened the door, then once on the other side, she closed the box which in turn closed the door so no one else could come through it.
They found a book brought through by Tower. It was titled Salem’s Lot by Stephen King. Callahan was dismayed by the facts of his life revealed in the novel. He cried, “I can’t be in a book. I am not a fiction…. am I?”
Roland thought with the discovery of this book he was almost close enough to touch the Tower and Susannah. Eddie asked Roland to help him find Susannah. Roland said he believed with help from the Manni he could find Susannah.
Roland thought, If she’s still alive, if we can find her, and if she’s comes back to herself. If and if and if.
Roland told Eddie, “Yes. We go.”