Summary: Chapter 38, A Beckoning Whistle
The narration shifts again to Tokyo, where the Bird appears to speak to his mother. He is not detected, even as police continue to search for him. Mother and son agree to meet two years later, provided the Bird is still alive then.
The narration shifts again to the arrival of Billy Graham, the Christian preacher, in Los Angeles. At this point, Cynthia and Louie agree to live together until their divorce is finalized. One day they talk to neighbors of theirs who mention Graham’s preaching. Cynthia is intrigued and decides to attend that night’s event.
Graham’s preaching fills Cynthia with new hope. She tells Louie that she will not divorce him. For days, Cynthia tries to talk Louie into attending a Graham event with her. He finally consents and enters the event tent ready to leave as quickly as possible. Louie is surprised to be pulled by the Biblical story Graham shares. In the story, Jesus asks the men who accuse the women of adultery to examine themselves, and Jesus then forgives the woman and tells her to “sin no more.”
Graham’s explanation that God sees and records your life causes Louie to examine himself. While he wants to see himself as a good person, he sees the anger in himself. When Graham offers the chance to repent and to be forgiven, Louie escapes the tent. That night, Louie is haunted again by the Bird, but he recognizes that the face is that of the devil.
Louie reluctantly agrees to return to hear Graham again. That night, Graham preaches about the care with which God created everything. Louie recalls the gratitude he felt when he encountered the doldrums years before on the raft. Louie recalls more memories, including of when Green Hornet went down, and he survived. Overcome by emotions, Louie again charges for the exit, but just as he is about to exit, he remembers a pledge he had made on the raft: “If you save me, I will serve you forever.” He becomes a changed man and responds to Graham’s invitation to come forward.
Back home, Louie pours his alcohol down the drain and discards of cigarettes and other temptations of his negative past. When he sleeps that night, he does not dream of the Bird. He never dreams of him again. The next day, he starts to read the Bible.