Looking out at the flat featureless land into which he seemed to flow and merge, even though he stood without moving, [Andrews] realized that the hunt that he had arranged with Miller was only a strategem, a ruse upon himself, a palliative for ingrained custom and use. No business led him where he looked, where he would go; he went there free. He went free upon the plain in the western horizon which seemed to stretch without interruption toward the setting sun, and he could not believe that there were towns and cities in it of enough consequence to disturb him. He felt that wherever he lived, and wherever he would live hereafter, he was leaving the city more and more, withdrawing into the wilderness. He felt that that was the central meaning he could find in all his life, and it seemed to him then that all the events of his childhood and his youth had led him unknowingly to this moment upon which he poised, as if before flight. He looked at the river again. On this side is the city, he thought, and on that is the wilderness; and though I must return, even that return is only another means I have of leaving it, more and more.

John Williams, Butcher’s Crossing