It starts off with Beatty, Montag, and the rest of their company in front of Montag’s house. Mildred runs out of the house with a packed suitcase. Mildred ignores Montag and leaves in a cab. We find out that Mildred and her friends call the alarm. Beatty tells him to burn the house himself since it’s own house saying “your house, your clean-up.” He gives Montag a flame thrower which Montag uses to burn his house. As he does it, he finds himself in the original bliss that comes with burning things as he is finally able to get rid of the things he’s always wanted to (his bedroom, the parlor, etc.) Montag kills Beatty and a few firemen with the flamethrower. The Hound comes at him and is able to sink his tooth into his leg, injecting it with an anesthetic. He goes back and finds that Mildred missed a few books and sets off into the night with a strong sense of self-loathing.
Montag reflects about how he is sure that Beatty had wanted him to kill him. That Beatty wanted to die. He puts in his Seashell to realize that he is wanted for murder and treason. He decides that he must go to a gas station to make himself look even semi-presentable and not suspicious. On his way there, he realizes that he is moving in the direction of Faber’s house. At the gas station, he hears that the war that has been looming over everyone’s head throughout the story has finally been declared. Montag decides to ignore it for the time being in exchange for worrying about the task at hand: making it to Faber’s house without being caught. He finds himself in an empty boulevard where he thinks the police are chasing him. He runs against the fast approaching, but stumbles and falls. He thinks he’s going to die, but the car comes to a stop before it could hit him. He hid the books in the house of a fireman’s house as he, Mr. Black was at work. He called in the alarm on them. He goes to Faber’s house to give him the 100 dollars. Faber tells him to follow the railroad tracks and to get in contact with him in St. Louis. Faber shows Montag that he has a small handheld tv instead of having a parlor. They hear that they brought in a new Mechanical Hound. Montag and Faber drank whiskey to try to assuage the scent of Montag being there. Montag also told Faber to put on the sprinklers, wash the furniture with alcohol, burn some things, and to get his dirtiest clothes to throw the scent off. Then Montag left towards the river.
As he is running, Montag stops for breath and sees someone watching the Hound on their parlor wall. Montag stops when he sees the Hound approaching Faber’s house with baited breath. He is finally able to keep going when he sees the Hound move away from Faber’s house. The police ask the people to open all their windows and back doors at the count of 10 but Montag can hear it because he has the Seashell (a communication device) in his ears. Montag is able to escape to the river before anyone sees him. When he is at the river, he douses himself in whiskey and wears Faber’s clothes to further throw off the scent. The Hound and a helicopter look around the river for a bit, but quickly leave, not spotting Montag. As he is floating in the river, Montag starts to feel at peace and reflects on his life. He starts to think about childhood. He’s thinking about the barn that he grew up in. He said that he will never burn again because the sun is constantly burning time. He realizes that all he was doing was speeding up the process, it was going to happen anyway. He wants to preserve rather than destroy. When he comes out on the other side of the river, he is faced with wilderness. He stumbles upon the rusty railroad tracks and thinks that Clarisse must have walked here as well.
Montag meets a bunch of people that used to work at colleges. He learns that the society caught a person that had been walking on the street and pretended like it was Montag in order to save face. The people that Montag meets have parts of books memorized in their heads. He learns that there is somewhat of a network that the people stumbled upon made up of people that memorized parts of books that slowly ended up meeting. Montag admits to Granger, the leader of the people Montag meets, that he doesn’t miss Mildred. Montag thinks about how Mildred didn’t do anything that made a lasting impact. The city that Montag lived in was bombed by jets. After thinking of Mildred dying from the bomb in her hotel room, he remembers that he and Mildred had met in Chicago. As he lay in shock in the aftershock of the bomb, Montag remembered part of the Book of Ecclesiastes and was able to perfectly recite it to himself. They wonder about how many people in the city knew there was going to be a bombing and how many people were surprised. They wonder how many other cities have just been bombed.