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Six days’ travel later, the boys encounter an old man who can barely walk. He has been abandoned by the rest of the villagers, who fled into the forest when they heard that “seven boys” were on their way to the village. Once the boys explain who they are and what they are doing, the old man asks them to stay a while and keep him company. The boys ask him his name, but he avoids the question in order to save a place in the boys’ memories for other things. The old man gives the boys directions then sends them on their way. From the old man, Beah learns that someone has started a rumor about the “seven boys,” a rumor which paints the boys to be more dangerous than they really are.