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In his interactions with the Lucynell Craters, Tom Shiftlet has a chance to achieve Grace. This opportunity is hinted at when he first approaches the two women sitting on the porch and turns his back to them to face the sunset: "He swung both his whole and his short arm up slowly so that they indicated an expanse of sky and his figure formed a crooked cross." That crooked cross embodied in his figure represents his chance at salvation. As he drives toward Mobile, having missed his chance, he prays, "Oh Lord! Break forth and wash the slime from this earth!"