What is the significance of the narrator's early morning conversation with his son Ben just before he takes a train to Boston? It seems unecessary but there must be more to it, something behind it! For a little boy, Ben has a good grasp on reality and what's actually in the realm of being possible, abilities his father clearly lacks. When his dad has doubts about being able to find the elephant, Ben reassures him that "an emperor can get anything he wants" (297). I know Ben is only five, maybe six but he is giving him father valuable advice; could this elephant really be a code word for Fanshawe? Obviously Ben doesn't know anything about the situation, but is Auster using him a tool to fuel his father's confidence?