Two men who believe they still live in the medieval age of castles and armor are convinced that the local night train is a fire-belching dragon. It has wreaked so much havoc across the land that these men are determined to destroy it. Fire is the image Bradbury uses here to characterize this so-called dragon's deadly powers. The dragon's eyes are afire, and, as the "monster" burns across the dark lands, "fire is all about, around, and under it."
Meanwhile, the engineer is concerned that he will need more coal if the train is to make Stokely on time. He finds that fire is necessary if he is to reach his next station. The two pseudo-knights, however, view that same fire as being destructive. Through this fire imagery, Bradbury depicts what could happen to a civilization which misuses its technology.