(Setting: Freeman collapses in despair at Jefferson's imagined funeral, as he finally comprehends what has been lost).
The song faded to black, only to be replaced by the sound of a lone, plaintive bugle. An unseen muse was playing Taps as if her soul had fingers, her heart had lips, and the very essence of Man was being exhaled from her lungs. It was a slow, deliberate, and infinitely rueful lament that made Sinatra's magnificent rendition in "From Here to Eternity" seem mundane by comparison. Each morbid tone from the bugle ripped another gash in Freeman's wounded heart. He lost consciousness as the final wrenching note bade farewell to his hero.
When he awoke, he was curled in the fetal position, shivering like a lost child in a cold, dark forest. Somewhere very near, wolves were howling at the moon. His shivering intensified. He was drowning in emotional pain from a scathing self-assessment. One of the most brutal lessons in life, he now understood, is learning who you are. Years of youthful exuberance are spent wondering and planning and becoming who you will become. Everything in you and in the world seems malleable and correctable and possible. Then a threshold is silently crossed, and the soft clay of your soul hardens into granite. Your limitless future becomes a limited, uncomfortable present. You are then confronted with the painful discovery that you aren’t who you were supposed to become, in the youthful eye of your idealistic mind. Freeman, like America, had reached this stage in life. He felt irretrievably lost.