The boy watches the old man's face contort with rage, his body moving into the doorway to block the MPs, his fists balling up, his mouth screaming, "No, goddammit, get out of here, you...."
And Buddy stops it right there. He can surrender now. He has felt it. "You couldn't tell for sure how much my father cared till you were in trouble," says Buddy's brother George. "Till somebody was against you, till you had an enemy. That's when it came out. That's when you knew."
If there is any justice in this world, they'll invite everyone when the day comes to lay Buddy to rest on the hill just beyond the farmhouse, next to Lady and Buster. They'll give his legions of enemies just as much time to talk about him as his legions of friends, and he'll go at last, he'll go in peace. Gladdened that those who hated Buddy Ryan have come, so that Buddy Ryan once more could be loved.