Carson left the house followed by Smoot, his wild carryall. He'd come
upon Smoot (or Smoot had come upon him) one day when he was walking
through a rundown part of town where the perfect ogees and oriels and
perpendiculars were simply untenanted, not actually decrepit and
flyblown (such imperfection would never be tolerated). From one bare
alleyway came this wild piece of luggage, with its dog's brain and
elementary senses and rolling motors, and followed him down the street.
He tried to drive it off, but that just didn't work, and besides, he
felt heartless doing it. So he figured, why not have a carryall, and
assumed the minuscule responsibility of getting the thing its daily

He called it Smoot because that was the name on the label. Obviously
it'd once belonged to a person named Smoot, who'd gotten separated from
it one way or another. Perhaps the carryall had been injured or gotten
ill, since these things were usually able to find their way home, like
dogs of old -- you'd see them now and then rolling across the bridge
over the river on their way to their distant masters, a scene which
always aroused compassion in Carson's heart. Or, perhaps Smoot (the
carryall) had been abused by Smoot (the former owner), and was not
interested in going home again.

Heaven only knew how long Smoot had been wandering around the city, and
perhaps, had there been homeless around, as there were no longer, one
of them might've adopted Smoot to haul his paltry belongings or
recyclables or crazy-collected trash objects. Carson could picture
Smoot roaming around, day after day, looking for something to carry,
and, finding nothing, waiting patiently in the sunny corner of an old
annex, content to lap photons and bide his time.