The melancholy in this scene contributes to its sorrowful tone. The two brothers talk about a coffin made for Doodle (younger brother) and how he will not touch it because he doesn't want the coffin to be his. Doodle also cries for his brother saying "Don't leave me, brother," in denial and fright.
"Its long, graceful neck jerked twice into an S, then straightened out, and the bird was still. A white veil came over the eyes and the long white beak unhinged. Its legs were crossed and its clawlike feet were delicately curved at rest. Even death did not mar its grace, for it lay on the earth like a broken vase of red flowers, and we stood around it, awed by its exotic beauty."
They did not know that I did it for myself, that pride, whose slave I was, spoke to me louder than all their voices, and that Doodle walked only because I was ashamed of having a crippled brother.
"On the topmost branch a bird the size of a chicken, with scarlet feathers and long legs, was perched precariously. Its wings hung down loosely, and as we watched, a feather dropped away and floated slowly down through the green leaves."
The author leaves the reader on a cliffhanger in the following scene, "The knowledge that Doodle's and my plans had come to naught was bitter, and that streak of cruelty within me awakened. I ran as fast as I could, leaving him far behind with a wall of rain dividing us... Soon I could hear his voice no more."
Pride is one theme that the author emphasizes. The older brother says,"There is within me ...a knot of cruelty borne by the stream of love, much as our blood sometimes bears the seed of our destruction, and at times I was mean to Doodle." to show that pride is not always a wonderful thing.