Dunces! The epilogue is brief, just a single paragraph, but I think it merits its own analysis. The first line provides: “In the dawn there is a man progressing over the plain by means of holes which he is making in the ground.” (p. 337). The dawn? Is this dawn of the next morning? The dawn of time? Who is this man? Continue reading →
When last we left our fearless heroes, the ferry crossing had become an extremely dangerous place to be a white man. The natives are pissed and looking for blood. This chapter kicks off with just two from the band of scalp hunters, the kid and Toadvine, trying to escape, and battling as they go. At some point the kid took an arrow to the leg, and it is up against his leg, making it slow and painful going. But as he himself points out, what choice does he have but to go on? Continue reading →
There are three major events in this chapter: (1) the group’s visit to the small stone town of Jesús María; (2) the group’s visit to Ures, the capital of the state of Sonora (curious, I looked on a map, and Jesús María is about 1570 kilometers, or (by my rough guesstimation) approximately 981 miles away, through hard, mountainous territory); and (3) a really, really bad day to be a mule or a muleteer in between. At the end of Chapter 13, Glanton’s gang has killed and scalped Mexican soldiers, burned their uniforms, buried their bodies, and turned the scalps in for bounty. There is a very vivid image of the group re-entering the city “haggard and filthy and reeking with the blood of the citizenry for whose protection they had contracted.” (p. 185). Perhaps not surprisingly, they leave the City of Chihuahua in somewhat of a hurry, going north as if headed for El Paso. But before they are even out of sight, they turn west “toward the red demise of that day.” (Id.). There are repeated inferences that the group is “cursed.” Cursed or no, they are certainly a curse to everyone they encounter.
When two separate literary acquaintances identified Child of God as both their most and simultaneously least favorite work by Cormac McCarthy, that was all the incentive I needed to shoot it to the top of my reading list. To say I was intrigued would be a gross understatement. How could a book be a most and least favorite? How could you both love and hate something so intensely at the same time? I was so curious. Continue reading →
As suspected, there is another indian attack, mercifully less gratuitous. It never gets hand-to-hand; they just take shots at each other from some distance, and the indians move on. Toadvine hits one of them though, and they come upon him dead. The Judge seems particularly interested in some of the items the Apache is carrying, a tigre-skin warbag (especially the “inward part of some beast” inside the bag, which he pockets), and a small skin bag the indian was carrying inside his drawers (which the Judge also keeps; the bag, not the drawers). Are these relics of spiritual power? Magic? Voodoo? Some other mystery? Continue reading →