by Cormac McCarthy
The Road Sections 101-110 Summary
How It All Goes Down
- The men on the road open the truck's hood. The truck starts creaking forward – they must be pushing it. The truck coughs and stops.
- The Man looks up to see "one of their number" walking toward them. (He's wandering into the woods to go to the bathroom.)
- The Man cocks the pistol and tells the "roadrat" from the truck to "[j]ust keep coming" (102.2).
- It's pretty clear from McCarthy's description that the roadrat and his friends are "bad guys."
- The Man and the roadrat have a brief exchange. Basically, the roadrat tries to trick The Man and The Boy into following him back to the diesel truck. The Man wants to take the roadrat a mile up the road and then turn him loose. (This way The Man and The Boy will have a head start and the diesel truck won't catch them.)
- All in one motion, the roadrat lets go of his belt and unsheathes knife. He gets between The Man and The Boy and then dives and grabs The Boy. His knife is at The Boy's throat.
- The Man, however, has also dropped to the ground. On his knees, he levels the pistol and fires into the roadrat's forehead.
- The Man grabs his knapsack and The Boy and they take off down the cracked, older road.
- They come to an iron bridge.
- They hide in the woods and listen – no one has followed them. They go on for another half-mile and then rest.
- It's nighttime now.
- The Man hears the men from the truck walking through the woods but they don't find him and The Boy.
- They huddle together for a little bit and then The Man decides they've got to keep moving.
- They stumble through the woods in total darkness and The Man thinks about the single bullet left in the revolver.
- In the morning, The Man scouts around their perimeter, but he doesn't find any tracks other than their own.
- They leave.
- The Man tries to get The Boy to talk but he won't.
- They go east and pass a frame house and the remains of a farm.
- They make it back to the main road and see "the tracks in the ash where the truck had gone" (107.1).
- The Man has no idea whether the bad guys got the truck going or whether they're waiting in ambush.
- He drinks some water and he and The Boy share a can of white beans.
- They start down the road.
- They find the abandoned campsite of the truck people right in the middle of the road. Along with some charred wood, there are ashes and bones.
- The Man tells The Boy to hide out in the woods with the gun.
- The Man walks to where they hid their cart. There's nothing left but some books and toys, old shoes and rags.
- He also finds a "pool of guts," bones, and skin. This means the truck people ate the roadrat.
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