by Cormac McCarthy
The Road Sections 201-210 Summary
How It All Goes Down
- They pass through the town and come to a house outside of it. The Man sees himself and The Boy in a mirror and the reflection is almost unrecognizable.
- From the back door he sees a barbecue pit, some dead trees, a fence, and a tool shed.
- In the shed he finds some motor oil, Begonia and Morning Glory seeds, and a little gasoline. He puts the seeds in his pocket, though he's not sure why. He goes to the house to look for something to store the gasoline in.
- The Man crosses the grass back to the house and feels faint. He also feels something funny underneath his feet. He goes back to the shed and gets a garden spade. When he sinks it into the ground he hears "a wooden hollow sound" (204.1).
- It takes him a while, but The Man finally uncovers "a piece of plywood with roofingfelt" (205.1). It's a door to a cellar of some sort.
- Understandably, The Boy starts freaking out a little bit – remember what happened the last time they opened a cellar? The Man sits with him on the porch.
- The Man finds a beer bottle. With gasoline, oil, a coat hanger, and some cloth, he can make a lamp out of it.
- The Boy still seems really scared: "when he bent to see the boy's face under the hood of the blanket he very much feared that something was gone that could not be put right again" (206.6).
- The Man rigs his beer bottle lamp in the shed. He has The Boy hold the lamp while he holds the pistol. They're going to check the door in the backyard.
- The Boy is still scared, but The Man tries to comfort him: "Okay. This what the good guys do. They keep trying. They don't give up" (207.6).
- The Man busts the hasp on the door. The stairs lead down into darkness. Before he goes down, he gives The Boy a kiss on the forehead.
- It's a bunker. There are iron cots with mattress pads on them. The Man keeps saying "Oh my God" (208.1), which means this is either a really bad or a really good discovery.
- It's really, really good.
- The Man sees "crate upon crate of canned goods" (209.1). Water. Blankets. He tells The Boy to come down and take a look.
- The Boy asks if this is real. The Man says yes and opens a box and takes out a can of peaches.
- The Boy asks if the people who built the bunker are dead and if it's OK for them to use this stuff. The Man explains that the people who built the bunker would want him and The Boy to use it.
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