Study Guide

Blood Meridian Chapter 2

By Cormac McCarthy

Chapter 2

  • As the book tells us, the kid spends a long time riding around begging and barely getting by. One night, he has to stop at the house of a crazy old hermit who takes him in and gives him food and water. It's clear that being alone out in the desert has made this dude crazy.
  • The kid and the hermit sit and chat by the fire for a while, and the hermit tells the story about how he used to be a slave dealer and gives a general philosophy about life.
  • The kid decides to leave when he wakes up in the middle of the night and finds the hermit leaning over him and watching him sleep.
  • The next day, the kid runs into a group of men on horses herding a bunch of cattle. He joins up with them. He soon gets separated from them and follows a horsecart full of dead bodies into a nearby town.
  • The kid goes into a bar and demands a drink, saying he'll sweep the floors in exchange. But even after he's swept the floors, the bartender won't give him anything. So you know what that means: it's time to fight. The kid grabs two liquor bottles while the bartender grabs a huge hammer. The kid gets the better of it and probably kills the dude, leaving him in a bloody heap. Then for good measure, the kid steals a couple of bottles of liquor and leaves.
  • The next morning, the kid wakes up super hung over with his mule missing. But after a while, he finds it and washes himself in a river.