Study Guide

Blood Meridian Chapter 5

By Cormac McCarthy

Chapter 5

  • After the Aboriginal warriors have passed through, the kid gets up from a pile of dead bodies and sneaks away from the site of the massacre of Captain White's crew.
  • The kid eventually finds some rocks where he can hide. There's another man named Sproule who's already hiding there, badly wounded. It looks like eight men out of Captain White's crew have escaped death.
  • The kid and Sproule look for more shelter the next day and walk through a bunch of dead babies hanging in some bushes (yup, this book is violent). They come upon a village, but it looks like everyone there has suffered the same fate as the folks in Captain White's crew. Dead people and animals lie all around. They spend a night in the village and head out the next day.
  • As if things couldn't get any worse, Sproule's arm gets infected while they travel. If they don't see to it soon, the guy will probably die of blood poisoning.
  • While they travel, they meet up with a group of Mexican riders. One of the riders is on Captain White's horse. They pass by, but the kid and Sproule grab at their ankles and beg for help. The leader of the riders gives them some water.
  • The next night, Sproule gets attacked by a vampire bat. It seems as though everything is working against him and the kid.
  • Wandering in the desert, the kid and Sproule come across an old rickety wagon with a family inside it. They grab some water and hop in the back of the wagon without asking, falling asleep as the wagon moves on to wherever it's going.
  • When they wake up, they're inside a village. The kid gets out to pee and gets promptly arrested. They lead him through a crowd of people to the town square, where he's confronted with a jar that has Captain White's severed head inside it. The kid couldn't really care less about Captain White, though.
  • The kid gets tossed into a prison with three other men from Captain White's failed expedition.
  • Boys from the Mexican village like to stand on top of the walls surrounding the prisoners and try to pee on them. But the kid picks up a rock and drills one of the kids in the head with it, sending him unconscious off the wall.
  • Three days later, a group of soldiers leads them out of the village.
  • They enter a city and get pelted with rotten food by the people who live there. When they're put into a new dungeon, the kid recognizes one of the prisoners who is already there. We don't find out right away who it is, though. But hey, that's what the next chapter's for.

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