Study Guide

Carson Wells in No Country for Old Men

By Cormac McCarthy

Carson Wells

The Wells Run Dry

Wells is hired by one of the drug lords to recover the money Llewelyn stole. Unlike Chigurh, though, Wells doesn't want to kill Llewelyn to do it. That makes him a good guy. Kind of. We think. Does this book have any good guys?

Maybe Wells isn't good. Maybe he's just lazy. Or smart. Maybe in this book there isn't a difference between the two. See, Wells would rather get the money from Llewelyn than Chigurh, because he knows how nutso Chigurh is. He spins this to Llewelyn as if he's doing it for his benefit. "If I have to recover the funds from Chigurh then it will be too late for you" (5.3.294). However, even if Llewelyn gave Wells the money, it wouldn't stop Chigurh from killing him, anyway.

Wells comes face to face with Chigurh, and yep, Chigurh is just as crazy as Wells expected. Wells puts it bluntly: "Do you have any notion of how goddamned crazy you are?" (6.2.51). Of course, Chigurh thinks he's a man of honor. According to his point of view, he and Wells are just on opposite sides in a really confusing war. Chigurh thinks he's just sticking to his principles, even when he shoots Wells in the face.

Wells, we hardly knew ye. No, really, you were barely in two chapters before being added to the body count.