Good chapter, long chapter.
Mr. King said not to reiterate what happened in the chapter I think, so I'll focus on things that really caught my attention and discuss that.
The whole chapter was really disgusting. Why did McCarthy decide to include the hanging of babies by their chins on hooks from a tree or the condition the kid found himself the night after the massacre? Was it to simply be descriptive? or another example of making his story "not like other westerns"? I could be wrong, but I don't think other western books or movies were so outrageously sickening. A lot of this chapter is something I would expect to see included in a Marilyn Manson video. I thought the authors word choice on page 60 was interesting. The kid walked into the church and saw a pile of dead bodies. McCarthy describes the bodies in this way:
"The murdered lay in a great pool of their communal blood."
"Communal" Blood. This part being in a church, this seemed significant to me because, when I think of communal, I think of communion, the partaking of the body and blood of Christ.
The mirage must have been an interesting sight for the two men. The next morning, Sproule asks why he doesn't see it anymore. The kid replies, "People see what they want to see." what they wanted to see, most obviously, was water, but what about the other things in the mirage? The mountains, the hawk, the city, the hills, the trees? The natural things; the mountains, the hawk, the hills, and the trees; aren't generally found in the desert, except maybe the mountain (obviously since they had just "Crested the mountain"). The city, I think, is also something they haven't seen in a long time, but also, a place where there are the things they enjoy: alcohol and women, and simple luxuries they haven't had since entering the desert: beds, food, water, etc.
So, how did the police find the kid at the family's house? Did the family call them?
For the capitol of a country, Chihuahua City was described very, as with the theme of the chapter, disgustingly.