Everything went wrong for the Americans in this chapter. First General Elias chases them down which results in, "three of Glanton's party were killed and another seven wounded, four of whom could not ride (McCarthy 205)." Next, Tate's horse gets lamed (by the way the frog of a horse's hoof is the patch of soft membrane in the center of the foot, it is shaped like a V http://www.horseperspective.com/2415.jpg). After that, the kid and Tate are ambushed by some Mexicans. The kid then goes solo and walks through the mountains all by his lonesome, fighting the blistering cold and dangerous environment along the way. Then he finds his squad to find that they have been fighting off the Mexican Army the whole time and have lost another 4 men. That pretty much sums things up...
When the kid finds the group again, the different adventures are pretty interesting. The rest of the group seems to hate the kid because they thought he had the easy way out. However, the kid didn't have the luxury of a horse while traversing the mountains and had to get through the cold all by himself. McCarthy writes, They looked bad...Glanton's eyes in their dark sockets were burning centroids (centroids = the point that may be considered as the center of a one-or two- dimensional figure, the sum of the displacements of all points in the figure from such a point being zero (dictionary.com)) of murder...riders stared balefully at the kid as if he were no part of them for all they were so like in wretchedness of circumstance (McCarthy 218)." This shows how different the posse feels about the kid since he hadn't had to fight for 3 days straight. However, unlike any of the other people that "missed the camp meeting a time or two," they don't kill or even harass the kid. They must think that the kid should be different since he is a kid.
It seems like the Americans have nowhere to hide anymore. Everyone wants to kill them which confirms what the Mennonite and all of the other doomsayers in the previous chapters said. Even the local townsfolk know that the Americans are crazy, bloodthirsty, murderers. Sorry guys, I don't think there are going to be any parties any time soon.
It's highly unbelievable that the kid could tackle a horse. Although this may be a technique used by McCarthy to show how much the kid has learned by being with the posse. He has learned how to live by himself in very hostile and desolate environments. Also he has learned how to spot a mass amount of people by using their tracks. I believe that the kid is being prepared to become a new Glanton of sorts.
The desert that the kid and Tate are in when it starts snowing reminds me of Death Valley.
http://www.death.valley.national-park.com/ for information
http://www.und.edu/instruct/mineral/Eric-Moore-Death-Valley.jpg for a picture
The separate killing styles of the men chosen to kill the wounded was pretty neat. The Delaware was pretty frank and quick. McCarty writes, "The Delaware let drop the reins and took down his warclub from his bag and stepped astraddle of the man and swung the club and crushed his skull with a single blow (McCarthy 206).'' McCarthy shows this to imply that the Delawares are still savages and still very dangerous. However, McCarthy has the kid toy with Shelby before leaving. He does this to show that the kid still has some form of a heart even though he is bing hardened by his peers.
"The moon was up, a half moon that sat like a child's boat in the gap of the black paper mountains to the east (McCarthy 216)." I immediately thought of the Dreamworks animation they play before movies. When McCarthy doesn't write so incredibly intense that you can't read it without having to re-read, he really produces some scenes that could be seen in one's own imagination.
"...stocks of cottonwood that had been shaped with axes like clubhouse guns for boys (McCarthy 220)." This shows how poor and ill-prepared the Mexicans in the neighboring towns are. It also shows how worried they are. They are willing to do whatever it takes to keep the Americans under control; even if that means using whatever weapons are at hand.