Chapter 1 Summary

The Rules of the Game

The Devil’s Highway is a barren, scorched road on the border of Arizona. It is riddled with spirits, the plants are spiked and poisonous, and the animals are alien, nocturnal, and poisonous. In some places, boulders have been arranged as secret signs by both travelers and the Border Patrol. Surprisingly, the northward immigration was a “white phenomenon.” In the 1880s, railroad barons needed cheap labor and enticed Chinese workers to migrate from Mexico. Now, Muslims are proselytizing just across the border, and many of the illegals are actually indigenous Indians who live in abject poverty.

On January 18, 1541, the first death on The Devil’s Highway was recorded, though surely others had died before then. The Catholics and Jesuits inhabited the land in the 1600s and death followed them, too. The gold rush in the 1800s marked the “modern era of death.” The Devil’s Highway was still just a dirt path, but thousands came to find riches. Piles of human bones (now buried) show that many died on the journey. Others were slaughtered by rogue Mexican armies which wanted their belongings. Soon this place was known as “the most terrible place in the world,” a place of haunting and demonic activity.

Five Mexican men stumble onto The Devil’s Highway, parched and delirious, so desperate that they are not afraid to approach a Border Patrol car. One of the men steps forward. Mike F. is the agent in the car and he calls for help. Bad people appear here regularly; many of them are dying and most of them are in trouble. Agent Mike gives the men water (which they throw up), and one man claims there are seven more men behind them dying. Another says that there are thirty men, and a third claims there are seventy. Border Patrol has been worried that an apocalypse is coming, and Mike F. fears this is might be it.

This part of the border is patrolled by fifteen hundred...

(The entire section is 512 words.)