Chapter 1 Summary

Sheriff Bell reflects on his being responsible for sending a convicted murderer to the gas chamber. He recalls the young man saying he had no soul, that he would be in hell and did not care. Bell decides that he will not put his own soul on the line any longer.

Chigurh is standing in the corner of the prison office, his hands cuffed behind his back. He manages to pull his hands under his legs, then use the handcuffs to strangle the deputy. He steals the deputy’s keys, money, squad car, and stungun (a firing mechanism propelled by an air tank) and leaves. Running the siren, Chigurh stops a motorist, kills him, and steals his car.

Llewelyn Moss is out hunting when he runs across some trucks in a caldera, around which dead men are scattered. In one of the trucks he finds a large amount of heroin. In the other, he finds a man still alive, begging for water. Moss explains that he has no water and walks off, knowing that there is still a man out there who is responsible for the shootings. Moss takes the gun from one of the trucks. He follows a trail of blood and finds the last man, dead. Beside him is a leather document bag filled with 2.4 million dollars. Moss takes the money and heads back home, where his wife badgers him about where he has been. She does not believe that he is carrying a satchel filled with money. He hides the gun beneath the trailer and the money under the bed in the second bedroom.

Late that night, Moss takes a jar of water and drives back out to the trucks. He leaves his own truck on a ridge and walks down to find the man dead. Moss looks back at his truck and sees another truck parked beside it. He takes off running, with men chasing him. Going across the country, he manages to stay ahead of the chasers until he gets to a river. The men begin shooting and hit Moss in the arm. Moss crosses the river and escapes from the men. He thinks that he must get back to his wife and send her away. He thinks that he should probably call his brother in California to warn him that men might show up asking about him. He realizes that in the morning, someone might report the crime scene along with the license number of his truck. He starts walking to the town of Langtry, which is thirty miles away.