Chapters 11-13 Summary
Sheriff Bell tracks down Llewellyn Moss’s father and goes to visit with him. Mr. Moss tells him that Moss had been a sniper in the war and was in no way involved with drugs. Bell assures him that he also believes this. Mr. Moss reflects that the Vietnam War did not bring America to its knees. America was failing even before the war started. The soldiers had nothing backing them up when they went overseas. They did not have a country worth fighting for.
On his way back home, Bell reflects on the truth of what Mr. Moss said. Older people no longer recognized the culture of their country. It was foreign to them, much as it was to Bell himself. He learns that a Mexican is being imprisoned for burning the car that Bell had passed on the way to Van Horn. It was a trooper’s car, and the trooper was killed. Bell is fairly certain that Chigurh is the real murderer, but he cannot prove it. He visits the Mexican, who tells Bell that he indeed killed the trooper. He asks Bell what he knows of Chigurh. Bell and the Mexican know nothing; they think perhaps he is a ghost after all.
When he gets back home, Bell finds Loretta riding off on her horse. They discuss the coming changes in their lives. Loretta is supportive, though Bell has a feeling she does not quite understand. In the night, Bell thinks he knows where the country is headed. For years, America has sold itself out to people who have money, and mostly those people are not on the good side. America has trouble with drug dealers because Americans take drugs. He asks Loretta if she reads about anything like this in the Book of Revelation in the Bible. She says she will let him know.
Bell is not sure what he feels as he leaves the courthouse for the last time. He feels that he is leaving in defeat. He tells himself, however, that he needs to get over it. He thinks about his father. He was good enough, as fathers go, but Bell believes that he has turned out to be a better man. Bell remembers two dreams he had after his father died. In the first dream, Bell met his father in town. His father gave him some money, and Bell lost it. The second dream was set in older times, with both Bell and his father riding on horseback through the mountains. It was cold and snowy. His father rode past him, carrying a horn in which he carried light. As his father rode ahead out of sight, Bell knew that he was fixing a fire out there in the dark and the cold, and that whenever Bell got there, his father would be there.