By noon the day following they’d made some forty miles. Still in country they knew. Crossing the old Mark Fury ranch in the night where they’d dismounted at the crossfences for John Grady to pull the staples with a catspaw and stand on the wires while Rawlins led the horses through and then raise the wires back and beat the staples into the posts and put the catspaw back in his saddlebag and mount up to ride on.
How the hell do they expect a man to ride a horse in this country? said Rawlins.
They don’t, said John Grady.
They rode the sun up and ate the sandwiches John Grady had brought from the house and at noon they watered the horses at an old stone stocktank and walked them down a dry creekbed among the tracks of cattle and javelina to a stand of cottonwoods. There were cattle bedded under the trees that rose at their approach and stood looking at them and then moved off.
They lay in the dry chaff under the trees with their coats rolled up under their heads and their hats over their eyes while the horses gazed in the grass along the creekbed.
What did you bring to shoot? said Rawlins.
Just Grandad’s old thumb-buster.
Can you hit anything with it?
Rawlins grinned. We done it, didnt we?
You think they’ll be hunting us?
I don’t know. Just seems too damn easy in a way.
They could hear the wind and they could hear the sound of the horses cropping.
I’ll tell you what, said Rawlins.
I dont give a damn.
John Grady sat up and took his tobacco from his shirtpocket and began making a cigarette. About what? he said.
He wet the cigarette and put it in his mouth and took out his matches and lit the cigarette and blew the match out with the smoke. He turned and looked at Rawlins but Rawlins was asleep.
Cormac McCarthy, All the pretty horses