All the Pretty Horses

John Grady Cole Character Analysis

The protagonist of the book, John Grady Cole is a sixteen-year-old from San Angelo, Texas, who enjoys working on his family’s ranch when he’s not in school. Alienated by his mother’s decision to sell the ranch, he sets off to Mexico with his friend Lacey Rawlins. John Grady has a special way with horses: he is particularly loyal to his own horse, Redbo, but he also earns respect and admiration from Mexicans for his ability to tame or “break” wild horses. John Grady holds an idealistic, romantic vision of Mexico. He doesn’t really believe anything will go wildly wrong there, though when it does, he faces the events that confront him with grit and determination. He’s naturally kindhearted, as shown in his friendliness to Blevins, but this generosity can easily become naïveté that leads to disaster. In some ways, John Grady’s development over the course of the novel can be thought of as a bildungsroman, a novel of growing up, as he learns about life and is gradually disabused of his romantic ideals.

John Grady Cole Quotes in All the Pretty Horses

The All the Pretty Horses quotes below are all either spoken by John Grady Cole or refer to John Grady Cole. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
The Idea of the American West Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Vintage edition of All the Pretty Horses published in 1993.
Part 1 Quotes

What he loved in horses was what he loved in men, the blood and the heat of the blood that ran them.

Related Characters: John Grady Cole (speaker)
Related Symbols: Horses, Blood
Page Number: 6
Explanation and Analysis:

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They heard somewhere in that tenantless night a bell that tolled and ceased where no bell was and they rode out on the round dais of the earth which alone was dark and no light to it and which carried their figures and bore them up into the swarming stars so that they rode not under but among them and they rode at once jaunty and circumspect, like thieves newly loosed in that dark electric, like young thieves in a glowing orchard, loosely jacketed against the cold and ten thousand worlds for the choosing.

Related Characters: John Grady Cole, Lacey Rawlins
Page Number: 30
Explanation and Analysis:

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Part 2 Quotes

Finally he said that among men there was no such communion as among horses and the notion that men can be understood at all was probably an illusion. […] Finally John Grady asked him if it were not true that should all horses vanish from the face of the earth the soul of the horse would not also perish for there would be nothing out of which to replenish it but the old man only said that it was pointless to speak of there being no horses in the world for God would not permit such a thing.

Related Characters: John Grady Cole, Luis
Related Symbols: Horses, Religion
Page Number: 111
Explanation and Analysis:

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Part 3 Quotes

But some things aint reasonable. Be that as it may I’m the same man you crossed that river with. How I was is how I am and all I know to do is stick. I never even promised you you wouldnt die down here. Never asked your word on it either. I dont believe in signing on just till it quits suitin you.

Related Characters: John Grady Cole (speaker), Lacey Rawlins
Page Number: 155
Explanation and Analysis:

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We can make the truth here. Or we can lose it. but when you leave here it will be too late. Too late for truth. Then you will be in the hands of other parties. Who can say what the truth will be then? At that time?

Related Characters: The captain (speaker), John Grady Cole
Page Number: 168
Explanation and Analysis:

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John Grady watched the small ragged figure vanish limping among the trees with his keepers. There seemed insufficient substance to him to be the object of men’s wrath. There seemed nothing about him sufficient to fuel any enterprise at all.

Related Characters: John Grady Cole, Lacey Rawlins, Jimmy Blevins, The captain
Page Number: 177
Explanation and Analysis:

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You dont understand the life here. You think the struggle is for these things. Some shoelaces or some cigarettes or something like that. The lucha. This is a naïve view. You know what is naïve? A naïve view. The real facts are always otherwise. You cannot stay in this place and be independent peoples. You dont know what is the situation here. You dont speak the language.

Related Characters: Emilio Pérez (speaker), John Grady Cole, Lacey Rawlins
Page Number: 188
Explanation and Analysis:

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The Mexican does not believe that a car can be good or evil. If there is evil in the car he knows that to destroy the car is to accomplish nothing. Because he knows where good and evil have their home. The anglo thinks in his rare way that the Mexican is superstitious. But who is the one? We know there are qualities to a thing. This car is green. Or it has a certain motor inside. But it cannot be tainted you see. Or a man. Even a man. There can be in a man some evil. But we dont think it is his own evil. Where did he get it? how did he come to claim it? no. Evil is a true thing in Mexico. It goes about on its own legs. Maybe some day it will come to visit you. Maybe it already has.

Related Characters: Emilio Pérez (speaker), John Grady Cole
Page Number: 194-195
Explanation and Analysis:

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I never thought I’d do that.
You didnt have no choice.
I still never thought it.
He’d of done it to you.
He drew on the cigarette and blew the smoke unseen into the darkness. You dont need to try to make it right. It is what it is.

Related Characters: John Grady Cole (speaker), Lacey Rawlins (speaker)
Page Number: 215
Explanation and Analysis:

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Part 4 Quotes

Because the question for me was always whether that shape we see in our lives was there from the beginning or whether these random events are only called a pattern after the fact. Because otherwise we are nothing.

Related Characters: Alfonsa (speaker), John Grady Cole
Page Number: 230
Explanation and Analysis:

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My father had a great sense of the connectedness of things. I’m not sure I share it. He claimed that the responsibility for a decision could never be abandoned to a blind agency but could only be relegated to human decisions more and more remote from their consequences. The example he gave was of a tossed coin that was at one time a slug in a mint and of the coiner who took that slug from the tray and placed it in the die in one of two ways and from whose act all else followed, cara y cruz. No matter through whatever turnings nor how many of them. Till our turn comes at last and our turn passes.

Related Characters: Alfonsa (speaker), John Grady Cole
Page Number: 230
Explanation and Analysis:

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He said that those who have endured some misfortune will always be set apart but that it is just that misfortune which is their gift and which is their strength and that they must make their way back into the common enterprise of man for without they do so it cannot go forward and they themselves will wither in bitterness.

Related Characters: Alfonsa (speaker), John Grady Cole, Gustavo Madero
Page Number: 235
Explanation and Analysis:

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The world is quite ruthless in selecting between the dream and the reality, even where we will not. Between the wish and the thing the world lies waiting.

Related Characters: Alfonsa (speaker), John Grady Cole
Page Number: 238
Explanation and Analysis:

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In history there are no control groups. There is no one to tell us what might have been. We weep over the might have been, but there is no might have been. There never was. It is supposed to be true that those who do not know history are condemned to repeat it. I dont believe knowing can save us. What is constant in history is greed and foolishness and a love of blood and this is a thing that even God—who knows all that can be known—seems powerless to change.

Related Characters: Alfonsa (speaker), John Grady Cole
Related Symbols: Religion, Blood
Page Number: 239
Explanation and Analysis:

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It’s not so much that I dont believe in it. I dont subscribe to its nomination. If fate is the law then is fate also subject to that law? At some point we cannot escape naming responsibility. It’s in our nature. Sometimes I think we are all like that myopic coiner at his press, taking the blind slugs one by one from the tray, all of us bent so jealously at our work, determined that not even chaos be outside of our own making.

Related Characters: Alfonsa (speaker), John Grady Cole
Page Number: 241
Explanation and Analysis:

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He saw very clearly how all his life led only to this moment and all after led nowhere at all. He felt something cold and soulless enter him like another being and he imagined that it smiled malignly and he had no reason to believe that it would ever leave.

Related Characters: John Grady Cole
Page Number: 254
Explanation and Analysis:

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In his sleep he dreamt of horses and the horses in his dream moved gravely among the tilted stones like horses come upon an antique site where some ordering of the world had failed and if anything had been written on the stone the weathers had taken it away again and the horses were wary and moved with great circumspection carrying in their blood as they did the recollection of this and other places where horses once had been and would be again. Finally what he saw in his dream was that the order in the horse’s heart was more durable for it was written in a place where no rain could erase it.

Related Characters: John Grady Cole
Related Symbols: Horses, Blood
Page Number: 280
Explanation and Analysis:

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John Grady Cole Character Timeline in All the Pretty Horses

The timeline below shows where the character John Grady Cole appears in All the Pretty Horses. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part 1
Loyalty and Belonging Theme Icon
John Grady Cole enters the hallway of his family’s house, which is lined with dimly lit portraits... (full context)
The Idea of the American West Theme Icon
Romanticism and Reality Theme Icon
It’s cold outside, but John Grady goes out to stand on the prairie for a long time, until he hears the... (full context)
The Idea of the American West Theme Icon
Romanticism and Reality Theme Icon
At the funeral, John Grady’s father stands by himself a little away from the others, as the women hold onto... (full context)
The Idea of the American West Theme Icon
Romanticism and Reality Theme Icon
Meaningful and Gratuitous Violence Theme Icon
John Grady finds an old horse skull in the brush and turns it over. He loves in... (full context)
Meaningful and Gratuitous Violence Theme Icon
We learn that it’s 1949, and though the house was built in 1872, John Grady’s grandfather is the first man to die in it. Before that, the original family ranch... (full context)
Romanticism and Reality Theme Icon
Loyalty and Belonging Theme Icon
John Grady meets his father in a café, where people seem to recognize them. John Grady says... (full context)
Romanticism and Reality Theme Icon
Loyalty and Belonging Theme Icon
In the next scene, John Grady and his friend Lacey Rawlins are lying outside in the dark on saddle blankets. Rawlins... (full context)
The Idea of the American West Theme Icon
Romanticism and Reality Theme Icon
John Grady returns home and walks into his grandfather’s office, where he looks at his mother’s framed... (full context)
Loyalty and Belonging Theme Icon
John Grady’s mother, referred to as “she,” switches on the light and comes into the office to... (full context)
The Idea of the American West Theme Icon
Romanticism and Reality Theme Icon
It’s autumn and there are a few warm days left, which John Grady spends drinking coffee (his father whisky) in the hotel room where his father is now... (full context)
The Idea of the American West Theme Icon
Romanticism and Reality Theme Icon
Loyalty and Belonging Theme Icon
John Grady says he should be getting back home, and as they walk into the lobby his... (full context)
Romanticism and Reality Theme Icon
Innocence, Expertise, and Knowledge Theme Icon
Over the next few weeks, it rains and floods, and John Grady’s horse Redbo has to be cajoled into directing the cattle. John Grady, Luisa, and another... (full context)
Romanticism and Reality Theme Icon
Innocence, Expertise, and Knowledge Theme Icon
John Grady goes to see Mr. Franklin, a lawyer, who tells him that the ranch is his... (full context)
Romanticism and Reality Theme Icon
Innocence, Expertise, and Knowledge Theme Icon
Loyalty and Belonging Theme Icon
After Christmas John Grady’s mother is always absent. Luisa is often crying. One morning, John Grady carries a leather... (full context)
Romanticism and Reality Theme Icon
Innocence, Expertise, and Knowledge Theme Icon
Loyalty and Belonging Theme Icon
The next day John Grady pays for a balcony seat for the town theater. At intermission he smokes a cigarette... (full context)
Innocence, Expertise, and Knowledge Theme Icon
Loyalty and Belonging Theme Icon
...morning the temperature’s still freezing and the only café open is a Mexican café, but John Grady is able to order and speak to the waitress in Spanish. He walks up Broadway... (full context)
The Idea of the American West Theme Icon
Romanticism and Reality Theme Icon
Innocence, Expertise, and Knowledge Theme Icon
John Grady and his father ride one last time together in early March, along Grape Creek into... (full context)
Romanticism and Reality Theme Icon
Innocence, Expertise, and Knowledge Theme Icon
Loyalty and Belonging Theme Icon
...“boarding” his horse, keeping it at the ranch in exchange for feeding and cleaning stalls. John Grady says Redbo wouldn’t like that. His father asks if he’s still seeing the Barnett girl,... (full context)
Fate and Responsibility Theme Icon
Loyalty and Belonging Theme Icon
That night, John Grady and Rawlins lie out beneath the stars. Rawlins asks if John Grady has told his... (full context)
Romanticism and Reality Theme Icon
Innocence, Expertise, and Knowledge Theme Icon
John Grady sees the Barnett girl (Mary Catherine) one last time in town, running into her on... (full context)
The Idea of the American West Theme Icon
Romanticism and Reality Theme Icon
Late that night, John Grady meets Rawlins in front of his house with their two horses. They ride across the... (full context)
The Idea of the American West Theme Icon
Romanticism and Reality Theme Icon
Innocence, Expertise, and Knowledge Theme Icon
...They water the horses and eat the sandwiches they’ve brought, resting under trees at midday. John Grady has only brought his grandfather’s old revolver, which he doesn’t know how to shoot. By... (full context)
The Idea of the American West Theme Icon
Romanticism and Reality Theme Icon
...in rolling hill country and then into a town, Pandale. They’re dirty and dusty and John Grady tells Rawlins he looks like a desperado. The woman at the deli is impressed that... (full context)
Romanticism and Reality Theme Icon
The boys cross the Pecos River, the horses gingerly choosing their steps. John Grady says someone has been following them on horseback, but he says they should just keep... (full context)
Innocence, Expertise, and Knowledge Theme Icon
...if he’s following them, and the kid denies it, saying he’s going to Langtry. When John Grady asks where he got the horse, the boy says it’s his. He claims to be... (full context)
The Idea of the American West Theme Icon
Innocence, Expertise, and Knowledge Theme Icon
...they should cross. Before doing so, they eat lunch under willow trees. After a nap, John Grady sees the same boy riding towards them. Rawlins says they should remount and get away:... (full context)
The Idea of the American West Theme Icon
Innocence, Expertise, and Knowledge Theme Icon
...of a plain, and when Rawlins asks, Blevins says he last ate several days ago. John Grady and Rawlins tell him their names and say they’re from San Angelo, but Blevins doesn’t... (full context)
The Idea of the American West Theme Icon
...pole corral. They enter a store where a girl is sitting reading a comic book. John Grady asks in Spanish for something to drink, and she hands them cider, which Rawlins pays... (full context)
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...He climbs over the bench and goes out, and the owners look worried. After dinner John Grady finds Blevins sitting on the ground, and Blevins refuses to get up to sleep in... (full context)
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John Grady and Rawlins sleep in the back of the house, and John Grady says that the... (full context)
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...stare into the embers of their fire. Rawlins tells Blevins how good a horse rider John Grady is—that he can outride anyone he’s ever seen. Blevins claims he’s seen Booger Red ride,... (full context)
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...to get there—it looks like paradise. He remarks how huge a country this is, and John Grady says that the hugeness is what he’s there for. (full context)
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...persimmon trees. That night, for the first time, they hear the howls of a wolf. John Grady looks up at the constellations in the sky, picking out Orion, Cepella, and Cassiopeia, and... (full context)
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...around a fire. Rawlins asks how long they’ll last on coffee and cold tortillas, but John Grady says he isn’t worried. As they watch the sun rise, Rawlins asks if there will... (full context)
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...saddles, and smell of smoke and sweat. They seem wild and strange to the boys. John Grady watches them to see what they are thinking but can’t tell at all. After speaking... (full context)
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...the Sabinal River. He continues to refuse to answer why he’s run away, but when John Grady asks if he’s done it before, he says he has. He had gotten a job... (full context)
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...horse goes forward and Blevins falls backward into the road. Rawlins spits in disgust and John Grady curses at him to get back on the horse. (full context)
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...deaf in one ear. He says wildly that he’ll try to outride the storm, which John Grady tells him is impossible. But at the first crack of thunder Blevins rides out towards... (full context)
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...across Blevins’ horse tied to a willow tree next to a stream beside the road. John Grady rides through the willows until finding Blevins crouched under a dead cottonwood tree. John Grady... (full context)
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John Grady and Rawlins take shelter under a rock overhang. At one point they hear a horse... (full context)
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John Grady finds Blevins in the same place he left him. His clothes are washed way, and... (full context)
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...for wax. A dozen men dressed in rags are eating off clay plates beside them. John Grady greets them in Spanish and asks if they have something to eat. They gesture at... (full context)
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Blevins asks if John Grady will ask them about his horse. Rawlins says he won’t get his horse back, and... (full context)
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John Grady asks the Mexican men about the candelilla, which looks like a bar of soap. He... (full context)
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When John Grady heads back to the others, Blevins asks again about his horse, but John Grady says... (full context)
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...with Blevins sleeping wrapped in a blanket, Rawlins says he looks pitiful. He asks if John Grady has thought about Rawlins’ suggestion to leave Blevins behind. Something bad is going to happen,... (full context)
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...of the back pocket of a man bent over the engine of a Dodge car. John Grady grabs Blevins before he slides off the horse. Rawlins says they should stash the boy... (full context)
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Rawlins tells John Grady that for every dumb thing he’s ever done, there was an earlier choice that got... (full context)
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After falling asleep, they wake up to find Blevins squatting watching them. John Grady says his horse is here without a saddle, and they’ll try to help him get... (full context)
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...the road and three pistol shots can be heard from somewhere. Blevins passes Rawlins and John Grady . The two of them race up the hill, hearing shots behind them. They turn... (full context)
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...let him take the road, while they slip into the country. He gallops away and John Grady and Rawlins ride through the brush in the dark. They hear horses on the road... (full context)
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...another hill two miles away. Rawlins swears they’ll have to get past his rifle, but John Grady says he doesn’t want to shoot his way back to Texas. Rawlins says he’ll kill... (full context)
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In the morning, Rawlins goes off to scavenge and finds nopal fruit. As they eat, John Grady says the problem is that they wouldn’t necessarily recognize the three riders. The two of... (full context)
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...they cook over a fire. They’re impatient to eat. As they wait, Rawlins asks if John Grady ever thinks about dying, and if he thinks there’s a heaven. John Grady says yes... (full context)
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Rawlins asks if John Grady thinks God looks out for people, and they both agree that God does. Rawlins says... (full context)
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...each of the vaqueros tips his hat to her. Rawlins exclaims about the girl to John Grady , who doesn’t answer, still looking down the road after her. (full context)
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That evening they help drive the cattle into a holding pen. Afterward the vaqueros introduce John Grady and Rawlins to the gerente (manager), who seats them in the kitchen to ask about... (full context)
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...be good men, though he wonders if they think the two are on the run. John Grady tells him to go to sleep, but his last words are about how this is... (full context)
Part 2
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As Part 2 begins, we learn some background about the ranch where John Grady and Rawlins have arrived, the Hacienda de Nuestra Señora de la Purísima Concepción, an 11,000-hectare... (full context)
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For two days, John Grady and Rawlins brand, castrate, dehorn and inoculate the cattle in the holding pens. On the... (full context)
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Rawlins and John Grady walk over to the kitchen, where they tell the gerente that they are amansadores, or... (full context)
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John Grady chooses a horse and hits it with his rope loop so that it bends down... (full context)
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...twenty people, including women and young children, are waiting for them back at the trap. John Grady walks up to the wildest-looking horse and ties a rope to the hackamore. He leads... (full context)
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John Grady and Rawlins walk down to the bunkhouse, and several people offer them mescal (an alcoholic... (full context)
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On the fourth day, Rawlins stays in the trap and John Grady rides one of the horses away from the ranch. Two miles above it, the girl... (full context)
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...the horses. He nods; he and the gerente look over the other horses before leaving. John Grady and Rawlins look at each other, then unsaddle the horses and head to dinner. When... (full context)
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Three days later, John Grady and Rawlins are sent into the mountains with three young vaqueros from the country. A... (full context)
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...if someone can understand one horse’s soul he can understand all horses. And men’s souls? John Grady asks. Luis says that there is not communion among men like there is among horses,... (full context)
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...the trap. On May second, the hacendado returns from Mexico City in his red plane. John Grady comes to the ranch house, and Don Héctor, a thin gray-haired man, enters the kitchen... (full context)
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Don Héctor asks why John Grady has come to Mexico from Texas. He replies that he and his friend just wanted... (full context)
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Don Héctor asks where John Grady is from, and he seems to studies John Grady. He asks if John Grady has... (full context)
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In the next scene, John Grady and Rawlins are sitting on the bunkhouse bed, and Rawlins tells John Grady it’s a... (full context)
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A week later, John Grady , Rawlins, Luis the mozo, and two vaqueros go up into the mountains. After the... (full context)
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...Sunday they ride into the town of La Vega, placing fifty-cent bets to race horses. John Grady wins, even when they switch horses. Wide-eyed country peasants watch the boys race and yell... (full context)
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...with fruit cans holding lights and colored crepe, casting shadows on the floor and walls. John Grady , Rawlins, and another boy from the ranch toast their bottles of mescal to the... (full context)
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John Grady asks Alejandra to dance, and for the first time he touches her on her small... (full context)
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John Grady rides back alone, since he doesn’t see Rawlins at the barn. A mile from town... (full context)
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John Grady asks Don Héctor if he might ride the horse, as he admires it. In the... (full context)
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John Grady and Antonio breed the mares daily for several weeks. Antonio too loves horses, and conspires... (full context)
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Sometimes John Grady wakes up early in the mornings to hear María, a house attendant at the hacienda,... (full context)
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John Grady rides back slowly on the Arabian, hoping Alejandra will come back so they can switch... (full context)
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...pictures of her taken in front of European cathedrals, and oil portraits of her ancestors. John Grady had never seen her until the week after Alejandra returns from Mexico City, when, upon... (full context)
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Alfonsa invites John Grady into the dining room, speaking with an English accent. They play chess, and John Grady... (full context)
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...doesn’t understand the grave real-world consequences of her actions. It’s not proper for her and John Grady to be seen riding together. Alfonsa says a woman has only her reputation here, and... (full context)
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John Grady and Rawlins sit on the mesa (plateau) watching a storm from the north, and John... (full context)
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Several nights later, Alejandra knocks at John Grady’s bunk. She asks what Alfonsa said to him, and John Grady tells her. She says... (full context)
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...swims out into a lake, and Alejandra follows him, her hair floating in the water. John Grady feels that the betrayal makes the moment sweeter, and when she asks if he loves... (full context)
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One day John Grady and Rawlins are sitting in the bunkhouse smoking and waiting for supper when, suddenly, they... (full context)
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After the nine days, Alejandra returns to the city. The next evening, John Grady speaks to the hacendado in the barn, but Don Héctor responds without looking at him.... (full context)
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As they play, Don Héctor, who wins easily, tells John Grady of the history of Mexico and of Alfonsa and Francisco Madero, whose brother may have... (full context)
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Later, John Grady sits on his bunk and remembers what Alejandra had said the night before—I’ll do anything... (full context)
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The next Sunday, Antonio invites John Grady to his brother’s house for dinner. John Grady tells Antonio about playing billiards, and asks... (full context)
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John Grady lies awake until dawn, and in the morning Rawlins says he looks terrible: Rawlins hopes... (full context)
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Two days later John Grady and Rawlins ride into the mountains again, camping in the same spot as they had... (full context)
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...hacienda at dark with eleven young mares. The next morning, at dawn, two men enter John Grady’s bunk with pistols and flashlights and order him to get up. They tell him to... (full context)
Part 3
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...mountains and the country they’d first crossed four months earlier. At a break for lunch, John Grady sits and watches Rawlins, who won’t meet his eyes. The guards say little to each... (full context)
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John Grady says he had asked the officials to wake Don Héctor: they said he’d been awake... (full context)
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...to hunt them, but Blevins denies it. Still, they knew there were three of them, John Grady says. But Rawlins says they wouldn’t have hunted them if they’d gotten the horse back—Blevins... (full context)
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...the penitentiary—he isn’t old enough to be hung—but Rawlins says they’ll lie about his age. John Grady tells Blevins not to listen: there’s no capital punishment in Mexico. John Grady asks Blevins... (full context)
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That night John Grady dreams of horses running in a high plain. He’s one of them, and their colors... (full context)
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...says he doesn’t know. The captain says he’s foolish. They let Rawlins go, and it’s John Grady’s turn. Rawlins says he can tell them whatever he wants—it won’t make a difference. (full context)
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The captain tells John Grady that his friend told them everything, and it would be best for him to admit... (full context)
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...a burning cigarette by his ear. He asks how old the assassin Blevins is, and John Grady says he doesn’t know. He tells John Grady to give him his billfold, and he... (full context)
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Back in the cell, the boys watch Blevins being led away. John Grady tells him they’re going to Saltillo, and it seems like the captain wants to make... (full context)
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John Grady talks with the old man, who doesn’t know what crime he’s accused of. He’s been... (full context)
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...and cursing at him. Damn you to hell, he keeps repeating, almost in tears, and John Grady tells him to let it go. (full context)
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When John Grady asks the old man if they’ve mistreated him, he waves it off: he says there’s... (full context)
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Three days later John Grady , Blevins, and Rawlins are led from their cell onto a truck. The captain and... (full context)
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They stop outside a bright blue house where an elegantly dressed man, whom John Grady calls a charro, or cowboy, comes out and gets into the front of the truck... (full context)
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...they’re going to do, and Rawlins says they won’t do anything. When he looks at John Grady , John Grady says nothing. The guard grabs Blevins’ arm, and he wrenches off his... (full context)
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...captain seems to occupy another space, the privilege to those of the “irreclaimable act”—murder—to which John Grady and Rawlins are barred access. Once someone chooses that world he cannot leave it. The... (full context)
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...papers, lost people—will arise, making trouble for everyone. As the captain is about to go, John Grady says he didn’t have to kill Blevins. The captain turns and says he’ll tell him... (full context)
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...ready one is to kill. When the fighting starts again, Rawlins says they’ll be killed. John Grady thinks they’ll either kill them or eventually leave them be—there’s no middle ground. (full context)
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...had intimated. He says he never imagined there was such a place as this, but John Grady says there must be every kind of place you can think of. (full context)
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Rawlins asks John Grady about the Spanish lingo he’s picked up here: words for cigarette butt, big shot, and... (full context)
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...a gas heater, and a carpet. He says to them that they enjoy fighting, and John Grady cuts Rawlins off to say yes, they do. Pérez says that Americans don’t stay long... (full context)
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...but they don’t have time. He can only help them if they show him faith. John Grady and Rawlins push back their chairs and rise, and Pérez says they’re very foolish. He... (full context)
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...an unknown man with a knife stabs Rawlins with an Italian switchblade. Rawlins runs to John Grady , and they cross the quadrangle to the gate shack. John Grady hands Rawlins over... (full context)
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Three days after the stabbing, John Grady arrives at Pérez’s door. Pérez asks after his friend, and John Grady says that that’s... (full context)
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John Grady asks what Pérez wants to know, and he says only what the world wants to... (full context)
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As John Grady turns to go, Pérez says he thought John Grady wanted to know what would happen... (full context)
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John Grady tries to buy a knife, but no one will sell one to him. Finally he... (full context)
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Half an hour later, John Grady heads into the dining hall for dinner. It’s Sunday, so many prisoners have eaten food... (full context)
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The boy stubs out his cigarette and John Grady hears sounds from beyond the prison walls, meaning that the dining hall is silent. He... (full context)
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John Grady accidentally drops his tray and, touching his shirt, realizes it’s sticky with blood. He backs... (full context)
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Other prisoners are still watching John Grady , but no one follows as he walks to his room with blood sloshing in... (full context)
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John Grady wakes up in a dark stone room, finding it difficult to breathe. He calls out... (full context)
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For the next three days, John Grady thinks about the terrible things probably done to his father in Goshee, and about everything... (full context)
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...carrying a leather bag comes in, saying he’s the doctor. He cuts away gauze over John Grady’s wound and rewraps the dressing over his stitches. He says John Grady is a fast... (full context)
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The next time John Grady wakes up, the man from the first visit comes in with a pile of clothes... (full context)
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Both say they thought the other had died, but then John Grady says they should sit and be quiet. It’s gray and raining outside, and some of... (full context)
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At the centro (town center), John Grady suggests they get something to eat: he has a whole envelope full of money—the envelope... (full context)
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Rawlins says he knows John Grady wants to go back to the ranch for Alejandra and for the horses. Rawlins tells... (full context)
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...eyes, cursing and saying he keeps thinking about Blevins. He looks old and sad to John Grady , and says he keeps thinking how scared Blevins was. John Grady watches him and... (full context)
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Rawlins and John Grady find a hotel room and, after showering, talk about how they’re going to get their... (full context)
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...buy Rawlins a ticket to Nuevo Laredo. They tell each other to take care, and John Grady watches Rawlins climb stiffly onto the bus. After standing for a while, John Grady turns... (full context)
Part 4
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On the other side of Paredón, the truck picks up five farmworkers, and they ask John Grady where he’s from and where he’s going. One of them, older, nods at his cheap... (full context)
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John Grady sets out the next morning along the road west, hitchhiking and stopping to bathe in... (full context)
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John Grady sleeps under a grove of trees, and the next morning hitchhikes into the town of... (full context)
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The next morning John Grady walks up to the house, where Carlos is standing outside and nods to him gravely.... (full context)
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A vaquero calls out to John Grady as he passes the bunkhouse, saying the horse is happy to see him. John Grady... (full context)
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Back at the hacienda, the other vaqueros invite John Grady to eat with them, and he tells him about everything that happened. They’re sad not... (full context)
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After dinner John Grady waits in the kitchen until María tells him that Alfonsa is in the parlor. She... (full context)
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John Grady asks why Alfonsa bought them out of prison. She says he knows that, and that... (full context)
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John Grady says he would have thought Alfonsa’s own disappointments would have made her more sympathetic to... (full context)
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...from the beginning, or whether random events shape themselves into a pattern after the fact. John Grady , in response to her question, says he believes in fate. Alfonsa says her father... (full context)
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...is true above what is useful. It is not the case that Alfonsa has rejected John Grady for being young, uneducated, or foreign. But now she sees him more clearly. (full context)
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John Grady says Alfonsa won’t let him make his case for being with Alejandra, and she says... (full context)
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The next morning, John Grady says goodbye to the vaqueros and María and then chooses a horse to ride. As... (full context)
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In Torreón, the hotel clerk tells John Grady the only place to tie his horse is in the lobby. He sleeps almost twelve... (full context)
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The next morning John Grady wakes up at six and boards a train to Zacatecas. As he eats breakfast he... (full context)
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John Grady says he must tell Alejandra what happened, everything from Blevins to the cuchillero. When Alejandra... (full context)
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Late that night they make love, and Alejandra tells John Grady that she saw him dead in a dream long ago, being carried through the streets... (full context)
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John Grady sees clearly how his entire life has led to this moment, and after it leads... (full context)
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The next morning John Grady wakes up in a green room in an unknown part of the city. He hitchhikes... (full context)
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John Grady rides all the next day towards Encantada, finally arriving to the old mud walls at... (full context)
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...are at Don Rafael’s hacienda. They all ride out the ten kilometers. At the corral John Grady dismounts, draws his pistol, and leads Rawlins’ horse through the gate. He calls out to... (full context)
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John Grady hands rope to the charro and tells him to bridle Blevins’ horse. He snaps the... (full context)
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John Grady yells to the charro to bring a saddle and bridle for his horse or he’ll... (full context)
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They set out back toward Encantada, the captain complaining about his dislocated shoulder, which John Grady ignores. Ten minutes later four riders appear galloping from behind. John Grady fires at them... (full context)
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...ride through the brush and stop to rest by a creek. The captain asks why John Grady won’t leave him here, and John Grady replies that the captain is a hostage. The... (full context)
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That night they stop to camp, and John Grady builds a fire. He sticks the barrel of the pistol into the coals, and soaks... (full context)
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...dawn they rest and drink water. The captain says he can go no farther, but John Grady says they will. They rest again further on, at which point the horses are exhausted,... (full context)
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They continue on up through the hills at a much-reduced pace. In the early evening John Grady glimpses riders about five miles away. As he sleeps, he hears the horses stepping and... (full context)
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When John Grady awakes there are three men standing over him with pistols. A man with a rifle... (full context)
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John Grady rides the entire next day with the three horses through the north country, which by... (full context)
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When John Grady wakes up he knows his father is dead. He rides on until the evening, when... (full context)
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John Grady rides out of the town and heads north, crossing the river to Texas in the... (full context)
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...him have doubts about the human race, but this isn’t one of them. That night John Grady knocks at the judge’s door. He’s invited in and is introduced to the judge’s wife.... (full context)
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The judge asks John Grady if he’d want to be a judge, and when he says no, the judge said... (full context)
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The next Sunday, John Grady is in a Bracketville, Texas café when he hears a voice on the radio saying... (full context)
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The reverend invites John Grady in for dinner. He tells him how he got started, when he realized how powerful... (full context)
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John Grady never finds the horse’s owner. In March, he heads back to San Angelo and reaches... (full context)
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It’s cool and windy the day of Abuela’s funeral, and John Grady stands across the road, apart from the mostly Mexican group. He crosses the road afterward... (full context)
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After four days of riding, John Grady crosses the Pecos River at Iraan, Texas, and thinks about the time when there were... (full context)