As Billy travels through Mexico there are various moments where it becomes almost biblical with parables about life and death. Having met the priest who no longer believed in God on his first trip over the border he now meets a man who has his eyes sucked out who can see nothing but has an immense amount of pride about how he is dependant on no one.
The problem with these little excursions into the past with a message for the present is that they tend to intrude a bit on the main story of Billy and Boyd trying to get their stolen horses back home. You feel that the timing of the parable of the blind man is particularly odd because the posse trying to get back the horses has shot Boyd and Billy is yet to find out if he is alive or dead.
After taking their horses out of the town and watching the leader of the five-man gang trying to get them break his back Billy and Boyd seem to have got away from another potentially thorny situation. But they are discovered and Boyd is shot in the back as they try to escape. One by one the men kill the horses and Billy puts Boyd on a truck with some workers before riding off on the remaining horse Nino.
Then he meets the blind man who lost his eyes as punishment for his role in the revolution. But the pace picks up again when he manages to track Boyd down who is still alive but after he is seen by a doctor not given a great deal of chance to pull through.
There must be a message that the priest and the blind man are offering the problem is that you get impatient waiting for them to share it and by the time the moral of their story arrives it has lost its punch. Things improve when McCarthy gets back onto the plains and the action focuses on Billy and Boyd.