The Line Becomes a River - Part 1, Section 2 - pages 27 – 49 Summary & Analysis

Francisco Cantú
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Summary

The author describes how, on his first run in pursuit of drug smugglers, he and his colleagues (including Morales, Hart, and their commanding officer, Cole), bring in a large haul of marijuana, but no smugglers. Cole warns the new recruits that bringing in smugglers and drugs will result in large amounts of paperwork. He also describes the lessons passed on to him by Cole, who at one point advised him to “Learn to read the dirt” – in other words, learn to understand the tracks and traces of those being pursued – “it’s your bread and butter” (27). Meanwhile, the other border agents degrade and destroy a cache of supplies, left behind by (or for) migrants trying to cross the desert.

Cole describes how he got the nickname “Black Death” – he accidentally ran over a drunken Indian whom he had already told to...

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This section contains 1,185 words
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