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Towards the end of the film, Sheriff Bell reaches the motel to find a firefight occurring and what seems to be some cartel members fleeing on a truck. He also sees the lady who had been flirting with Llewelyn beside the pool floating facedown in the pool, presumably dead. Walking ahead, Sheriff Bell finds Llewelyn dead too from gunshot wounds sustained in the firefight.

Was it ever explained how the cartel got there? What was Anton's role in all this? From the way the lock to Llewelyn's motel room was shot out, it seemed that Anton found him.

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The cartel had guys following Carla Jean and her mother, and one of them gets Llewelyn's location from the mother:

At the airport, Carla Jean runs off to make a phone call to Sheriff Bell while her mother stays behind with the bags. A Mexican man in a suit walks up and offers to help Carla Jean's mom with the bags, asking questions about where she's staying in El Paso.

EDIT: The cartel guys kill Llewellyn at the hotel, but do not find the money because they do not know it's in the air duct. Anton arrives later, figures out where the money is, and makes off with it.

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  • Yes, thanks for reminding me about that. How does Anton feature in all this though? He seems to be next door at the motel when Sheriff Bell shows up.
    – Sayan
    Dec 28, 2022 at 16:56
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    The cartel guys kill Llewellyn but don't find the money. Anton arrives later and figures out where it is
    – Shiz Z.
    Dec 30, 2022 at 4:32
  • The only problem with this explanation is that when Bell looked at the ductwork, it’s clearly not large enough for the satchel. I agree that somehow Aton finds the money, but I doubt the Coen brothers would have made a point to show the ductwork being round and narrow as they did. However, when Anton barters for the shirt, he offers a $100 bill so it’s clear he eventually found the money. I haven’t yet figured out why the ductwork was the wrong size but I’m sure it was no accident. Nov 24, 2023 at 23:32

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