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This article seeks to situate James Robert, the idiot in Blood Meridian, within the larger contextual and literary history of idiocy. The robust field of disability studies is employed to help interpret a conspicuously overlooked character in McCarthy scholarship. In order to stress Robert’s conformity to and deviation from the novel’s ableist social constructions, physical disability is discussed in relation to the scalp hunters. Next, a history of idiocy in America and a discussion on literary idiots leads to a discussion of James Robert’s function in the text, his relationship with Judge Holden, and the question of personhood in the novel.