Free Study Guide for Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry|
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NOTES FOR LONESOME DOVE BY LARRY MCMURTRY
This chapter is filled with foreshadowing. We see that Newt has hopes of going
on his first raid into Mexico to steal cattle, but that there’s something
he feels the Captain holds against him. We see Dish looking at Jake Spoon
as a rival for Lorena’s affections, and we see two men looking to purchase
forty horses. All these situations prepare us for events yet to come.
Augustus has given up any notion of an afternoon with Lorena now that Jake is back. He is content with his jug when Wilbarger rides up looking for Call. The man explains his need for forty horses, and Call assures him that they’ll have a hundred head available at sunup the next day. They won’t allow him to look at the stock they do have since they have none at all. However, Call says he can sell the man three horses that day. Wilbarger gives in and agrees that he’ll pay the company $35 a horse when they produce them the next day.
Once Wilbarger leaves, Call tells Gus that they all have to be in good shape, because he plans on stealing the horses from the Hacienda Flores, the largest ranch in Coahuila, Mexico. Call wants to give Wilbarger his forty, and then, they’ll keep the rest and head north. He figures they can hire enough cowboys, and they’ll take Newt as well.
Gus wanders off to tell the rest of the men the plans and finds Dish Boggett sicker than he’s ever been from the two bottles of whiskey. Newt is happy about the news he’s waited to hear for years, but he can hardly take time to enjoy it because of Dish. They all worry about how the Captain will take his drunkenness, because it’s a vice he doesn’t easily tolerate. Dish himself is aware enough to be worried, too, and he knows his reputation demands that he sit a horse and round up livestock as he’s promised. When Call finds him, he’s tempted to fire Dish, but the young man assures him that he can ride, and once he’s on the horse, the sickness will wear off. So Call just says that they will leave at sundown.
When Newt and Deets arrive at the barn where the Captain is attempting to
saddle the filly, Call hands the boy a holstered pistol and a nice gun
belt. Newt finally feels grownup. He and Deets smile together over this
moment and then join the other five to cross the river and ride towards
This chapter is all about Newt’s rite of passage and changes that other characters must face. Newt has crossed over from childhood to being an adult, and it’s a glorious moment, not just for him, but also for the men who have helped and supported him over the years.
As for Dish, he has had a rite of passage himself. He is lovesick for Lorena and drunk-sick, because Jake has captured her attention. He knows the feeling of having loved and lost.
Captain Call has also had a moment of change. He has made the decision that they’re going to move their operation north once they have all the horses from the Hacienda Flores.
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Clapsaddle, Diane. "TheBestNotes on Lonesome Dove".
. 09 May 2017