Free Study Guide for Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry|
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STUDY GUIDE FOR LONESOME DOVE BY LARRY MCMURTRY
The accidents continue to haunt the cowboys, which further emphasizes the
thin line between life and death in the American west.
Gus comments, to open this chapter, that if they weren’t doomed before they are now: they’ll probably poison themselves without a regular cook. Call is depressed, because he hates to lose even one man when he forms a unit. So Gus and Call travel back to San Antonio to buy a new wagon and hire a cook.
When they arrive, they are able to buy a new wagon almost immediately as well as two mules to pull the wagon back to the herd. Then, the two men decide to go to a big saloon they remember from their Ranger days, a saloon owned by a man named Willie Montgomery. However, when they get inside, they see no sign no sign of Willie or anyone they know. The bartender is a young, insolent man who treats them with disrespect because they’re dusty with sand. He finally gets around to pouring them some whiskey, but is so discourteous that Gus slams his face against the bar and breaks his nose. He points out a picture of him, Call, and Jake hanging behind the bar and insists that they deserve better service. He even throws a shot glass into the air and shoots it down with one shot. A man named Ned Tym, who remembers them well, points out that the Texas Rangers are back in town.
This behavior nearly gets them both into trouble with the new owner of the
saloon (Willie Montgomery having sold it and run off with a woman), but
when the sheriff walks in to check on the trouble, he turns out to be
Tobe Walker. He was once a Ranger, too, and had ridden with Call and Gus.
They sit and chat for awhile, and Gus and Call learn that Tobe is married
and spends his days collaring drunks. When Gus and Call leave, they pass
the old Alamo which is now neglected, the famous battle all but forgotten.
Gus observes that their heroics may soon be forgotten, too, but traveling
with the herd is better than ending up like Tobe.
This chapter emphasizes the importance these two men hold in settling the land and defeating the Indians. Yet no one respects that they did and they are just like the Alamo: forgotten relics whose heroic deeds are just a picture on the wall and memory in their heads. Nonetheless, they feel glad to be living the way they are instead of the sameness of the life Tobe leads.
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Clapsaddle, Diane. "TheBestNotes on Lonesome Dove".
. 09 May 2017