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Free Study Guide for Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry

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LONESOME DOVE FREE BOOK SUMMARY / NOTES


CHAPTER 47

Summary

Newt arrives at Lorenaís camp, worried about what heíll say to her in his shyness. Lorena just tells him to go on back to the camp, because she knows that a boy like him would be no match for Blue Duck anyway, and it tires her to think of him in the camp all night. Newt leaves as she asks, but he doesnít want to be labeled a failure by the other hands, so he decides to trick her. He leaves Mouse about a half a mile away, a violation of the cowboy rule that says heís never supposed to leave his horse. However, Newt feels as if itís such a beautiful night that nothing will happen anyway. He sits with his back against an oak tree about a hundred yards from her camp, pistol in hand, and falls asleep. Suddenly, he begins to feel as if something is wrong and awakens to the realization that the cattle are running. Instantly, he runs back to find Mouse and begins to cry when he realizes his horse is gone. Soon, Pea Eye comes along and assumes that Newt was thrown from his horse when the cattle began to run. Newt allows him to believe this, so he doesnít have to admit what he actually did.

On their way back to the camp, they come across the new cook walking along about fifty yards ahead of his donkey. He tells the two that his name is Po Campo and explains that he walks everywhere, because he might miss something interesting. He invites Newt to walk along with him to the camp and tells the boy he might fry up some grasshoppers if they have any molasses. He also insists that worms make good butter. Newt is amazed by this newcomer to their cattle drive.


Notes

In all the excitement of the cattle run, the realization that Newt is alive and seems to have been thrown from his horse, and finding the strange new cook, named Po Campo, walking along towards the camp, no one thinks about Lorena and whether she is all right. Once again, in the world of western men, a woman is expendable.


CHAPTER 48

Summary

This chapter begins somewhat benignly even though Gus and Call are worried about where Blue Duck has gone and why the cattle ran. The new cook, Po Campo, arrives in camp with Newt and his serape full of ploverís eggs. He cooks them wonderful omelets. He also has a way of talking to the men that they appreciate in spite of the fact that he indicates heíd killed his own wife. Later, he fries the grasshoppers and covers them with molasses, and soon all the hands are exclaiming how they taste just like candy.

Itís only when Jake Spoon comes riding up in a panic that reality hits the cow camp. Lorie is gone, and the only things gone with her are the horse and the mule. Blue Duck has taken her. Call is disgusted, because not only is Lorie missing, but Jake is half-drunk. He canít stomach men who are that incompetent. Gus saddles up and says heís going to find her, but he wonít allow Jake to come along. Jake then responds by blaming Newt for not watching her more closely. Call steps in and forces Jake to sit down and explains that Blue Duck probably got the cattle on the run as a diversion. Newt couldnít have stopped it. Jake then leaves in disgust on his tired horse, because Call wonít give him a fresh one. He doesnít even notice the looks of disrespect on the faces of the other hands. Deets offers to go with Gus, but Call says he needs him with the herd, and that Gus will be fine. However, the black man worries all the next day, because Gus doesnít come back and thereís no more to be seen of Jake Spoon.

Notes

The consequence of the menís disregard for the safety of the woman comes home to them when Lorie is stolen by Blue Duck. This moment is in direct opposition to the upbeat feeling the new cook brings to the camp.

 

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