Free Study Guide for Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry|
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ONLINE BOOK NOTES - LONESOME DOVE BY LARRY MCMURTY
Jakeís fears of the Suggs Brothers and Frog Lip are well-founded. They are
very dangerous men, and he counts himself lucky that they didnít shoot
the farmer and his family. However, this foreshadows that nothing good
will come of Jakeís association with this gang. This is also reinforced
by his continue dwelling upon the idea that he just keeps making stupid
decisions, the most recent being the shooting of the old man. The old
manís wife, the young girl named Lou, merely smiles after Jake kills the
man. It makes us feel that his death is a relief to her. So Jakeís second
ďaccidentalĒ killing is somewhat mitigated by these circumstances.
When July arrives in Dodge City, the first thing he does is buy a better horse.
He decides to write a letter to Peach, his sister-in-law, about Roscoe
and Joe, and he also decides to look through Dodge for Elmira. He has
completely lost interest in capturing Jake Spoon. To his embarrassment,
when he asks for paper and pencil from the postal clerk, he begins to
cry, but the clerk is kindly about it and asks if someone has died. July
is then able to write the letter and even asks the clerk if he has seen
Elmira or Dee Boot or if a letter has been left for him. The clerk tells
him there is nothing for him, but tells him that Dee Boot is in Ogallala
and sends him to the saloon to meet Jennie, the town whore, who knows
more about Dee than he does. Jennie had known Elmira when they both were
whores in Dodge. She tells July that Elmira is no doubt hunting Dee Boot,
and then, because she always liked to steal Elmiraís men in the past,
she offers July a little fun. Unfortunately, July is so drunk that he
can only lean over the railing of her porch and vomit most of the night.
The next day, he sees Jennie do intimate things that he has never before
seen a woman do. It makes him realize that heís no better than the cowboys
who drive the herds - heís fallen in love with a whore. Jennie sees such
pain in his eyes that she feels bad, while July just thinks how terribly
lonely he feels. She advises him to just go back home, because even if
he finds Elmira, it wonít make her agree to come back with him. However,
he saddles his horse and leaves Dodge City in the middle of the night.
As he leaves, he has the feeling that he has somehow missed a great opportunity.
Itís obvious that July is an emotional wreck. He canít keep from crying when he writes the letter about the deaths of Roscoe and Joe, and he canít keep himself from looking for Elmira. He has sunk way down in his depression, but has sense enough to realize that he has missed a golden opportunity to salvage his life if he would just follow Jennieís advice. There is one major irony in this chapter - July has completely lost interest in Jake, but Jake has taken up with a dangerous group of men from he canít extricate himself, because he fears July Johnson.
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Clapsaddle, Diane. "TheBestNotes on Lonesome Dove".
. 09 May 2017