Free Study Guide for Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry|
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FREE PLOT SUMMARY FOR LONESOME DOVE
It seems as if tragedy continues to stalk Newt. He has lost two friends, feared that Gus was dead at one point, and now has lost his favorite horse. Once again, Gus, ever the realist, offers the boy coffee, a common everyday drink, to cut his grief. Thereís no time in this kind of life to spend much time grieving.
Itís ironic that Call predicts that Jake would use the Hat Creek Company if
he ever got in trouble, because thatís exactly what he will try to do
later. Only, this time, his former friends will not provide him the support
he desperately needs. Also, Deetsí recognition of Callís desire to go
after Blue Duck reinforces what Gus has said all along - the Captain isnít
cut out to be a rancher; heís a pursuer of adventure.
Jake and the Suggs gang are approaching Dodge City where Jake can hardly wait to get a bath, a shave, and a whore. It reinforces his feeling that he has always been meant for riches and beautiful women, and it cheers him to think about it as does the thought that he can finally get away from the Suggses. Unfortunately, that afternoon, Dan Suggs sees something he likes: a herd of twenty-five horses being driven by three men. He recognizes him as old Wilbarger, and he had once ridden for him. He decides to steal the horses. He asks Jake if heís coming, and the insolence in his voice makes Jake decide to follow along, another unwise decision.
The youngest Suggs brother tells Jake that Dan doesnít really want the horses as much as he wants to kill Wilbarger, and Jake feels bitter that just as he has a chance to get away from this bad situation, things start to go bad. Dan decides to attack them at night so it will be passed off as Indians who did it. Jake draws his pistol, not really knowing what he should do, and then hears a number of shots. When the others ride back, Frog Lip is shot, and Dan insists he hit Wilbarger at least three times, but that the older man had ridden away. The next morning, they discover Wilbargerís two men dead and Frog Lip dying. They shoot Frog Lip in the head to help him finish dying and turn the horse heard north. Jake hopes heís seen the last of the killing.
Two hours later, the gang comes across a tent with two men plowing the ground
outside it. Dan Suggs kills them both with a single shot to the head each,
and then strings up the bodies as if they were hung and eventually sets
the bodies on fire. There is no reason the Dan shot them, because they
have nothing of value, so itís clear to Jake that the man is insane. Getting
away as soon as possible is the only course left open to him.
Just like always, Jake keeps himself going by thinking about things he doesnít have, like women, riches, a shave, and a bath. He idealistically believes heíll be okay by just making it to Dodge City, instead of taking assertive action to break with these crazy men. Thatís when, like always, heís turned his back on his responsibilities and everything goes wrong. Now he has all these unnecessary deaths on his shoulders as well as the two for which heís personally responsible.
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Clapsaddle, Diane. "TheBestNotes on Lonesome Dove".
. 09 May 2017