Study Guide

Lonesome Dove Chapters 11-15

By Larry McMurtry

Chapters 11-15

  • Gus and his men find a small horse herd, and it's basically unguarded.
  • The guys round up the horses, and Call sends Gus to bring back the Irishmen.
  • An hour later, Gus and his men find the main herd, over a hundred horses. Again, no one is guarding them. This is easy.
  • The men round up these horses, too, and head on back to Lonesome Dove.
  • The ride is uneventful—until a few Mexicans show up and the herd panics and scatters.
  • Poor Newt, on his horse Mouse, is completely lost in the fray and has no idea what is going on around him.
  • When the commotion dies down, Newt catches up to everyone else.
  • Turns out it was only a few Mexican horse thieves, not Flores's men.
  • Everyone makes it back to Lonesome Dove unscathed, and Call is thrilled to be able to sell Wilbarger some horses.
  • Wilbarger isn't impressed with all the horses. He wants a different trade.
  • Wilbarger wants Hell B**** instead of the thirty-eight horses Call recovered for him.
  • But Call isn't selling Hell B**** to nobody.
  • Wilbarger rides away and advises Call not to head to Montana.
  • Call doesn't seem like the type to take that advice.
  • The men wonder where Gus is. He hasn't shown up with the Irishmen yet. But they show up safely soon. Well, they're safe until the inexperienced Irishmen try to dismount and fall off their horses.
  • The younger O'Brien brother beings to cry because he hates America so much. This is not what he was expecting.
  • Call says he's going to hire some hands to help run cattle to Montana, but Gus still isn't sure he's going with them.
  • It seems that Lorena has been smitten with Jake Spoon ever since he rode into Lonesome Dove. Unlike most of the men who buy her affections, she actually likes Jake Spoon.
  • Lorena thinks Jake might be the man to take her to San Francisco. She even tells him her history, which she wouldn't tell Gus.
  • Lorena remembers how Jake Spoon showed up at the Dry Bean for a bath and a roll between the sheets with her.
  • When Jake rides south to rustle up some horses, Lorena actually misses him.
  • That night, a cowboy named Jasper Fant comes in, but Lorena won't take his money. She's "given up the sport" (13.41).
  • Take how romantic Jake seemed in the last chapter and instantly reverse it.
  • All of Lorena's dreams to go to San Francisco? Jake doesn't take them seriously. She's a woman, and he's just humoring her.
  • Meanwhile, the O'Brien boys are learning their way around the ranch, hoping Call will invite them to Montana.
  • They help the men round up the horses from the night before and hide them in town.
  • Instead of guarding the horses, Dish heads to the Dry Bean to talk to Lorena. Well, he's too late. Lorena has taken up with Jake Spoon.
  • Jake isn't there, but all Lorie wants to know is where he is.
  • Dish plays cards and talks with Jasper Fant, telling Jasper he can get a job rustling cattle to Montana if he wants.
  • As the scene closes, Dish grouses about what a "scoundrel" (15.58) Jake Spoon is.