Study Guide

Lonesome Dove Chapters 41-45

By Larry McMurtry

Chapters 41-45

  • A freak runaway wagon accident almost kills Lippy, but he survives.
  • Turns out the wagon accident was Bolivar's fault. He accidentally fired his shotgun, which scared the mules.
  • Bolivar decides that this trip isn't for him, and he heads back to Mexico.
  • Actually, Bolivar doesn't want to go back to Mexico, so he thinks he'll stop in Lonesome Dove along the way to beat the dinner bell one more time.
  • Losing both a wagon and a cook is hard for the group, so Call and Gus head over to San Antonio to acquire replacements for both. They find a wagon fairly quickly, and Gus volunteers to drive it back after a drink and a meal.
  • Call and Gus head to the Buckhorn, a classic Texas dining establishment.
  • But things have changed. Call and Gus used to know the owner, but he's not there anymore, and the disrespectful young buck behind the bar treats them like nobodies.
  • Gus doesn't take any sass, and he smashes the bartender's nose, drawing the attention of the new bar owner.
  • Gus points out a picture of him and Call on the wall, and he demands respect.
  • Not happening. The owner calls the sheriff—but Gus and Call know him, too.
  • The sheriff lets his two buds get away with roughing up the bartender, and they all sit down for a drink and a chat.
  • Afterward, Gus wonders about what the world will look like in twenty years—and if they'll ever be totally forgotten. Saddest night out ever.
  • Roscoe is still ambling around directionless. "It seemed he would never find Texas" (43.1).
  • One night, Roscoe stays near the cabin of a crotchety old man who tells Roscoe to stay away from his woman, and by woman he means girl waaay too young to be married to this crusty old man.
  • During the night, Roscoe hears the man beat the girl, but he doesn't do anything about it.
  • The next day, Roscoe rides along, falling asleep in his saddle, until a wasp's nest falls right on him.
  • Roscoe sets his horse a-gallopin' as quickly as possible, and, miles down the road, he meets the girl from the old man's cabin.
  • The girl introduces herself as Janey, and she says she nearly killed the abusive old man. Good for her.
  • Roscoe is reluctant to let a runaway girl tag along, but Janey proves resourceful, making a mud poultice for Roscoe's stings and catching rabbits for dinner.
  • These two make an unlikely team.
  • Newt feels like it will take them forever to get out of Texas.
  • The trip feels even longer because the food is so bad. Call hopes to hire a cook in Austin.
  • Gus suggests they hire Lorie to cook, but Call doesn't want a woman in camp.
  • This prompts Gus to discuss Call's relationship with Maggie, the whore who is Newt's mother. It seems she's the only woman Call was with, and he hasn't wanted anything to do with women before or since.
  • Call rides away, but, distracted in thought, he almost gets thrown off Hell B****. Horse: 1—Call: 0.
  • Call tells the horse that they're going to make it to Montana, and if they don't "it'll be because one of [them] gets killed first" (44.95).
  • Jake has been off gambling, so Gus pays Lorena a visit.
  • Gus challenges Lorena to another game. But this time he ups the wages. If Lorena wins, Gus says, "I'll be your whore" (45.19).
  • A man whore? Lorena just can't imagine such a thing.
  • Lorena refuses, so Gus takes a bath nearby.
  • While Gus is bathing, an Indian named Blue Duck rides up. He's not friendly. He threatens to kill Gus and Call next time he sees them.
  • Blue Duck rides away, and Gus tells Lorie to pack up and camp near the rest of the men.
  • Gus explains that Blue Duck is a Comanchero who got away ten years ago, and Gus regrets not killing him when he had a shot.
  • Lorena doesn't want to go to the cow camp, but Gus worries that Jake won't be able to protect her.
  • Lorena wants Gus to take her to California, but no, Gus hopes to meet Clara in Nebraska.
  • Gus offers to buy Lorena a train ticket, though, if they make it to Denver.
  • Gus leaves Lorena and says he'll send someone to look out for her.

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