Study Guide

Lonesome Dove Chapters 46-50

By Larry McMurtry

Chapters 46-50

  • Gus surprises Newt by asking him to watch Lorena.
  • Call returns, having hired a cook, and is aghast that Gus didn't kill Blue Duck.
  • Call has a flashback to his time with Maggie, the whore, and thinks about how Newt might be his own son. Gasp.
  • But Call still won't claim the boy. What a jerk.
  • Newt is shaking in his boots at the prospect of guarding Lorena. He timidly introduces himself to her, and she tells him to go away. So he does, but he watches her from a distance.
  • Newt ties up his horse then… falls asleep. Um, Newt, we know you're young, but that's not how you guard a person.
  • When Newt wakes up, his horse is gone, and the cattle are stampeding.
  • Newt returns to camp as the men get the cows under control. Thankfully, Mouse is in the herd, and Newt gets his horse back.
  • The guys meet the new cook, Po Campo, a man who won't ride animals. He walks everywhere. Plus, he has weird ideas about cooking—like, he fries grasshoppers and uses worms for butter.
  • Po Campo probably doesn't have good Yelp reviews.
  • Call and Gus aren't sure why the cattle ran. Hey, cows, what's the beef?
  • Po Campo scrambles some eggs and fries some grasshoppers, which, dipped in molasses, taste pretty good. "Tastes just like candy" (48.69), according to Newt. Who needs Starburst when you can have fried grasshoppers?
  • But there's no time to sit and savor those sweet, sweet grasshoppers: Lorena is missing. Augustus is positive that Blue Duck took her, and he aims to get her back.
  • Jake returns, finding Lorena gone, and he blames Newt for letting her out of his sight. Um, he was the one gone for days.
  • Despite being so angry, Jake simply heads back to town and lets Gus go after Lorena by himself.
  • Yep, Gus was right. Blue Duck took Lorena.
  • Unsurprisingly, a kidnapping bandit isn't that friendly. Blue Duck doesn't let Lorena drink water, and he doesn't let her stop to use the bathroom. When they do stop for water, he holds her head under until she almost drowns.
  • Blue Duck meets up with some Indians, one of whom is named Ermoke, and the men rape and abuse Lorena.
  • Yikes, there isn't anything good to say about any of this. We hope Gus gets there soon.
  • July Johnson stops in Fort Worth, where he writes a letter to his wife.
  • But there's a letter waiting for July at the post office.
  • It's from Peach, telling July that his wife has left him. Um, why did they even send Roscoe after him?
  • July decides to ride back east and find Roscoe, because he might know more about Elmira's whereabouts.
  • That night, July dreams he's back home with his loving wife.
  • Yeah, buddy, dream on.