Study Guide

Lonesome Dove Chapters 56-60

By Larry McMurtry

Chapters 56-60

  • Just when Augustus thinks he'll never find Lorena… well, he still doesn't find Lorena. He finds twelve angry Indians who chase him.
  • As the men get closer, Gus sees that some of them are white men, and some of them are Indians.
  • Gus shoots his own horse to use it as a shield. A horse is a horse, of course of course, unless that horse is a once-living barricade.
  • Hiding behind the horse, Gus kills six men.
  • After the fight, Gus is sad that there "was no one to discuss it with" (56.11). He's all alone out yonder.
  • Gus waits until nightfall. Then, taking his saddle, he gathers ammunition from all the corpses, just like in a video game.
  • While Gus is gathering ammo, someone rides up.
  • It's not an enemy, though: it's July Johnson. What a small world.
  • Gus and July introduce themselves, and July offers to help Gus catch Blue Duck.
  • Along with Joe, Roscoe, and Janey, Gus and July make camp a distance away from Blue Duck's camp.
  • Gus, though, decides to go get Blue Duck himself.
  • But July won't let him. He insists on coming along.
  • Along the way to Blue Duck's camp, the men talk about Jake Spoon.
  • Then Gus asks July if he's ever killed someone.
  • July hasn't.
  • "I wish you'd stayed with your party" (56.115), Gus thinks, but he doesn't say it out loud.
  • Dog Face was in the gunfight with Gus, and he was hit. He's dying of the wound, but none of the other men seem to care.
  • Blue Duck is furious that the plan to kill Gus didn't work. He kicks Lorena, taking it out on her.
  • One of the Kiowa, Ermoke, was killed in the shootout. Everyone is on edge.
  • A surviving, unnamed Kiowa decides to vent his frustration on Dog Face. He castrates him, puts his trail mix in his mouth, and then scalps him.
  • BUT HE'S NOT DEAD HE'S NOT DEAD OMG HE'S NOT DEAD.
  • Dog Face slowly bleeds to death on the ground while the others watch.
  • Suddenly, Gus and July Johnson ride into camp.
  • Gus kills everyone while July… well, he's there for moral support, we guess.
  • OMG DOG FACE IS STILL ALIVE.
  • Gus mercifully kills Dog Face.
  • But Blue Duck has escaped.
  • Gus sends July back to camp so he can tend to Lorena. Ride, July, ride.
  • July doesn't ride quickly enough. By the time he gets back to his camp, everyone is dead. Blue Duck has killed them all: Roscoe, Joe, and Janey.
  • July regrets riding in with Gus. Gus didn't even help. July left his friends and family, and they're all dead. For nothing.
  • Gus returns as July finishes digging graves.
  • July blames himself, but Gus tells him not to. "Yesterday's gone on down the river and you can't get it back" (58.45). Also, if July had stayed behind, he'd likely be dead, too.
  • Gus buries the bodies so that July can rest.
  • July tries to talk to Lorena, but she is mute from trauma.
  • As Gus and Lorena head one way, July heads the other. They part company, because July has decided to give up hunting Jake Spoon. He only wants to find his wife—the wife who doesn't even want him.
  • Meanwhile, back at camp, Call is worried because Gus has been gone a week.
  • Call tries not to let it get to him, and he lets the men go to Fort Worth to blow off some steam.
  • Po Campo isn't the type with steam to blow, though. He stays behind at camp and makes some sugary treats for the hungover men.
  • Jasper, though, is so hung over that he heads off to barf and misses out on the dewberry cobbler. When he finds out he missed dessert, he almost quits the drive.
  • Newt is so sad that it starts rain.
  • Okay, that's not true. But Newt is sad, and it is raining.
  • Newt is sad because Gus is probably dead, and so is Lorena, and it's all Jake's fault. That's three people he's lost.
  • Call is upset, too, not that he'd let anyone know it. In fact, he barely lets himself know it. One night, cleaning his rifle, he startles himself with his own voice.
  • "I wish you'd never encouraged Jake to bring that girl" (60.35), he says out loud.
  • Whoa, does the old man actually have feelings?