The group rides through town. People cheer. They're heroes already. And they ain't even had to do nothing yet.
The group follows the Rio Grande. They ride slowly along the trail. Their badges are pinned securely on their shirts. Guns holstered. Horses steady. A young man rides up beside Dawson and tells him to "buck up." The recruits better look alive. More bantering. He's been on the trail a week and a half longer than Dawson and Kelso. He knows the score. Kelso cracks, "Another week and you'd be ready for retirement." Because cowboys often "retire" to Florida to golf. He introduces himself as "Berry." Kelso laughs, "Berry? Like blueberry?" Berry snaps, "That's elderberry to you!" Snort. Berry explains the lay of the land. Dawson and George have been assigned to Sandoval. They'll care for his horse and weapons.
Training. Men shoot poor, unsuspecting squash. They miss. In fact, Dawson can't make a single shot. As he rides past Bone and Armstrong, the sergeant mutters, "The boy rides his horse like he'd ride his sister. He knows he's doing something wrong." They bet twenty cents on Dawson's survival. Usher shoots and hits every single target. On the other side of training, stuttering Sam stands beside George as he shoots, or attempts to shoot, more unsuspecting vegetables. George says, "Damn! Sam, I'll bet you I can draw faster than you can say 'peppercorn'!" Sam stutters. George eggs him on. Then he draws and fires. Only he doesn't hit anything. But he does scream, "Fast! I'm fast! I'm fast!" And then jumps up and down like a Mexican jumping bean. Leander rides up and chastises him for missing the targets. Then he says that George has to pay a penny a miss for his ammunition. Sam takes the gun from George's holster and fires. He hits every target and smoothly says, "Peppercorn."
On the other side of the map, King Fisher meets with General Cortinas, a member of the -- gasp -- Mexican army. King Fisher cajoles the man into "taking Texas." Because there "ain't no law south of Austin." Cortinas has heard that McNelly's Rangers were back in the running. King Fisher explains that Leander's only got thirty men -- they've got an army. The general says he'll meet them when they bring their next shipment.
It's dusk. Dawson is trying to learn how to use the lasso. He's useless. Sam comes up and asks if there's anything Lincoln is good at. Heh. Dawson says he'd show him, but there "ain't no women on the trail." Sam tells Lincoln that if Dawson could "rope himself a woman," he'd drink the Rio Grande. Ah, that's it, the missing link from Dawson's character -- he's a ladies' man. ["Ew." -- Sars] Sam just stands there, stuttering. Eventually, he spits out the fact that his father was a mapmaker who blazed trails. He suggests that Dawson take him to the captain.