Al meets with Bullock to propose the sheriff use his Montana connection to make Yankton jealous about annexing Deadwood. Wolcott writes to Hearst, reporting on the state of the gold claims they have consolidated. Things are going well in that regard, and even better when Wolcott arranges for the purchase of the Manual brothers' claim. Doc is getting increasingly pissed off about the Chinese whores and their extreme, inhuman ill-treatment. Tom Nuttall receives a bicycle he's ordered, much to the delight of the entire camp. Odds are set on the success of his inaugural ride down the thoroughfare, and all of Deadwood comes out to watch. A new telegraph operator, Blazanov, has arrived in town, and has set up shop in Merrick's headquarters. Ellsworth is a bundle of nerves -- he's decided to propose marriage to Mrs. G, and does so. She asks that he give her time to consider it. Speaking of Mrs. Garret, she and Mrs. Bullock have a very subdued showdown. That whole "woman scorned" thing is becoming more of a gray area as Mrs. Bullock realizes what has gone down in her absence and how it is likely to affect the rest of her life as Bullock's wife. Jane is very, very bad off and Charlie is at his wit's end trying to figure out what to do with her. She can't stay sober. He suggests she go and talk with Joanie, as she could use a friend, as well as protection from Wolcott. Joanie, though, handles her bidness with Wolcott pretty well, when he pays her a visit. Al's still running all his ideas past a severed Indian head.
"What did you know about me, Bullock, first we met," Al asks Bullock, as we open with them meeting at the Gem. "No concern for my feelings, huh?" Bullock doesn't even clench before he answers: "That you were a killer."
Al has to nod in acceptance. "Certain facts show in the mug," he says. Dolly walks by at this moment, and Al demonstrates his theory by pointing out certain facts about her. "Look at her," he says. "You know she's fucked for food." Bullock (along with the rest of us) wonders what Al's point could be. "In your mug," Al explains, "there's no such history." Is Bullock a c*nt-driven near-maniac, or a stalwart, Al wonders. He says no one can tell by looking at Bullock's face, because Bullock doesn't know himself. "But you do make a good appearance, so they're prone to grant you their trust," Al concludes, "which we will use as an asset in the coming campaign."
Bullock still ain't getting it. "What's the campaign?" he asks. Al asks for confirmation that Bullock does indeed have a friendship with a judge back in Montana. Bullock says he's cut ties with Montana judge. "Amiably, or owing money?" Al asks. Bullock's had enough of this cat-and-mouse business from Al and tells him that "maybe you're mistrusted less as a killer, than showing your cards one at a time."
Finally, Al explains. He wants to know if Bullock still has pull in Montana so that they can put pressure on Yankton, causing the Dakota big cheeses to believe that Montana is trying annex Deadwood. "Hikin' our skirts to Helena might put Yankton back on its heels," Al says. He goes on to say that he wonders if they shouldn't ruminate publicly, "in loud voices," over forming a new territory, with an eye towards future statehood, "or even our own republic." I knew Al was a militia man.
Bullock thoughtfully strokes his goatee and snarks, "No dictatorship." Al is not amused. "What the fuck do we need a dictatorship for, that silences the public voice? That eases the enemy's way." Al says what he's after is using Bullock to stir up interest among the hoopleheads in rallying behind this potential Montana angle. Bullock says he's not interested. Al leans in for the kill. "Will we, of Deadwood, be more than targets of ass-fucking?" he asks. "To not grab ankle, is to declare yourself interested. What's your posture, Bullock?"
Bullock sighs, and answers, "As you see." Ha! Posture. Al: "Huzzah, then." With that, he raises his glass in tandem with a boozehound who has been watching from the bar.