Episode Report Card
Al Lowe: A | 5 USERS: A+

At the Grand Central, E.B. is practicing a speech of refusal to Mrs. Garret concerning the offer she made on the hotel. He is Shakespearean in his grandeur, and when Richardson drops a pot of stew in the background, even throws in a few words of kindness for his "half-witted" employee. The lady in question descends the stairs just as he is warming to his theme, and he greets her smarmily, as usual. She asks to borrow Richardson, needing him to escort her on an errand. E.B. sidles up, shooting a look back at Richardson and asking if perhaps she'd prefer other company, "less mysterious..." Beautiful. She declines, and E.B. calls Richardson over, telling him to accompany Mrs. G, and to keep his eyes down. He follows her out, a few paces behind, like he's Tuptim in The King and I.

Commissioner Jarry enters the offices of the Deadwood Pioneer, where Merrick is bent over his work. Jarry introduces himself as commissioner of the county. "Of this county?" Merrick asks, excited. "And...has our county a name?" Jarry tells him it's been named Lawrence County. Merrick rolls it around on his tongue as Jarry wanders among the cool printing stuff. His father was a newspaperman, he says, and he has a great respect for the fourth estate. Wasting no more time, he gives Merrick a statement to be printed regarding the claims. Merrick reads it aloud -- it is a piece of work, all jargon and doublespeak. "Uh," Merrick says, "if I discern this correctly, sir, this statement could be taken to mean, uh...nothing." Jarry tells him to turn the page, and Merrick reads the last of it: "New title will be awarded on claims to which title is denied at set prices, via lottery, by the county commissioner." Merrick makes a face like he knows what all the words mean, he just doesn't understand what they mean, you know, together. Jarry tells him to put it in the next edition, but Merrick says the true meaning of the statement eludes him. Jarry evilly says that he didn't realize Merrick's edification was a bar the statement had to hurdle. He says some other mean stuff about how he expects it to be in there, and on the front page, and stomps out.

Mrs. Garret is standing outside the Gem, leaning on a big pile of whitened bones, when Richardson comes out, eyes still downcast. She's sent him in to find Trixie, and he tells her he's learned Trixie's over at the hardware store. She asks if he'll take her over there, and if he has time. "Yes," he mumbles humbly. "I only have the stew to mop before lunch." They head down the thoroughfare, and Mrs. G realizes she's made off with one of the bones. Actually, I think it's buck antlers, not bones. She's wondering what to do with it when Richardson breaks the silence, saying, "I like you." Aw, damn. Don't make Richardson creepy! Please! I guess it's too late, because when Mrs. Garret thanks him, he says, in an even creepier voice, "You're purdy..." Come ON. I loved Richardson before, and now he's ruined. I like my local color with an inbred vibe, not a molester vibe! Mrs. G thanks him once more, though she is clearly disgusted, and says that's all either of them ever needs to say on the subject, ever again. Ever.

They arrive at the hardware store and she dismisses Richardson with a few coins. Inside, Trixie is trying to balance two columns of figures, and it's not working out too well. She exclaims in rage over the accounts as Mrs. Garret walks in. Bullock, who is there working with Sol, looks so surprised, he doesn't have time to clench. Mrs. G asks Trixie to step outside for a private word, and the two of them go onto the porch. Trixie lights a cigarette and gets right to the point. "You knocked up?" she asks. Mrs. Garret looks at her in surprise, wondering why she'd ask that question. Trixie says she figures Mrs. G wouldn't have come straight to the hardware store, so she must have gone first to the Gem "that you've never once stepped foot in." Mrs. Garret says yes, she sent in Richardson. Trixie jokes that hanging out with Richardson opens the possibility that Mrs. G has only been puking because of the company she keeps. Mrs. Garret then says out loud that she thinks she's pregnant.

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