E.B. Was Left Out

Episode Report Card
Al Lowe: A | 5 USERS: A+
E.B. Was Left Out

Bullock and Sol are sharing a leisurely moment in the hardware store. Bullock has put two and two together about Charlie's whole throwdown against Wolcott. "As protective an eye as Charlie has for that madam, Joanie Stubbs," he says, "if all her whores didn't make it on that wagon -- and that was on Wolcott's account -- you can see what ensued in the thoroughfare." He's quite right, of course, but this is no longer the main topic of the day. With no segue, he tells Sol that he has seen Mrs. Garret, and that he supports the whole bank thing. "Good," Sol says, genuinely pleased, though the door is certainly open for some eye-rolling, seeing as how the venture does not depend in any way on Bullock's support. And, in regard to Mrs. G's pregnancy, Bullock tells him that "she is as you thought." Sol: "I thought so." Me: "That's what he JUST SAID!"

Their chat is interrupted by Trixie, who strides in at that moment. Bullock smoothly says he'll take the air, but Trixie asks him not to leave on her account. "I come to apologize for my work with the decimals, and my attitude over my errors," she says rather formally, leaving both men in a state of clenched surprise. "And since I do tend to be prickly when in the wrong," she continues, looking directly at Bullock, "if you, on your part, was to realize, Moses did the heavy lifting already -- the fuckin' tablets and so forth -- that might lighten the atmosphere, too." Awesome, awesome. Somebody had to say it, Trixie. Thank you.

And Bullock, as sanctimonious as this character can be, is really so good, he knows she's right. "Sure," he says, with all due respect. Sol seems proud of Trixie, and asks her what guidance she has for him. She thinks on it for a second, before delivering the ancient proverb: "Tread lightly who lives in hope of pussy." That's straight out of Pilgrim's Progress, right? Bullock, a few steps away, has to clench hard to keep from laughing.

Suddenly, it's night, and Leon and Con Stapleton are on reconnaissance, trying to get first-person testimonials about the glories of the ancient Chinese secret. They see a man coming out of one of the girls' huts, or boxes, or whatever horrible contraption they have them in, "walkin' like a man relieved." They leap on the guy and pull him in to a one-man focus group. They're "eager to know the result" of his time with the girl. "Was it worth the fuckin' dime?" Leon asks in frustration. "It was well worth the dime," the dude tells them. As a matter of fact, there's a long line that's formed all the way down to the creek of men waiting their turns. Apparently, Mr. Lee is keeping it in order. The goons are surprised and alarmed at this news. "Well, a lot of fellas, you know, are outpaced by white pussy's price," the guy tells them, and walks away as they boil over that Lee is stealing their thunder. Stapleton points out that Lee's better suited at managing this situation than the two of them combined: "Fluent in both languages, and don't mind standin' in filth."

Back at the Gem, Al is in his office, talking, it seems, to himself. His soliloquy is full of portent and metaphor, hitting the highlights of several issues now plaguing members of the camp. "A man -- as it happens, a rival of mine -- learning the secret of a great man's lieutenant, would make that lieutenant his slave." This is a roundabout way of recapping Cy's situation with Wolcott, lieutenant of Hearst, whom he meant to blackmail into doing his bidding. "My rival knows that expanding the circle of the informed, dilutin' his power, will confound his intentions, so he takes precaution to be sole sharer of the secret." Here, Al does a shot and has a chuckle to celebrate what comes next: "And the world bein' the world, along comes a half-ass knight-errant, put all my rival's plans at risk." I'd like to type out the whole monologue, here, as it is Hamletian in its brilliance, but y'all, this ain't no transcript. Here's another little secret: Al's really talking to...a box. What's in the box, you ask? Remember way on way back when, when Al put a reward on the head of any Indian anyone could kill and someone rode into town, whooping it up and waving a head? The HEAD is in the BOX. Yes. And Al is in conference with the head. He is proud of himself for saving it all these months so that he can now use it as a prop and ploy to draw Utter out on the details of his fight with Wolcott. It's wrapped up neatly in the box, so I don't know why he has to take the actual head down to Charlie's little mailhouse, but he's going to. However, as he tells the box, "I have no plans of us partin' company. As you will note, I have inscribed no address."

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