Finally, we are back with Al. Dudes, there are too many people on this damn show these days. You take the viewer away from Al at your own peril. Don't mix me up with a bunch of Claudias and Cons when all I want is Swedgin. He strokes his mustache as he reviews his most recent Hearst communiquÃ© with Dolly, who is doing her duty as she so often does when Al needs to think. Ah, the first blow job monologue of the season, how I've...not missed them at all. This one, in particular, is not working for Al. He accuses Dolly of changing her technique, which she denies. "No?" he asks, grabbing her head and putting her back to work. "Is my dick in your mouth?" She nods. "Do I have a hard-on?" Dolly affirms the negative. "Then you change your action. Go back to your previous fucking method." She goes back to it, while he continues to muse angrily about Hearst. "Does he construe my forbearance as weakness, is that what the fuck nags at me? Or my considerations of alternatives for being fucking intimidated?" he wonders. "Because the time's coming he sees what I'm up to beyond any fucking mistake, and I only hope you don't doubt it." Satisfied with his own position, he is still not satisfied with Dolly's. "You don't think that counts as altering your action?" he asks, frustrated. "You would change your entire fucking mouth pattern." Dolly mutters that she's sorry, which goes over about as well as you'd expect. "Sorry? Oh, I guess that's okay then," Al asks, full of sarcasm, "because my goal before my meeting wasn't to come and clear my fucking head, not so much as to hear you say you're sorry, you stupid fucking mutt." Sigh. Poor Dolly. Her only defense is that she really is stupid. She flatly asks if she should go. "No," Al says, sighing, and now speaking to her like she's a child. "Tell me who you want in the election. "Star for mayor," she says, "And Harry Manning for sheriff." What's this? "Star for mayor," Al corrects, "and Bullock for fucking sheriff." But her position is logical to Dolly: "Bullock," she says, "yells at you." Al, you know, knowing himself so well, can't take someone loving him. "Get out," he says. "Shut up and get out." With Dolly gone, he quickly turns back to his original subject. "Does he think I'm fuckin' afraid?"
Downstairs, Dan is having a smoke when Langrishe comes in. Al comes down to greet him. "Less throb today, one hopes, in the phantom digit," Jack says, indicating Al's missing finger. "Not to fucking mention elsewhere, huh?" Al mumbles. One begins to worry that Dolly's reputation is going to suffer from what appears to be Al's Hearst-induced stress impotence. Langrishe asks him what he knows about Joanie. He tells him about her former work as a whoremistress, and about Wolcott's activities at the Chez Amie. "Hearst's geologist killed three of her girls," he explains. "The three he didn't she hid under canvas and spirited out of camp." He says that he has the impression that Joanie donates, rather than rents out, her building as a school house. "To cleanse the camp's idea of her?" Langrishe wonders. "Would that base her turning away a theater type's offer to buy?" Al says no, that wouldn't enter into it. "Cares for a gut-shot shitbird no one in camp has time for, nor she has any love for either. Loyal, see? That type." Jack wonders if she has some sentimental reason for not selling to him. "I wouldn't know, Jack," Al says, distracted by other issues on his mind. "She's all right." He starts mumbling about Hearst again. "Must think I'm a fucking dog," he says, scratching his bandage, "[that] forgives the blow, first friendly scratch of the ear." Langrishe is confused and Al explains that Hearst has sent another invitation for Al to come to his rooms. "Shall I accompany," Langrishe asks with noble theatrics, "as your second? My obvious unsuitability might confuse him." Al gives a little laugh and goes out. "Do survive," Jack says, and turns to see Dolly, giving him her best come-hither glance.