At the Gem, Merrick is pulling a day drunk. "May I say, Dan," he says, holding his shot glass aloft, "ever since I resumed drinking alcohol, I cannot for the life of me figure out why I ever gave it up." Dan does not seem in a chatty mood, but says yes, "it takes the edge off the tough ones." Merrick is drunk enough to be impressed with this statement, and goes on to say that he has always found Dan to be full of helpful philosophies. Dan thanks him flatly, but Merrick is already on to his next toast: "The Hickok murder; exoneration of the coward McCall; stain on the escutcheon of the camp." Through the doors now come Johnny with the Doc, who Merrick attempts to invite to join him at the bar. "Doc!" he says. "Libation!" The doc, however, moves swiftly past, only glancing at him, annoyed. "I wonder," Merrick mumbles, "if he thought I said 'live patient.'" Ha! Merrick, to me, is one of the big mysteries of this show. The character is really an innocent (so far) and passionate about his work as a newspaperman, but afraid enough that he is often a pawn of the bigwigs in town. I have to wonder how they're going to use him as the series continues.
Doc finds Al in one of the whore's rooms. "Couldn't get it up," he says, indicating a writhing man on the bed. "Gave her a dollar to wait." The whore in residence comments that the man just keeps getting sicker, and Al tells her to shut up. The guy on the bed is in bad shape, and tells Doc his back is torturing him.