Dead Man’s Walk by Larry McMurtry

“Rangering means you can die any day,” Call pointed out. “If you don’t want to risk it, you ought to quit.”

McMurtry, Larry. Dead Man’s Walk (Lonesome Dove) (p. 207). Pan Macmillan. Kindle Edition.

LUNA: The first adventures of Gus McCrae and Woodrow Call are chronicled in Dead Man’s Walk. I say adventures, but really these are a series of blunders from which they narrowly return. It’s hard to believe these Texas Rangers can be so stupid, wandering around the vast open plains without sufficient food, ammunition, or common sense. Towards the end, they travel with a dog, but they lose it down a ravine. Idiots.

“All we’ve done is march fifteen hundred miles to make fools of ourselves, and now we’re in a situation where half of us won’t live even if you do let us go. What’s the point?” Salazar managed a smile, though the effort made his face twist in pain. “I didn’t say my orders were intelligent, merely that they were mine,” he said. “I’ve been a military man for twenty years, and most of my orders have been foolish.”

McMurtry, Larry. Dead Man’s Walk (Lonesome Dove) (p. 294). Pan Macmillan. Kindle Edition.

KURT: Sounds like you didn’t warm to this one.

LUNA: I did. I just think that humans should be better prepared when setting out on a long walk. They need to ensure they have poo bags, pocket meats and that no mad Comanches are chasing them.

KURT: That last one is something you don’t have to worry about, surely.

LUNA: Yes, but it always pays to check, just to be sure. You don’t know what those wild men are capable of. They’re really very scary. They hide in bushes waiting to put an arrow through you just when you’re doing your business. They’ll take off the top of your head just for fun, imagine that.

KURT: I’d rather not.

LUNA: It’s worth reading just for the Comanches, Buffalo Hump and Killing Wolf. They make the Texans look like children who are just playing at it.

KURT: At what, cowboys and Indians? In my day, kids used to play at nothing else.

LUNA: And it’s poetic, too. McMurtry won a Pulitzer, you know?

KURT: Who hasn’t?

Gus tried to keep Clara in mind, but the thought that he had fallen in love with a girl, in a dusty little general store in Austin, had come to seem far away and insubstantial, like the dust motes that had floated down the sunbeams in the store. The girl and the store had been for the day—the great plain was forever.

McMurtry, Larry. Dead Man’s Walk (Lonesome Dove) (p. 188). Pan Macmillan. Kindle Edition.

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