After that exercise in futility, Johnson finds himself in nearly the same place that he was before. Black Dick Curry is just more angry with him. And not only that, the whole point of everything is just moot, because Dick left town. So again, I have to wonder if this whole arc was really necessary. Not only that, the minor detail that Dick left town is almost immediately forgotten. Crichton either made a change to the story and missed that detail in editing, or he forgot what he had just written. I keep reminding myself that this is a manuscript, not a final draft, but some moments have been extremely frustrating.
So, I’m going to run with the reality in which Black Dick is still in town. After Johnson hops dimensions in the town jail, he’s sort of just thrown to the dogs. Now all of the Curry Brothers pretty much hate Johnson. They’re openly antagonistic towards him. It seems that the night he spent in jail was absolutely for nothing. Johnson just does his best to avoid them and avoid trouble.
Soon, a woman named Emily comes to Deadwood Gulch. It’s a big deal, since so few women showed up to these boom towns. She claims that she’s looking for her brother. Johnson initially feels a bit suspicious of Emily, but he doesn’t run with that feeling. But it turns out that she’s not actually an orphan looking for her brother. She’s basically a spy for Black Dick Curry trying to figure out what Johnson is hiding in his crates, as if they’re filled with anything besides bones.
Now, Johnson realizes that the Curry Brothers are planning to break into his hotel room to steal his bones. Johnson pays Wyatt Earp to help him guard the bones. They seem to have differing ideas of what that means, but the bones are safe for that night. However, Johnson refuses to pay Earp for a second night of help, so on the second night, someone shows up. Long story short, there’s one fewer Curry brother at the end of the encounter. And now Johnson doesn’t have a place to live or store his bones. He eventually has to resort to burying the crates of bones in Little Wind’s grave, under his body.
Johnson soon has to face the consequences of shooting Clem Curry in the back. Dick wants a shootout. A shootout that ends with Johnson needing to leave town immediately. Unlike the previous section, this plot thread actually goes somewhere, and he’s off to Cheyenne.
Now, I'[d have to say that this section is better paced than the previous one. There wasn’t much that just felt useless. Looking back, the previous chapter really REALLY pissed me off. Now, things are starting to move along again, and the book is starting to wind down and transition into the conclusion.