Deadwood
Plague

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Plague

Down at the Bella Union, Ellsworth is at the bar when Joanie sidles up, asking if he'll keep her company. "Well, I will," Ellsworth says. "But I'm expensive." A truckload of Emmy nominations for Ellsworth would not be enough. Joanie asks if this is his first time in the Bella Union, and he says yes, that his leisure time is normally spent at the Gem. He tells her also that he has one hell of a working gold claim. "Is that a damn fact?" Joanie says, delighted. Ellsworth says it is, and that if he knew her a little better, he'd "throw a 'fuckin'' in there somewhere." Joanie laughs. "If you did," she says, "I'd try to catch it." Cute. Ellsworth takes a big breath and confirms that it's a "working fuckin' gold claim then, Joanie, and thank you for allowing me my full range of expression." Joanie asks him if he's ever shot craps, and he says no, but that he's a "lethally quick study." As she leads him to Eddie's craps table, we see Joey, who Cy sent out in the last episode to get the smallpox vaccine, return to the saloon. Cy is not pleased. "I'm sick, boss," Joey says, and it's clear that is true. Cy tells him to lay up until he feels better, and tries to shoo him off, but Joey wants to explain. He pulls out the list Cy gave him. "Fella who could read says one of the items is for the smallpox," he says. Cy gets mad, saying he shouldn't have shown the list to anyone, but Joey says since he knew he wasn't going to make Nebraska, he tried to fill the list in Buffalo Gap. Joey is scared and asks Cy if he's got smallpox. "How do I know?" Cy says. "Maybe you got yourself a dose." Joey shakes his fevered head. "No," he says. "I wouldn't. I'm...a virgin. That's how come I jumped when you told about Nebraska pussy." Cy is over all this talk, and tells him again to lay up. Eddie sidles up and observes that Joey didn't make Nebraska. Cy says that Joey's come down with what felled Andy Cramed. "I wonder," Eddie says, "if Joey was after a remedy for Andy? Maybe without even knowing." Cy's eyes go squinty. "Ain't you clever, Eddie," he mutters. Eddie: "Was I being clever? I thought I was worrying about the plague." Aw, snap. Eddie sees and knows all. Cy tells him he should be concentrating on running his craps scam on Joanie's mark, Ellsworth, and Eddie wanders off. Here's the difference between the evil of Al and Cy: When Al gets mean, his minions are righteously afraid of him. Because they know his evil is a means to an end. Cy, however, is mean without purpose, and though his lackeys are afraid of him, they don't really respect him, because he's not smart.

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Deadwood

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