Reconnoitering The Rim

Episode Report Card
Al Lowe: B+ | 8 USERS: A
Reconnoitering The Rim

A-ha. Seems E.B. himself was the unknown source Al was bitching about that helped the Bella Union interests buy Artie Simpson's place. E.B., you snake in the grass. "Al Swearengen's a dangerous man," he says. "Let him doubt those he's trusted, this camp'll run red with blood." Eddie makes a crack, and E.B. wonders aloud how cavalier he'll be with "a pig gnawing through your vitals." Eddie says to bet on him screaming for mercy. In conclusion, he tells E.B. that Al may get him anyway, but that if his nerve goes, Al will get it for sure. E.B. breaks out into (another) sweat as he ponders this.

In his office, Al is buying off the Bella Union's faro dealer with dope. "Now, dope is not my preferred form of relaxation," he says, practically waving a ball of the stuff under the guy's nose, "but I did try the shit and believe me, I nearly converted." The dealer promises to bring Al a daily report of the goings-on at the new saloon. Al says good, and looks out the window just in time to see E.B. coming out of the joint. "Here's the type I'd want to know about," he tells his new snitch, dragging him to the window. "Judas goat-lookin' fella...coyote-movin' type." The snitch says he'll keep a special eye on him.

Their meeting is interrupted by Johnny, who comes in to tell Al that "that cherry New York dude is downstairs asking for you." Al says to tell him to beat it, but Johnny comes over to whisper that the guy, Brom, "keeps talking about the Pinkertons." These must be the magic words, because Al goes right down.

Brom is smoking a cigar at the bar, trying to look confident. "Dan Dority thought you were dead," Al says, coming down the stairs. Brom snootily answers that yes, he didn't go to the claim that morning. "You should have told him," Al says, as if he's the Emily Post of the Old West or something. "I've had him here the last several hours in tears." He yells over to Dan, who is cleaning glasses behind the bar, that Garret is not dead. "Thank God," Dan answers, in serious tones. I love Dan.

Brom speaks plainly. He's no longer satisfied with his property and wants his twenty grand refunded. "In the heat," Al says, "you've confused me with Tim Driscoll." Brom says he knows Tim is no longer in camp. Au contraire, pansy boy -- Tim Driscoll is, as we speak, down at Wu's, uh, being the special of the day.

Garret goes a million miles in the wrong direction, coolly accusing Al of colluding with others, with whom he was "in cahoots," to cheat him on the claim. "It's the heat again, Brom," Al says, still jocular. "I don't collude and I don't cahoot." Brom decides to take the needle off the record. He asks Al if he's familiar with the Pinkerton Agency. All frivolity is now eliminated from Al's demeanor. "Why?" he asks. Brom says that his family is on great terms with the notorious detectives and that he'll call them in if need be, though he prefers they settle the matter "as gentlemen." Well, I can tell him for damn sure that he's come to the wrong place for that.

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