The Catbird Seat

Episode Report Card
Al Lowe: A | 6 USERS: A
The Catbird Seat

Doc is down at the shack, removing the bullet from Hearst's shoulder. They are not alone in the room, however. Ellsworth's body is stretched out on the sickbed. My blood boils to see Hearst have no reaction to this. "I suppose there's some connection between his condition and yours," Doc asks innocuously and Hearst has the balls to deny it. "That bare-breasted woman who shot me seemed to think there ought to be," he jokes, groaning ask Doc digs for the bullet. Doc doesn't even pause in his work and continues to poke. "Go ahead," Hearst snarks, "knowing I'd appreciate less enthusiasm." He nods over to poor Ellsworth. "Through the years, that fellow's path and mine crossed several times," he says. "I never meant him a moment's harm, but the natural operation of my holdings and his bad luck brought me to figure in his imagination as some sort of bogey." He takes a swig of whiskey, what passes for anesthesia, and ruminates on Trixie. "I expect my attacker was a bawd connected somehow to [Ellsworth] before he married so luckily," he smarms. "Likely, she fell victim as he did to imagining me responsible for the change in her situation." Through all this, Doc says nothing, but doesn't let up in his ungentle task. His eyes go wide a few times, probably fantasizing about maybe removing the bullet, reloading into his own gun, and shooting Hearst again. "Often, because our interests are extensive," Hearst rambles unbelievably on, "people like me are believed the authors of events which may benefit our holdings, when our connection in fact is incidental." With much grunting and swigging on Hearst's part, Doc finally extracts the bullet. The way he's sweating, it's clear he'd like to shove it back in. "I have some calls to make," he says to his lying-ass patient. "Will your gunmen let me pass? Hearst goes all magnanimous and says that of course they will. Doc starts to get up to go, repelled by this...this snake on the motherfuckin' plains and Hearst can't help but notice. He narrows his eyes at the good Doc. "Don't you," he says, super evil, "want to dress the wound?"

Downstairs at the hotel, Langrishe's actors, including the recently absent Bellegarde, swallow their pride and welcome the dancer into their troupe. Meanwhile, Jack goes to the desk and puts on a bit of an act with E.B. for the benefit of the lingering Pinkertons. He needs to know what's up. E.B. slyly fakes rifling through his ledger to cover himself giving Jack the skinny on Hearst's shooting. "Hearst shot," he whispers, "the wound, alas, not mortal." Langrishe smiles at E.B.'s performance and leans in. "Booth," he congratulates him, "never went you better." With that, he throws a wicked scowl at the troupe and strides out the door leaving a very self-satisfied E.B.

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