It doesn’t take long for the captive to spill the beans about a meeting between the Stranger’s very ex partner and his elder brother, at the old parish, 1 day ride away south, down into the caldera desert. The Gunsliger stays behind at the farm to ensure ‘good faith’.
On the way across the desert, the Native has a face-to-face with a rattlesnake which concludes with her poisoned and feverish trying to make her way back to the farm.
Two more to go: he Stranger and the Gentleman eventually reach the destination, where they find the partner apparently digging his own grave, kept at gunpoint by the elder of the Jeremihas. Upon quizzing, in light of his current predicament, the partner admits he had screwed up the Gentleman’s job: he was supposed to ‘persuade’ an old banker, Mr J. Miller, about selling the Canary Graveyard mine to Mr W. Ford from Michigan (the customer, soon to arrive in town as the rail bridge gets reparired), but upon signature he got greedy with the deposit and offed the man. He the tried to get rid of his Stranger partner. Unfortunately, later on he figured out that the old man had written the selling deed in favour of Jon Jon instead, his back housekeeper, now gone missing.
The Outlaw is keen about the business opportunity and decides to contribute by offering his help and making his posse available, in exchange for a partnership in the Gentleman’s venture.
On the way back they find the Native lost, dehydrated and hallucinating. They rush as quick as they can back to town (after blowing up the farm, as planned) where the Doc manages to save her skin.
In the meantime the Outlaw and the Gentleman ask around town and find out that Jon Jon had last been seen rushing north, straight into the Black Bisons territory.
The next day the Native and the Stranger head to the sacred ground, in the forest, to gather medicament herbs for her recovery. From there, a feral ursine roar is heard coming from up north.