- Awesome Music: If you listen fully the various country songs of which lyrics are used as epigraphs in every chapter while reading, you can feel how fittingly they've been chosen for that particular chapter. For example, "Don't put dirt on my grave just yet" by Hayden Panettiere in the 14th chapter suits well the defiance of Grace and Beans against Dufayel's effort to drive them away from their properties.
- Crosses the Line Twice: When Grace withdraws her planned saloon night due to Teddy's cold and Mrs. Bigby arrives to babysit Teddy as promised, Jake scares the poor woman away and casually tells Grace that he told her to come back another day.
- Moral Event Horizon: Benjamin Hares was already proven to be an irresponsible and yellow-bellied con man Jerk with a Heart of Jerk when he once again tries to sell out Grace behind her back, but when she says they're done and tries to throw him out of her home, he snaps, slaps her without feeling sorry for it and starts battering her more. While he gets what's coming to him, Grace's sense of self-worth is ruined because of this.
- The Woobie:
- When Grace was a child, her mother died due to a tumor. After she grew up, she was swept off her (metaphorical) feet by Benjamin Hares, despite her father's warnings. After one year of marriage, she was abandoned by her conman of a husband after he sold everything they owned to escape his debts. Penniless and pregnant, she was forced to return to her father. He died before she had laid ten eggs, and then all but one of them were smashed by robbers, leading her to kill them in blind rage. Her home is then targeted by Dufayel who eventually hires Benjamin to use his undissolved marriage to Grace and sell her lands to him in exchange for covering the incorrigible conman's debts. When Grace attempts to retaliate for this new betrayal, she's beat up by Benjamin and witnesses him getting killed by Jake's vengeful poison fangs. The normally stalwart woman is left heartbreakingly downhearted and unable to face Jake or nearly anyone else.
- Teddy has grown up with just his loving mother to look after him because his father abandoned them before his birth and all his nine siblings were killed by robbers when Teddy hadn't hatched yet. Upon first coming to Mud, he's dejected by the prejudiced hostility of the townsfolk and too shy to try to approach other children to play with them. He also has sight problems that cause him to collide with objects, giving him insecurities about surviving the harsh desert. Bad Bill and his gang beat him up just to threaten his mother to sell her lands. One day after Teddy first meets his absent father, he witnesses Benjamin beating his mother. Despite the fact that he does the sensible thing and rushes straight to Mud to get help, he afterwards calls himself a coward for leaving his mother.
- Jake has a dose of Jerkass Woobie to him. He was raised by James Douglas who returned home every night under the influence and beat Jake's mother Selena. James forced little Jake to watch the last of these beatings so that he'd become a man like James. James was then driven away by the townsfolk and the severely injured Selena was killed by the deputy Amos who always despised her. Jake run off to the desert where a hawk nearly caught him the next day and tore off his tail. While recovering from this loss, he was caught by humans as part of a rattlesnake round-up. Before escaping with Reth's help, Jake saw dozens of snakes getting decapitated and skinned by a sadistic human. That was the hell from where came Rattlesnake Jake, the Grim Reaper of the Mojave Desert.
- When Angelique and Chuck leave Mud before Dufayel decides to enter into an open war, Rango feels loneliness that reminds him of the time he was still a pet living in a glass box and isolated from the rest of the world. He experiences a good deal of nervousness as he tries to find a peaceful solution to the conflict, caught up between Mud's trigger-happy townsfolk and Dufayel's ruthless determination. Following his fruitless private meeting with Dufayel, he ends up lying to Beans once again to keep her from becoming more worried. This bites him later when the lie's exposed by the Hellhounds burning Beans' home, leaving her mad with him and himself remorseful.
YMMV / Old West