Mary Agnes is something of a logical ‘mama bear’ to the town. She dresses up in men’s clothing after her husband dies in the mines and does her utmost to take care of everyone else, by making rational decisions for them. She is a voice of reason when the women want to undersell their shares to a mining company, arguing they should wait for a better offer, but going along with the consensus when she is outvoted, even though she has a ‘bad feeling’ about the men it has brought into town. Her low intuition warns her not to trust them, and it’s right; they turn out to be bullies, cowards, and thieves who steal their horses for profit in the middle of the night, and leave them to face down Griffin’s gang alone. She warns Whitey to keep his head about him, and not be so reckless or ambitious in clarifying his reputation as a law man, because it could get him killed. When Mary Agnes thinks it is wrong for Alice to not sell them horses, she offers her a fair price for them. She’s able to talk Alice into joining them in the shoot-out against the gang, pointing out that wherever her runaway son has gone, he’s better off and safer than most of the people in La Belle. She has no trouble rounding up the ladies, handing out firearms, and assigning them different rooms inside the bank, according to how well she thinks they can protect themselves. Anyone she knows can defend herself and others has a better vantage spot above the street, despite it being dangerous, even her own girlfriend. Mary Alice provides the love, stability, and care for her brother’s children than he neglects to give them—she looks out after their practical needs, feeds them well, and sees to their education. She also tends to make value judgments based on past behaviors, assuming the worst of her lover when she sees her associating with a sexually provocative woman. Mary Agnes assumes her ex-whore girlfriend is sleeping around for money again, so she pushes her away—only to later find out her girlfriend hired this woman to paint a portrait of her for Mary Agnes’ birthday. Though more than willing to care for others’ physical needs (she often brings Whitey food and tells him to clean up his house once in awhile), Mary Agnes is emotionally immature and insecure. She backs away from people and goes quiet whenever she’s upset, and then finds it hard to be vulnerable or apologize for her mistakes.

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Mary Agnes is suspicious of outsiders and doesn’t trust anyone, even her girlfriend when she assumes wrongfully that she is cheating on their relationship. She doesn’t want to give away their power to other people and isn’t sure she wants a bunch of new men riding into town, which could pose a threat to her friends… so she somewhat aggressively protects them and puts on a front of being fiercer than she is. She will spit in a man’s face as an insult and challenge him in the street, but she also spends a lot of her time accepting others’ decisions and not fighting them, and looking for safety in groups. She doesn’t want to make choices that are unpopular or that could turn others against her, including attempting to keep her sexual preferences a secret. She’s also something of a loner who is uncomfortable with her feelings and tries to avoid getting entangled with other people. She point out to her brother how stupid it is to go after a gang and warns him that he might get killed. Mary Agnes also tells Whitey to behave himself, and not do anything ‘stupid.’