"Day by day closer around them drew the snowy circle, until at last they looked from their prison over drifted walls of dazzling white that towered twenty feet above their heads.... Only Mother Shipton--once the strongest of the party--seemed to weaken and fade.... At midnight on the tenth day she called Oakhurst to her side... [then she] passed quietly away" (5).
Tom SImson plans to go back to Poker Flat to get help. Mr. Oakhurst decides to accompany Tom"as far as the canyon," and they both set out, leaving behind Piney and Duchess. Neither man returns within the next two days, and the women know their fate has been sealed. They peacefully embrace and fall asleep, never to awaken again (6).
"And pulseless and cold, with a Derringer by his side and a bullet in his heart, though still calm as in life, beneath the snow lay he who was at once the strongest and yet the weakest of the outcasts of Poker Flat" (6).
"BENEATH THIS TREE LIES THE BODY OF JOHN OAKHURST, WHO STRUCK A STREAK OF BAD LUCK ON THE 23RD OF NOVEMBER, 1850, AND HANDED IN HIS CHECKS ON THE 7TH DECEMBER, 1850" (6).