A. It shows that Gates is ready to give up and die before the wolves get him, but the narrator still believes they will make it to Gulch City alive.
B. It reveals that the narrator is shocked by Gates’ suggestion of saving bullets for themselves, as he has underestimated the danger they are in.
C. It shows that both men, particularly Gates, have no idea how much danger they are in because they joke about the number of bullets.
D. It reveals that both men, particularly Gates, believe that their situation is dire and that they would rather hurt themselves than allow the wolves to get them