|“||Heh, heh-heh, heh. It's atmosphere, fella, atmosphere! Ladd loves games like that. Dressing like a conductor puts you in the right mood, and when I walk around the train later, the passengers will look at me with hope in their eyes. He says he likes killing ’em right after that— after their hope. I’m partial to it myself.||”|
Dune (デューン Dyūn) is a follower of Ladd Russo who murders Tony on December 30, 1931 and steals his custom-made Flying Pussyfoot conductor's uniform. He boards the Flying Pussyfoot to assist his fellow White Suits in their hijacking of the train, under the guise of a conductor.
He is discovered by one of the train's two real conductors, who tortures him for information before finally killing him. The real conductor defiles Dune's corpse so that the police will mistake Dune for him.
Dune is a young man whose red hair is of a similar color to Claire Stanfield;s own. He wears an all-white suit when with Ladd Russo's crew, and is wearing the custom all-white conductor's uniform of the Flying Pussyfoot when he is murdered.
Dune is unfazed by ordinary threats against him, such as being held at gunpoint or knifepoint, and takes pleasure in committing acts of murder and other immoral acts. Like Ladd, he enjoys killing people right after seeing the hope in their eyes.
On the afternoon of December 30, 1931, Dune and his fellow White Suits follow Ladd Russo and Lua Klein into Placido Russo's Chicago office and sever ties with the Russo Family by announcing their plan to hijack the Flying Pussyfoot en route to New York and blackmail the railroad company into giving them money in exchange for the passengers' lives.
He and the Russos take a black double-decker bus to Union Station, where he murders a train conductor called Tony and takes his custom white Flying Pussyfoot conductor's uniform before boarding the eponymous train. He spends the next few hours on the train undetected, before finally heading to the conductors' compartment for the first time while dressed in Tony's uniform. Upon entering the compartment, he finds one of the conductors dead and the other, Claire Stanfield, standing over the body with a smoking handgun.
Claire asks who he is, and Dune waves both his hands and asks him to put the gun away first. Claire ignores him instead aims the gun his way, retorting that he cannot trust someone who is not panicking in such circumstances. At Claire's no-nonsense tone, Dune smirks and comments on how quickly his ruse was discovered. He is mystified when Claire tosses his gun to the floor, and asks what Claire is doing; Claire answers that since Dune does not appear to be susceptible to the usual methods of interrogation, he will have to torture him instead.
Dune bursts out laughing at such a statement and the fact that Claire has willingly unarmed himself, reaching into his jacket for his own gun as Claire unlocks the door to the outside. His mirth turns into confusion when Claire steps off the edge and seemingly vanishes. Drawing his gun, he approaches the open door to look around outside, and upon finding no sign of Claire, turns around to re-enter the compartment. Two hands emerge from underneath the car and drag him outside by the cuffs of his trousers. The hands are Claire's, and he has Dune in a full nelson hold over the train tracks in a matter of seconds.
Claire again asks Dune who he is, and Dune attempts to try and point the gun in his right hand behind him. The attempt is easily thwarted by Claire forcing Dune's right hand against the tracks, and Dune's gun and hand are ripped away by the fast-moving ground underneath him. Claire repeats the question, Dune screams in reply, and his hand meets the ground once more.
By the time Dune's right arm is missing up to the shoulder, he has confessed everything to Claire regarding his identity and Ladd's plans for the passengers and train. Claire asks him why he bothered to go to the trouble of impersonating a conductor when all he had to do was shoot the conductors, and Dune—half insensible from pain—snickers that everything was done for the sake of 'atmosphere'. He argues that dressing as a conductor puts one in the right mood, and that passengers will later look at him with hope in their eyes. Like Ladd, Dune enjoys killing people right after he sees that they have hope.
Finally, Claire asks Dune how he obtained his uniform in the first place, since, as exclusives, only a few people should have such uniforms. Dune, in agony, cackles that he took his uniform from an Italian conductor after he murdered him earlier that day. He immediately realizes that he should never have admitted to the murder and tries to backtrack, but it is too late: Claire pushes his head downward. Dune manages to ask Claire who he is, and Claire identifies himself as both "Claire Stanfield" and "Vino."
Duno recognizes the name 'Vino' at once, having heard rumors of the legendary hitman Vino and the bloody messes of kills that he is so famous for. Terrified, he silently pleads for someone to save him in the seconds before his face is obliterated against the ground.
In the aftermath, Claire tosses Dune's corpse into the compartment and leaves it there for the next several hours. In the interim, Dune and the other conductor's corpses are stumbled upon by various passengers, including Jacuzzi Splot, Isaac & Miria, Ladd, Elmer C. Albatross, Upham, and Fermet. Claire eventually returns to the compartment, empties the powdery contents of one of Nice Holystone's grenades onto Dune's corpse, and shoots it with the aim of tricking the forensic investigators into assuming Dune's corpse is his own. His plan is successful, and Dune's corpse is officially identified as Claire Stanfield.
Differences in the 2007 Anime
Episode 02 depicts Dune killing Tony, whereas in 1931 The Grand Punk Railroad: Express the reader only learns of Tony's murder when Dune confesses to it under torture. The scene in the anime featuring Dune showing off Tony's uniform to Ladd is anime-original.
In Episode 09, Dune is facing forward in the anime when Claire pulls him down, not facing the car's interior like he does in the novel. The anime truncates Claire's interrogation of him, leaving out Dune's confession of Ladd's plans and his explanation on the importance of atmosphere.