I noticed that in what I am now calling "Dave's draft," things are textbook dull -- until chapter 3 when the hero shows up. It's buried in Chapter 3 here, but my copy starts with it.
I started to notice that other things in Dave's draft were regressing, and I compared the two. Based on the handwritten edits, it's pretty clear that Dave's is actually draft number one.
To confirm that, I thumbed to the end. The last seven chapters were just plotted out in blurbs, fleshed out in mine.
Thankfully, some of those planned chapters from Dave's copy died on the vine, especially this one:
"Dude and Ida Mae get married. Joe and his friends give him a bachelor party that results in them taking over a Negro roadhouse outside of Five Trees, locking the doors, and keeping the patrons inside for 36 hours during the party."
Glad I didn't have to read that. Overall, I say thank God that this new copy's the first draft, not the last. The one I worked from is the last, and even at that still pretty unfinished.
I am so relieved I didn't turn up something polished. Would have been grim to find I'd rewritten the Great American Novel.