A drunk man, Lane Sawyer, is walking down the streets of Porter. Rex Carlson grabs him, drags him into an alley, and beats him. He then demands to know what Lane is doing in town. Lane says that he's tired of sitting around the shack waiting for Rex. Angry, Rex tells him to stay in the shack so that Hoby doesn't see Lane, lock him up, and blow the entire job.
The next day, Hoby and Aaron are walking down the street, and Aaron notes that it's the first time the paper hasn't come out on time. They go to the Enterprise office and find Ralph setting out the type. Ralph explains that Henrietta asked him to set the front page while she went out buggy-riding with Rex. He complains that Henrietta has been seeing too much of Rex and spills the type, and says that Rex had been writing to Henrietta even before she married. Rex comes from El Paso and is in the banking business.
Rex and Henrietta pull up and come in. Henrietta introduces Rex and isn't concerned that the paper will be late. Meanwhile, Hoby asks Rex if he's going to settle down in Porter. He says that he's been thinking of going back into business, and Henrietta remembers to ask Hoby and Aaron to come by for dinner. They accept her invitation and Rex says that he thought it would be a good idea since he plans on staying in Porter for a while.
That night, Henrietta, Aaron, and Hoby wait for Rex to arrive. Henrietta apologizes, noting that Rex is usually prompt. Ralph arrives and gives Henrietta a note from Rex. It says that he's ill and won't be there. Once Ralph leaves, a disappointed Henrietta goes to put the food on and Hoby says that if Rex isn't sick, it's a rotten thing to do.
At his hotel room, Rex looks at his clock and paces nervously. When a guest, Paul Langer, comes out of his room to use the group washroom, Rex leaps in front of him and says that he won't be long. He starts filling the tub, and Lane climbs up to the second-store window. Rex helps him in and tells Lane to start, and Lane starts singing and pretending that he's Rex. Meanwhile, Rex gets dressed and loads a derringer and tells Lane that he'll be right back, and leaves via the window.
Rex breaks into the Porter bank and then leaves. Ralph spots him in the shadows and goes after him, and Rex shoots him twice with the derringer before running off.
Paul returns to the washroom and yells through the door. Lane continues pretending that he's Rex, and Paul goes to get the manager. Rex comes back and packs way his derringer, and explains that he shot Ralph and figures that he's dead. He then gives Lane his share of the stolen money and tells him that they'll meet at the shack in a couple of days. Rex then dabs water on his hair and comes out when Paul comes back.
Later, Hoby checks on the doctor as he bandages up Ralph's wounds. The doctor says that Ralph is badly wounded and might not pull through. Hoby tells the doctor that someone cleaned out all of the paper money, and was hoping Ralph could identify the thief.
Hoby and Aaron check out the bank, and Hoby figures the thief was an expert. They both wonder if Rex was involved, and Hoby goes to the hotel to question Rex. Rex says that he wasn't feeling well and was in the room the entire time except when he got some dinner and took a hot bath. Hoby asks for his alibi, and Rex demands an explanation first. When Hoby threatens him, Rex tells him to check the hotel staff and Paul. Rex threatens to tell Henrietta, and Hoby goes to talk to Paul. The clerk confirms that Paul plays piano at the saloon, and Hoby talks to him there. Paul confirms that Rex was in the washroom, and a drunken Lane is playing cards. He draws a knife on his opponent and accuses him of cheating, and Hoby takes him out and questions him. Lane claims that he was passing through and is going to leave in jail. He admits that he was in jail in New York once for being broke, and Hoby takes him to jail when Lane says that he has nowhere to stay.
The next morning, Hoby sends a wire to Austin asking for information on Lane. Ralph is still in critical condition, and Henrietta confronts Hoby, furious that he threatened Rex. She demands that Hoby apologize or she'll run newspaper stories against him until they force him out of town. Hoby points out that Ralph was shot and asks what she knows about Rex. Henrietta says that Rex asked her to marry him and she might do it, and gives Hoby an hour to apologize.
When Hoby doesn't apologize, Henrietta runs a story about Hoby violating Rex's civil rights. Aaron visits Hoby, who says that Lane is threatening to cost him his job. Paul comes in and says that Rex beat him to the washroom door again. He explains that Rex was singing in the bath just like the previous night, but his voice changed. The telegram man Jim arrives and gives Hoby the wire from Austin. Hoby reads it and tells Aaron to come along.
The two men go to the hotel, and the clerk tells them that Rex left a half hour earlier. The livery stableman confirms that Rex rode out of town, and Hoby takes a chance. He releases Lane and tells him to ride out of town. Meanwhile, Hoby tells Aaron that the wire confirmed that Lane was in jail with Rex in El Paso, and they secretly ride off after Lane.
Lane rides out to the shack where Rex is waiting. Rex demands to know where Lane was and tells his accomplice to get the money. While Lane pries a wallboard open, he explains that he spent a night in jail for getting drunk. Lane says that Hoby checked with Austin, and Rex guns down Lane. Hoby and Aaron come in, and when Rex tries to shoot Hoby, Hoby guns him down. Aaron says that someone has to tell Henrietta.
Later, Hoby and Aaron tell Ralph what happened. Henrietta comes in and hears Hoby saying that she just made a mistake. The editor asks how Hoby is doing, and then tells Hoby that she picked up a lot of smarts and a lot of stupidity. Henrietta then hands Hoby a newspaper with a headline, "I'm Sorry, Hoby!"
Written by Gadfly on Jan 29, 2017