A man, Len Starbuck, has his foot caught in a bear trap. He fires a shot into the air to summon help, and Hoby is riding by. The Ranger comes over and frees Len, and then gives him some water. Len pistol-whips Hoby when his back is turned. When Hoby wakes up, Len is gone... and has left him with his foot in the bear trap. Hoby's gun and horse are gone, and a man walks over and trains his rifle on him. He says that he set it to trap a man but he isn't Hoby, and starts freeing Hoby. The elderly man, Zebulon Hunt, stops and starts talking about trapping beaver.
Hoby gets Zebulon back on track and the man frees him. The Ranger explains how he ended up there and Zebulon says that he set out to trap Len. Hoby is unable to walk and collapses, and Zebulon says that he turned Len over to the law for shooting a man in the back. Then Len broke out of jail. Hoby explains that he's a Ranger and Zebulon explains that Len was coming after him. He goes to get his wagon and brings it over. He offers to steal Hoby a horse from the Indians, and invites Hoby to stay with him because he figures Len will come back. Zebulon then calls to his granddaughter Tina, who is aboard the wagon. The old man explains that Len is after her.
They leave in the wagon and Tina tends to Hoby's ankle. She explains that Zen was her husband was coming for her, and insists that he wouldn't harm her. Tina says that she doesn't like the way that Zebulon lives, and when her father died Zebulon took Tina's mother into the mountains to make her live like him. The people at the mission school wouldn't let her go. The girl says that she's part-Indian and asks Hoby if she's pretty. Hoby says that she is, and Tina tells him that Zen is coming back for her. She says that Zebulon's mind is gone and Len will kill him and Hoby too.
Len gets to a nearby town and has Dr. Grayson Rogers bind up his ankle. Once Rogers is finished, Len says that he has to travel and a man's life depends on him getting there.
Zebulon makes camp for the night and builds up the fire. Hoby asks Zebulon to drop him off at the nearest town, but Zebulon says that towns are dens of sin and inequity. He insists that he's been keeping care of himself for decades, and explains that Tina has been with him since Len went to jail. Zebulon plans to teach Tina to learn to live like he does, and Hoby warns that she might sell them both out when Len shows up. However, the old man figures he can handle it.
The next day, the wagon continues on and Tina puts on a fancy dress and earrings. She then throws part of her other dresses out the back, leaving a trail for Len to follow. Len soon comes along and follows Tina's trail.
Zebulon makes camp and loads up his old hunting rifle. Hoby asks him for another gun to take on Len, and Zebulon admits that it's the only gun he has. He assures Hoby that he'll get him into range and has Tina bring out his telescope. Tina comes out wearing her dress, and Zebulon tells her to put on some decent clothing. She tells him that she threw the other dresses away, and Zebulon orders her back in the wagon.
Muttering about Jezebels, Zebulon climbs up in the hills. Meanwhile, Hoby tells Tina that he knows she's been leaving a trail for Len. He asks why she didn't kill Zebulon herself and walks off.
Zebulon spots Len coming and calls a warning to Hoby. He slips and falls down the hillside, and Hoby hobbles over to him. He takes the old man's gun and tells Tina that Zebulon isn't dead. Hoby points out that Zebulon is going to a lot of effort to keep Len away from Tina, and orders her back to the wagon. The Ranger takes up a position and Len approaches on foot. He calls Zebulon out, and Tina runs to him. She hugs the man, but Len figures that it's a trick. Tina begs him to go with her and leave her injured grandfather alone.
Len moves forward and sees Zebulon unconscious on the ground. He prepares to shoot him, and knocks Tina to the ground when she tries to stop him. Hoby yells at him to drop the gun, and shoots him when he doesn't.
That night, Zebulon admits that he didn't load the gun with a heavy charge. Hoby apologizes to Tina for misjudging her, and says that Zebulon will have to spend time in town until his broken leg heals up. He smiles at Tina and says that he won't mind living in a town too much, and Tina smiles. Hoby assures Zebulon that he'll make it all right and goes to bed down.
Written by Gadfly on Apr 2, 2017