At the circus, the Remarkable Ricardo prepares to do his escape. The local sheriff, Winter, checks to make sure the locks and chains are real. Once Sheriff Winter is satisfied, they put Ricardo in a bag and then make a box around him. Joey and Corky look on as Tim has Winter let him know when 30 seconds have passed. Ricardo escapes on the 30-second mark and the audience applauds.
Ricardo goes to his wagon and then leaves with a bag. He hides the bag so a passing worker doesn't see it, and then goes to a local company office. Ricardo picks the lock and breaks in, He cracks the safe and loads the contents into his bag.
As the circus prepares to move on, Joey checks with Tim. Tim tells him that there's no sign of Ricardo. Ricardo arrives and claims that he was out walking, and Tim tells him that it's not the first time and to not hold them up again.
At the next stop in Crescent City, Ricardo ties Corky up and shows him how to escape. He claims that he has a magic word and says that they're all written down in a book. Tim takes Ricardo over to see the sheriff, Green. Green says that the Great Escapo came through a few years ago. Ricardo says that he was the best that ever was and died a year ago, and leaves. Green confirms with Tim that Ricardo has been with the circus for two months. He explains that Escapo robbed local banks after his show, taking $10,000 from the local bank with him. Tim makes it clear that he's responsible for everyone in his show. Green accepts that but advises him to keep Ricardo clear of everyone in town, especially at night. When Tim refuses to order that, Green says that he'll keep an eye on him.
Corky comes over and offers to show Joey his new trick. Tim figures that it'd be a good idea to find out more about Ricardo and find out where he goes on his walks, and Corky insists that Ricardo wouldn't rob a bank. As Corky ties Joey up, the boy insists that Ricardo is too nice to be a crook.
Corky is unable to release Joey and goes to get Ricardo's book of magic words. Corky goes into Ricardo's wagon and finds the bag with the money. Ricardo comes in and claims that it's stage money, then switches one of the real bills for a stage bill in his pocket, tosses it out, and tells Corky that he can have it as a souvenir. Once Corky leaves, Ricardo puts the real bill back with the others and hides the bag. When he comes out, he hears Corky telling Joey what happened. Ricardo releases Joey just as Tim comes over and Joey to get him some change for the show. Ricardo offers to help but Tim says that it isn't necessary and Joey takes Corky with him.
Corky and Joey go to the bank, and the teller tells Corky that the stage bill he has is worthless. The boy is happy to learn that it's real "fake" money.
That night at the show, Ricardo performs his escape and tells a watching Green that he has a headache. Green warns him that he has a deputy watching for him. Corky and Joey watch, and Corky insists that Ricardo is no crook. The boy goes to get Ricardo some coffee from the cook tent, and sees Ricardo tossing a rock to draw the deputy away so he can leave.
Ricardo walks into town, unaware that Corky is following him. The boy watches as Ricardo breaks into the back door of the bank. Inside, Ricardo cracks the vault door and goes inside. He lights a lantern and goes to work, while Corky sees a policeman coming and hides. Ricardo hears the man as well and ducks out of sight, and Corky comes in and sees the open vault door. He goes inside and Ricardo, unaware the boy is inside, closes and locks the vault door.
As the circus prepares to leave , Joey checks with Tim and confirms that he hasn't seen Corky or Ricardo. Green brings Ricardo over and they find burglar tools in his bag. Ricardo says that he hasn't seen Corky, and Green finds a list of banks on Ricardo, including the Crescent City bank and a $10,000 notation. The deputy Gus suggests that Ricardo gave the stolen money to Corky, and Joey insists that his nephew isn't involved. Green figures that they should first confirm that the money is missing from the bank, and Joey gets a search party together to find Corky. He figures that Bimbo can lead him to Corky, and unchains the elephant.
Green and Tim go to the bank with Ricardo and wait for Gus to bring the manager Bailey. Joey and Bimbo arrive and the elephant goes to the rear door. Ricardo insists that Corky couldn't' have followed him inside, and insists that he wouldn't do anything to harm him. Gus arrives with Bailey and they go inside, and Corky taps on the vault door to let him know that he's inside. Bailey says that it's on a time lock and won't open until the next Monday. Ricardo agrees to open it even though it will prove his guilt. He gets the vault open and Bailey goes in to confirm that $10,000 is missing.
Ricardo says that it was going to be his last job, but Bailey says that there's more money then when he locked it up. The magician explains that Escapo was his father and committed the robberies. He never had a chance to spend the money and wanted to make amends, but Ricardo set out to prove he was as great a magician as his father by undoing them the same way. Tim and Joey agree with him, and Green figures that they can't prosecute him for returning money. Ricardo has already slipped the handcuffs and they shake.
Written by Gadfly on May 1, 2017