Hoby is riding through Texas and spots a stagecoach sitting on the road, its horses gone. He rides over and finds the driver and two passengers' corpses scattered around it, shot dead in the back. Hoby hears a baby crying and goes over to find it lying on the ground underneath the stagecoach, next to her dead mother. There's a note pinned to her blanket, saying, "Harriet Salisbury, Sweetwater, Texas."
The Ranger rides on to Sweetwater with the baby, and the townspeople laugh at the sight. A saloon girl, Marcia, calls out Clem Reese as Toby takes the baby into the doctor's office. Doc greets Hoby, who hands off the crying baby and tells Doc to check it out. The Ranger explains how he found it, and Doc sends him to the saloon to get some milk. Hoby asks about Harries, and Doc has never heard of her.
As Hoby leaves, the sheriff comes over and Hoby tells him that he found the baby as the only survivor of a holdup. He shows the sheriff the note, but the sheriff has never heard of Harriet. The only newcomer in town is Mr. Nelson, a drummer.
Hoby enters the saloon and finds Clem playing Nelson at cards. Nelson is losing and says that he's leaving town the next day. The drummer says that he'd already be gone if the coach had gone in on time. He explains that he sells sundries and was hoping to sell to the passengers when they arrive. Nelson offers Marcia a silk scarf, and she goes over to Hoby as he gets some milk at the bar. She asks if the baby is his, and a townsman insults Hoby. Hoby punches him and the man and his crony quickly leave. He tells the others that the stagecoach was held up and the baby's mother was shot in the back. Clem goes back to his card game, and Marcia goes back to Clem.
Clem wins another hand and Nelson complains that luck isn't running his way. Marcia goes upstairs to her room and takes off the bracelet that she's wearing. Clem follows her in and asks if something is bothering her, and notices that she's taken off the bracelet. Marcia figures that Clem robbed the stagecoach, took the bracelet, and gave it to her. She admits that she's no angel but she draws the line at cold-blooded killing. She tells Clem to get out and threatens to get Hoby out, but Clem slaps her and advances on her.
Hoby and the sheriff ride out to the stagecoach they check the luggage and discover that everything of value has been taken. There's a photo of Marcia, and the inscription from her sister calls her Harriet. The sheriff figures that Marcia came out West and changed her name and accent. Hoby figures that the baby is Marcia's niece, and rides back into town to the saloon. Clem tells him that Marcia is probably in her room, and Hoby goes upstairs. Marcia is drinking, and Hoby notices the bruises. She refuses to tell Hoby who is responsible, and Hoby starts to leave. Marcia stops him, figuring that it was something important, and he shows her the photo.
The sheriff brings the bodies back on a buckboard and goes to the saloon
Marcia explains that she wrote to her sister telling her not to come because Sweetwater is no place for a baby. The sheriff comes in as Marcia tells Hoby that Clem beat her to stop her going to the law. Hoby says that Clem gave her an expensive bracelet that he couldn't have found near Sweetwater, and they go down to confront the gambler as he plays cards. Clem offers the bracelets as stakes with his game in Nelson, and says that he figured Nelson never thought he'd see it again. Nelson is surprised when he wins, and says that he won the bracelet back fair and square.
Hoby asks if Nelson has a razor to sell, and demands it immediately. Nelson opens his drummer case and takes one out, but Hoby tosses it back in the case and demands to see another. He asks to see another, and Nelson says that it's the only ones left. The Ranger tosses the case's contents out and finds lots of jewelry. He tells Nelson to draw and he's going to pay him what he paid to get the jewelry. Nelson says that the people were dead when he got there, and he only took the stuff. The drummer points out that he doesn't have a gun, but Hoby knows better. Nelson refuses to draw, and Hoby takes his gun and turns him over to the sheriff. Marcia realizes that she was wrong about Clem.
Late, Marcia approaches Hoby as he prepares to ride out. As she apologizes to him, doc comes over and asks what he should do with the baby. Marcia takes her and Hoby tells Doc to look after Marcia's bruises. Clem comes out and walks past Marcia, who watches Hoby go.
Written by Gadfly on Jun 25, 2017