Bank robber Ben Fraser and his wounded partner are riding along. The partner finally falls off his horse and tells Ben that he can't go any further. He tells Ben to ride on to town and then send a wagon back for him, and Ben asks what he'll do if Hoby find him. The partner promises to kill him, and Ben mounts up... and then shoots the man dead. Hoby rides up and Ben spots him and rides off just as Hoby arrives.
Ben rides into the nearby town and everyone notices him. Hoby arrives thirty minutes later and introduces himself to Sheriff Kent claims that he didn't see anyone ride into town and the deputy, Charlie, agrees. Hoby tells them that there's a dead man over the hill, and Kent tells says that he'll take care of him. Once Hoby rides on, Charlie tells Kent that he'll take care of the body.
Hoby enters the saloon and hotel and tells the bartender, Cal, that he'd like some information. Cal offers him a drink and says that they have a bar rule against firearms whether the man is a ranger or not. The bartender doesn't care, and his assistant Joey draws a gun on Hoby and Cal repeats his request. Hoby hands over his gun and Cal pours him a drink and has one himself. The Ranger explains that he's trailing two bank partners and the trail leads directly into town. When Hoby says that a teller identified the robber as Ben Fraser, Cal says that he has a brother named Ben. The customers clear out, and Cal tells Hoby that Ben is busy but Hoby can stay in town and see him that night. Hoby walks out without finishing his drink.
Outside, Hoby discovers that his horse is gone. He goes to the sheriff's office and Charlie tells him that the marshal is out and won't be back until the next day. Hoby walks down the now-abandoned streets and spots two men, Frank and Al, watching him. He walks past them and back into the saloon and hotel. The clerk says that all of the rooms are taken, claiming that there's a convention in town. Smirking, he suggests that Hoby talk to Cal about a reservation, and says that the joke is that Hoby is caught in a trap. The two men come in and say that Ben will be glad to make sure Hoby gets some rest.
Hoby goes over to the saloon and asks to see Ben. Cal is gone, and Joey tells Hoby that there's nothing for him there. He says that he needs some sleep, and the saloon girl Rose says that she'll tell Ben.
Ben is shaving and Cal tells him that Frank and Al are watching Hoby. Rose comes in and notices that Cal is packing. Ben tells her that Cal is leaving, and Cal says that he and Ben will be back while she looks after things. Rose insists that she's sick of the town, and Cal tells her that it's just the once. Ben tells her that they're going to kill a Ranger and it's best they see some country. He tells Rose that she's starting to be a nuisance, and that Hoby will see him that night.
Back in the saloon, Rose goes over to Hoby with a drink and says that he'll need it. She says that Ben will see him that night, and warns him that they'll kill him. The good people will believe that Hoby rode in and rode out, and Ben will leave Hoby's body and horse a long way away from town. Some of them might not stand to see a good man shot in cold blood, but if they have a chance to look the other way they'll take it. Hoby asks if he can expect any help from Rose, and she says that all she has is talk. If Hoby walks out then all he has is 40 miles of sand and water in every direction. Cal comes out and tells Rose that they should have a drink to Hoby's good intentions.
Hoby goes to the livery stable and the owner, Sal McCready, tells him that they're closed. His father, Enos, says that he's a colonel and he figures Hoby is in trouble. Enos talks about being with Jackson during the Civil War. Saul glances over at a ladder, and Hoby notices. He asks for some help, and Saul tells him that all they have is plows. Enos says that Saul is afraid and ignores Saul's warnings. The colonel says that he'll get Hoby a horse and gun, and maybe clear up the gang himself while Hoby takes a nap. He starts insulting Hoby, and Saul grabs him and tells him to shut up. His father threatens to tell Ben and walks off, and Saul admits that the Frasers give him plenty of business. He says that he's going to throw away the broken ladder, and loudly says that he doesn't sell horses as Frank and Al come over. Hoby leaves and the two men tell Saul that Ben wants the horses ready by sundown.
Back at the hotel, Hoby is reading a paper and hands it to the clerk, then punches him and runs out. Frank and Al watch and figure that Hoby is going to make them work for it, and goes to get Ben. Ben and the deputy, John Major, go to the livery stable and Saul tells them that he hasn't seen Hoby. Hoby is hiding in the shadows, and Saul goes home. While Cal and John check with Charlie, who is standing guard on the stable, Hoby climbs up the ladder and enters the livery stable via the second-story door. Meanwhile, John orders Charlie to go inside as Hoby pulls the ladder up. Charlie tells John that he's never killed anyone, and they hear Hoby move but dismisses it as horses.
The two men stand guard and John finally figures that Hoby is in there with them. He searches for him, gun drawn, and Hoby throws a pitchfork into him. Charlie hears the noise and goes to investigate, and finds John dead. Hoby jumps on him, takes his gun, and orders him to ride out and keep going no matter what. Charlie does so, and Frank and Al mistake him for Hoby in the darkness and shoot him. They miss, and Charlie gets out of town.
Hoby drops down from the stable and watches as Frank and Al ride after Charlie. When Cal comes to the stable to get the horses, Hoby draws on him. Cal goes for his gun and Hoby is forced to kill him. Ben hears the shot and runs out into the saloon, and Hoby calls for him to come out. Refusing, Ben goes back into the room, tells Rose that it's dead, and tells her to go out to the bar and shoot a gun whether she hits something or not. Rose refuses, and Ben slaps her and repeats his order. She takes the gun and as he goes out the back door, shoots through it and kills him.
Later, Hoby tells Rose that he didn't have a choice but to kill Cal. She figures that her life is finished without him, and wonders what she'll do. Hoby tells her that she'll probably go to jail but will get off easy, and Rose lights up when Hoby points out that there's a reward for Ben. She assures Hoby that she'll get everything that's coming to her, and Hoby hopes that she does.
Written by Gadfly on Jul 9, 2017