In Vicksburg, Yancy is playing poker with three men and one of his opponents, Charles Hunter, calls his $500 bet and raises him another $500. In response, Yancy calls and beats the man's king-high flush with four aces. The man tosses a knife into the table as Yancy reaches for his winnings, and accuses Yancy of having a holdout up his sleeve. Yancy obliges and reveals the only thing up his sleeve is a derringer. He puts it away and apologizes for startling them, and another opponent draws a gun. Pahoo takes out his shotgun and Yancy points out that they're not in a good position. He collects his winnings and departs with Pahoo, Once they leave, the armed man fires through the door, but there's no sign of Yancy. They figure that they'll get Yancy when he boards the boat to New Orleans.
Once the three men leave, Yancy and Pahoo drop down from the rafters and Lt. Bacon arrives with a sergeant. He informs them that he's under the command of John Colton, Union administrator of New Orleans. Bacon has orders to escort Yancy there, and Yancy says that he'd rather travel with Pahoo. When the lieutenant warns that Yancy has no choice, Pahoo draws his knife and the two of them depart. And Bacon tells the sergeant that they'll capture Yancy when he takes the Sultana.
Later, the Sultana prepares to depart and neither Bacon nor the three gamblers have seen Yancy. Hunter figures that Yancy will tur up at his estate, Waverly, and they'll get him there. The riverboat heads down the Mississippi and the pilot spots Yancy and Pahoo ahead on a raft. Captain Tom refuses to stop for them, and Yancy sends up the Confederate flag. Tom recognizes him and tells the pilot to pick Yancy up. As they come aboard, the three gamblers watch from hiding.
Tom greets Yancy and wonders where he's been in the three years since the Civil War ended. Yancy asks where Amanda Eaton is, and Tom provides Yancy with directions to her cabin: the cabin that Yancy's father Senior had when he owned the Sultana. The captain explains that Hunter owns the Sultana now and has a rule against carrying Indians, and Yancy tells him that he's changing the rule.
Yancy goes to Amanda's cabin, and Hunter and his men get the drop on him. They knock him over the head and toss him over the rail. Once they leave, Yancy rises to the surface and swims to the side where the crew is gathered. He goes to the cabin where the Derringers' manservant Obadiah is pouring tea. Obadiah hugs Yancy and says that they thought for years that he was killed in the War. Yancy sends him to the wheelhouse to get his luggage and warns him not to let anyone see him. Before he goes, Obadiah calls Amanda out of the bedroom.
Amanda comes out and is glad to see Yancy. They kiss and Amanda says that she was supposed to meet him on the boat in Vicksburg, and she thought something had happened to him. Yancy tells her what happened and explains that the pistol hidden in his hat blocked the blow. Amanda warns that Yancy is in grave danger which is why she urged secrecy, and didn't tell anyone Yancy was coming home. Yancy wonders how Bacon knew he was coming home to Waverly, just as Obadiah arrives with the luggage. He goes to get Yancy some food, and Yancy goes into the bedroom to change out of his wet clothes.
The Sultana continues downriver, and Hunter and his men see Obadiah with Yancy's clothing and realize that Yancy is alive. Hunter orders the other two men to find Yancy.
As Yancy eats, he tells Amanda that he was shot during the War, spent a year in a prison hospital, escaped, then went out West to struck it rich and didn't. He got Amanda's telegram, and Amanda figures that John intercepted it. She warns that John is out to kill Yancy. Hunter's man George Slcoum comes in and holds them at gunpoint, and Yancy claims that Pahoo is standing behind the man. Yancy strolls toward George and describes what the shotgun will do to the man. George quickly hands over his pistol and Yancy shakes his hand... and tosses him over the rail.
Back in the cabin, Yancy asks Amanda why John is after him. She explains that John wants Waverly, and explains that she been rebuilt it since the Union shelled it into the ground. The Derringers were gone and John wanted Waverly for himself, and she stopped him by claiming that she was Yancy's wife. John has realized the truth, and if something happens to Yancy then John can obtain Waverly. Yancy wants to talk to John, but Amanda warns him that the administrator will kill him on sight. The Sultana reaches Cass' Crossing and Amanda suggests that they disembark there and go to Waverly by carriage. Yancy agrees, and Amanda warns him that if he meets John then it's either Yancy or John.
Once Yancy, Pahoo, and Amanda disembark, Pahoo spots Hunter and the third man, Harmon Steele, getting off as well. They arrive at Waverly and discover that a party is going on. Amanda tells Yancy that there was something she didn't explain, but he says that he'll figure it out on his own. Pahoo slips off into the bushes, and Yancy and Amanda go inside. There's gambling going on, and Amanda says that she had to do it to get the funds to rebuild Waverly. Furious, Yancy throws a tray of drinks through the window tosses a man off the shoeshine chair, and tells everyone else that they've made their last bet.
The gamblers quickly leave except for one man. He introduces himself as John Colton and says that he wants to talk... and Amanda knocks Yancy out from behind. She tells John that she didn't want Yancy to hang for killing him. As the servants carry Yancy upstirs, Hunter and Harmon arrive.
Upstairs, Amanda tells John that she wants to be alone with her husband, and asks the administrator to go. John agrees but once Amanda's back is turn, he hides behind the curtain and pushes the door shut, making her think that he's left. She takes Yancy's derringer and prepares to shoot him, and John draws his gun. However, Yancy wakes up and grabs Amanda's wrist, sees John, and tells Amanda that there were too many witnesses. John pockets his gun and says that if Yancy had accepted his military escort, none of it would have happened. Yancy figures that Amanda planned to be a two-time widow, and John explains that Amanda was counting on the city records being destroyed when Farragut took the city during the War. Once they disassembled the records, John discovered that Amanda is married to another man: Hunter.
Amanda storms off and John advises Yancy to let her go. Once they're alone, John says that Yancy's name is spoken with respect in New Orleans. He wants Yancy to work with him, pointing out that the War is over and New Orleans has become a treasure chest. John wants a man who loves the South, who will work without pay or portfolio, as his personal agent. Yancy will be on the inside before something happens, and if he's caught then John might have to hang him.
Hunter and Harmon come in, guns drawn, and Hunter says that he wasn't going to give up Waverly. Pahoo is in the window and throws his knife into the headboard. John draws his gun and Hunter wounds him, and Yancy grabs the knife and throws it into Hunter's chest. Pahoo kills Harmon with his shotgun, and Yancy confirms that John is only scratched. Amanda comes back and cradles her husband's body in her arms, and promises that someday Yancy will pay.
Later, Yancy binds John's wound and explains that Pahoo saved his lie once and now he's responsible for Yancy's life, Yancy considers John's offer and accepts, and they share a toast to their new partnership.
Written by Gadfly on Jul 26, 2017