Yancy and Pahoo are walking down the street and a woman, Billie Jo James, secretly watches them. She then "accidentally" bumps into Pahoo. Yancy assures Billie Jo that Pahoo is harmless, and Billie Jo introduces herself. She explains that she was so much girl when she was born that her father gave her a boy's name. Yancy asks if they've met, and Billie Jo says that they haven't but she saw him at the ball a week ago. She convinces Yancy to have dinner with her and leaves. Yancy points out to Pahoo that he wasn't at the ball.
Lt. Bacon arrives and Yancy accompanies him to John's office. Pahoo is watching the riverboats at the docks, and Yancy points out the Sultana. John comes out and says that he has a job for Yancy that could make them both money and it's legal. He wants Yancy to go to Natchez on the Sultana and pick up a profitable shipment. John takes Yancy into his office and introduces Duke Winslow. Duke is a U.S. Marshal and John explains that the shipment is an Army payroll of $200,000. The marshal is riding shotgun and John wants Yancy to go with him. Duke readily agrees and warns that during the last leg of the shipment, there was an ambush and it must have been an inside job. Yancy offers to put the payroll in his cabin, and John says that an armed guard will deliver the payroll at 10 just before it puts out.
Yancy goes to the club for poker and sees Billie Jo there. She explains that she's filling in for Francine and joins him at the roulette table. He loses and Billie Jo takes Yancy to the blackjack table. As she keeps beating him, Billie Jo asks about the Sultana and wrangles herself an invitation. He gives her the Ace of Hearts as a "ticket" to present to Captain Tom. Two men, Pete and Baker, stage a fight and Yancy gets involved. Billie Jo hits him in the head with a champagne bottle, and the two men run off. Pahoo comes in and fires at them, but misses.
Billie Jo claims that she aimed at Pete but Yancy got in the way. He tells her that he knows she lied earlier and asks why she wants aboard the Sultana. Billie Jo explains that she's broke and her sister is getting married in St. Louis, and she hopes to get home. Yancy points out that she still has her ticket and leaves with Pahoo.
Later, Yancy is walking down the street when he hears a gunshot. He ducks into the shadows and a woman, Dorinda Ashton, runs by. Yancy grabs her and she says that men have been trying to keep her from reaching the Sultana. He lets her go and Dorinda draws a gun on him and orders him to walk away. Yancy obliges and Dorinda heads for the Sultana.
Pahoo digs out the bullet that was fired and shows it to Yancy, who notes that it's .a .25. They continue to the Sultana and Captain Tom tells Yancy that Billie Jo is aboard. Yancy goes to the usual cabin and hears Billie Jo yelling at Pahoo. He goes in and she complains that Pahoo scared her out of her mind. John and Duke arrive with the payroll and Yancy asks Billie Jo to leave them. The administrator gives Yancy the key and wishes him luck, and Yancy puts the strongbox in the safe. He tells Duke that it will make it more sporting to put it in the obvious place and introduces Duke to Pahoo.
The Sultana heads upriver and Dorinda tells Captain Tom that there's an assassin on the riverboat and he's after her. Captain Tom goes with her and she points out the man: Yancy. Dorinda says that Yancy pretended to help her in New Orleans and followed her aboard the Sultana. Captain Tom explains that Yancy is the owner, and Dorinda apologizes to both men. Once Captain Tom returns to the wheelhouse, Dorinda tells Yancy that she's been frightened. She explains that her grandfather died and left her a fortune, and someone is trying to keep her from getting to Natchez. Yancy holds her, assures her that he'll protect her, and they kiss.
Later, Billie Jo storms into Yancy's cabin past Pahoo, and she says that she knows about the strongbox. She doesn't believe Yancy's denials, just as Duke comes in. Yancy asks Billie Jo to leave and Duke says that Yancy doesn't appear to be the person to take care of something valuable. A shot rings out and the two men run to investigate. It came from Dorinda's cabin, and there's a bullet wound in her arm. Yancy insists on taking her to his cabin despite Duke's objections, and duke insists on standing watch. Once Duke leaves, Yancy sends Pahoo to search Dorinda's cabin. He finds two .25 bullets and a piece of handkerchief.
Once Dorinda wakes up, she says that someone shot at her from the porthole and she didn't see who it was. He then goes to Dorinda's cabin and Pahoo shows him what he found. They leave and Pahoo goes up top. Pete and Baker confront Yancy and order him overboard, and Pahoo drops a blanket on one. The two men make short work of Yancy's attackers and toss them overboard.
The next day, the Sultana arrives in Natchez and Dorinda thanks them for their help. She quickly excuses herself, and Yancy offers to carry her trunk. He and Pahoo pick it up and "accidentally" knock it open. The Army strongbox is inside, and Yancy says that Pahoo saw Dorinda stage the fake attack in New Orleans. She shot herself in the arm to get into Yancy's cabin, and Pahoo found both bullets.
Captain Tom arrives with a telegram from New Orleans for Yancy. Duke draws his gun and orders Yancy and Pahoo up against the wall. Yancy points out that the tele gram says that the real Duke is dead, Duke has the two men remove their weapons, while Billie Jo watches from the porthole. He gets the key and tells Dorinda to get the strongbox and leave while he takes care of Yancy and Pahoo. Yancy suggests that they open the strongbox first. When Dorinda does so, she discovers that it's empty except for a note saying "Busybody!" Duke demands to know where the money is, saying that they put a whole year into planning the job. Billie Jo comes in, gun drawn, and tells Duke and Dorinda to surrender. Yancy jumps Duke, and Billie Jo shoots Dorinda. In the struggle, Yancy grabs Pahoo's shotgun and kills Duke.
Later, Bacon arrives to get the shipment. Yancy returns and tells Billie Jo that Dorinda is in the hospital but will be all right. He hands over the money that was hidden separately, and Billie Jo says that she's a special agent for the War Department sent to watch the money. Billie Jo assures Yancy that their romance was fake... on the trip up.
Written by Gadfly on Aug 16, 2017