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Greenbacks, Unlimited Recap

At a general store, Bret is playing low-stakes poker against Junior Kalikak and the proprietor. A man, Terence Tamblyn, comes in and greets his friend Bret. Bret explains that he's killing time because his horse injured itself. When the stable boy man comes in and says that it will take longer for the horse to recover than anticipated, Tamblyn offers to trade Bret horses. He insists that there's no catch, and the stable boy says that he's seen the horse and Bret isn't getting gypped. Bret is still suspicious but agrees to the trade. Once Bret sits back down at the poker table, Tamblyn pays off the stable boy

After Tamblyn leaves, the telegram operator brings in a telegram for Bret from Marshal K.K. Ratcliffe. Ratcliffe says that he'll forget Bret's promise to stay out of Denver if Bret meets him at his office the next day. Tamblyn rides off and the operator wonders why Sheriff Benson's horse is tied up outside of the store. Realizing that he's been tricked, Bret walks out and tells the operator that he's been taken.

Bret arrives in Denver the next day on a bow-backed nag and cautiously goes in. He reminds Ratcliffe that he told him three days ago to stay out of Denver. Colonel Dutton, President of the Denver State Bank, is there, and says that they need Bret to help them find a gambler. They don't know his name or what he looks like, but explains that an expert safecracker has come from the East and specializes in robbing banks. All they know is that the safecracker plays poker and lives in swank hotels. The safecracker has two companions but they don’t' know anything about them. Ratcliffe figures that if Bret hangs around the hotel poker tables, he could spot the stranger. Bret will then tell Ratcliffe, who will assign deputies to check the safecracker. When Bret says that he isn't interested, Dutton tells him that he'll cover his expenses and a $1,000 reward. Bret quickly agrees and Dutton says that he's proud that his bank has never been stolen from.

Later, Bret goes to the Denver House Hotel and looks for the safecracker at the poker tables. His father's friend Foursquare Farley greets him and they talk about old times. Foursquare has been a barber, a carpenter, and a bricklayer. Now he's a gambler like Bret, specializing in dealing blackjack. Foursquare explains that he can't be wiped out because he has an unlimited stake. Eventually he wins again and pays back his losses. Bret admits that Foursquare has a good thing going and always tries to help people. He asks if Foursquare has seen the safecracker gambler. Foursquare passes out and Bret looks back to discover his friend unconscious on the floor. The bartender gives Bret Foursquare's address so that Bret can take him home... and it's next door to the bank.

Bret and the bartender look around the expensive parlor that Foursquare has to play blackjack. The bartender says that one player won $20,000, which would break most players. They put Foursquare to bed and the bartender goes back to the hotel. When Foursquare wakes up, Bret figures that he's worries about someone robbing the bank. Foursquare explains that he borrowed money from the bank and it gives him as much as he likes. He says that when he was a bricklayer he was hired to rebuild the bank vault next door. He left one small spot with a single layer of brick.

Foursquare shows Bret a hidden passage and takes him into the vault. He says that he keeps records of what he "borrows" to keep his accounts straight. Foursquare explains that he's paid everything bank and doesn't owe it anything. He fainted because if the safecracker broke into the vault, there'd be an audit and Foursquare's activities would be revealed. Bret agrees as long as Foursquare bricks up the secret entrance and stops his blackjack games before someone cleans him out. As they prepare to go, someone on the other side of the vault door tries to feel out the combination. Bret tells Foursquare that they'll take the money out, hide it in Foursquare's bedroom, and return it later.

On the other side of the door, Big Ed Murphy is working on the combination. His partners London Louie Latimer and Driscoll look on, and Big Ed assures them that he could crack the safe no matter how noisy it is.

Bret and Foursquare move the money to Foursquare's bedroom and close the passageway door just in time. Murphy and his men come in and are surprised to discover that there's no money there. Bret listens to them talk, and Big Ed figures that the bank is broke and are covering it up. They step out of the vault and Bret agrees to take the money back the next day after he's had a nice to sleep on $2 million.

The next day, Big Ed visits Dutton in his office and says that he knows the bank is on the verge of bankrupt. Dutton has no idea what he's talking about, and Big Ed demands $50,000 for his silence. Dutton has his guards toss Big Ed out, and Big Ed says that he'll spread word that the bank is bankrupt and everyone will demand their money. He takes Big Ed to the vault and shows him that the money is inside, and then has him thrown out.

Big Ed meets with Louie and Driscoll at a saloon and tells them what he saw. He explains that they'll crack it again that night and tells them not to do anything to attract attention, and he'll play poker at the Denver House.

That night, Bret and Foursquare go to the table and see Big Ed playing poker. Bret recognizes Big Ed's voice and sits down at the table, and Big Ed just gives his name when introductions are made. He excuses himself, saying that he has to meet some friends. Once he leaves, Bret excuses himself as well, and tells Foursquare that Big Ed is probably the robber.

Bret and Foursquare go back to Foursquare's house and enter the vault. They empty it back out into Foursquare's room, realize that Big Ed is breaking in, and Bret tampers with the tumblers to keep it shut and buy time. he and Foursquare get the money out and close the passage door, and the robbers are shocked to discover that there's no money even though Big Ed saw it earlier. Bret listens as Big Ed tells his accomplice that something fishy is going on. He tells them that they'll stay in the vault until just before morning, then close the door and watch from the window. Bret hears them and tells Foursquare that they could go in through the front and lock the robbers in the vault. In a day or so they'll find the money somewhere else and collect the reward. No one will believe Big Ed when he says that the money was never in the vault.

The two men break into the bank through the front door, and Foursquare sneezes. He and Bret hide as the robbers hear the noise and come out. Bret draws his gun but Foursquare accidentally knocks it out of his hand, and Bret has no choice but to reveal himself. Big Ed says that he'll lock them in the vault and they'll get the award for capturing them. Bret puts up a token objection but Big Ed locks him and Foursquare in, and then tells Louie and Driscoll to go so it won't look strange.

Bret and Foursquare go back to Foursquare's bedroom, and Bret says that they'll put the money into the vault. Big Ed has closed the vault door so he won't notice anything, and in the morning Dutton will find the money there.

Once they put the money back, Bret and Foursquare confirm that Big Ed is still in the bank. They look around for Louie and Dutton, and Bret points out that the authorities will let Big Ed go and he'll come after them. Foursquare suggests that they leave Denver, and Bret tells his friend that he wants to talk to Tamblyn about a horse trade. They search saloons until they find Louie and Driscoll. Once the two men leave, Foursquare reveals himself to them and Bret punches Driscoll unconscious. Louie runs off and Bret goes after him, finally knocking him out. Bret and Foursquare take the two unconscious men into the vault through the secret door and close it behind them.

Big Ed hears the two men inside pounding on the door and assumes that they're Bret and Foursquare.

The next morning, a clerk--Fred--opens up the bank and finds Big Ed there. The clerk goes to get Ratcliffe, and Dutton comes in and says that he'll humor Big Ed. big Ed claims that he looked in and saw a couple of safecrackers as he was walking by, and the vault was empty. Dutton finds the whole thing amusing, and Big Ed says that he closed the door when they came back to check the vault after robbing it, and he expects a reward.

Ratcliffe arrives and Dutton tells the marshal what Big Ed has told him. When Big Ed describes Bret, Ratcliffe and Dutton wonder if he's telling the truth. Dutton opens the vault and they find Louie and Driscoll inside along with the money. The deputies take them away and Driscoll breaks into tears because his plans have been foiled. Ratcliffe takes him to the doctor, figuring that he's lost his mind.

Outside, Foursquare worries that Louie and Driscoll will tell Ratcliffe what happened. Bret points out that no one will believe them, and figures that they should leave Denver before the robbers come after them. Tamblyn calls Bret over and they have a brief conversation. They shake hands and Tamblyn leaves, and Bret rejoins Foursquare and tells him that he got his money back, found out where his horse was, and collected $2,000 for renting Foursquare's house to Tamblyn for two months. Bret says that before Tamblyn moves in, Foursquare will brick up the passageway. He just wants to see Tamblyn's face in a year when he tells him that he was living next to a passageway to the vault.

Written by Gadfly on Apr 14, 2019

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