Bret arrives in the town of Bonita and a young Grady Lester sees him and runs off to tell everyone that he's there. The townspeople come over to Brett, calling him "Doc". Bret corrects them and they ask if he's going to stay for a while. When catches onto the mistake, Bret says that he's not Doc Holliday but the townspeople don't 'believe him. Sherriff Bill McPeters draws Bret aside and explains that a local man's cousin wrote that Doc was passing through on the way to Yuma. McPeters figures that Bret is saying that he's not Doc to avoid being shot at. Bret denies that he's Doc, but McPeters doesn't invite him and invites him to join the townspeople for their dinner at the social hall. Bret agrees once McPeters says that they're having eastern turkey. However, he insists that they're inviting "Bret Maverick" to dinner. Everyone figures that he's joking and agrees.
At dinner, McPeters has Bret assume the seat of honor. He sits down next to Laura Hayes, nicknamed "Doll". She flirts with him, saying that she's a widow. The turkey is served and a local man, Cecil Mason, comes in and tells McPeters that there's another man outside who matches Doc's description. McPeters comes out and asks the man--Bart--if he's Doc. Bart insists that his name is Maverick, and Bret comes out and jokingly calls him Wyatt.
The townspeople invite Bart in to eat with them, and he's smitten with Doll. McPeters suggests that they stay for the night and the Mavericks agree. As the brothers settle in, Bret admits that he was running out of coin and heading to Yuma. They both wonder why the townspeople are trying to delay "Doc" and "Wyatt" in town.
The next morning, Jim Mundy and his men ride into town. Jim greets McPeters and asks if the stage is in. He says that he's going to be in town for a while, and McPeters tells him that Doc and Wyatt are visiting town. Jim points out that the Clantons are his cousins, and says that if they want to talk to him he'll be at the stable until the stage arrives. Once Jim leaves, McPeters is surprised that Jim didn't back down. At the stable, Jim has his men set up for an ambush.
Bart and Bret are having breakfast, and McPeters comes in and tells them that Jim rode into town and he has quite a reputation. The Mavericks have heard of Jim as a fast gun and McPeters says that he's outside now and reminds them that he's first cousin to the Clantons. The Mavericks don't care, and McPeters says that Jim is waiting for them at the stable. He explains that he told Jim that Doc and Wyatt are there, and Bret tells McPeters to go back and say that he made a mistake in case they get killed. McPeters talks to Cecil and figures that "Doc" and Wyatt" are bluffing.
McPeters goes over to Jim outside the stable and says that the two lawmen claimed they're going to come for Jim if he doesn't leave in ten minutes. Jim says that he's going to confront them in ten minutes and tells McPeters to deliver his message. Once the sheriff goes back, Jim tells his men to break into the social hall and open fire.
The sheriff tells the Mavericks what he said to Jim and realizes that they're not Doc and Wyatt. He says that Jim called his bluff and is coming in ten minutes.
Jim's men sneak in the back of the social hall.
McPeters explains that they have a peaceful town except when Jim and his men show up, and he can't handle them. The Mundys have a spread 20 miles south of town on the border, and they figure they use it as a depot to rustle cattle. There's been a silver strike and the company keeps their payroll in the town bank. The town needs the business and they can't afford to have the payroll stolen. McPeters figure that Jim can take the bank if anyone can, and they were hoping "Doc" and "Wyatt" could handle them.
Jim and two of his men walk up the street, while the other two prepare to come in through the saloon kitchen.
McPeters goes out to try and calm down Jim, while the Mavericks agree to talk their way out. As the sheriff confronts Jim, the stage arrives and a woman, June, emerges. Jim comes over and hugs June, and they kiss. Bret figures that it's a good time to talk to Jim while he has a woman with him. Jim introduces June as his cousin, and McPeters suggests that they put June up in town.
The Mavericks come out and Jim tells McPeters that he won't start any trouble in front of June. One of Jim's men confirms that Bart isn't Wyatt, and Jim figures that the Mavericks are running a bluff. Bret says that they believe in live and let live, and Jim agrees. Bart sees June and goes over, calling her "Mrs. Collins". June claims she has no idea what he's talking about. Once she goes in with Jim, she tells him that she worked in Abilene as a dancer and met Bart there. Jim figures that Bart will keep his mouth shut.
Bart tells Bret that "June" was a dancer who distracted the other players when he was gaming in Abilene. They go in to get coffee and McPeters joins them. Bret asks him where the miners spend their money when they get paid, and the Mavericks perk up when McPeters says that they hang around and gamble.
In June's hotel room, Jim kisses June and says that they don't have to keep up the cousin act. She warns that robbing the bank looks impossible, and Jim says that the hotel room is built over the bank. They're going to have to smuggle equipment in to get through the beams and plaster, and the payroll will be there the next night. They're going to cover up the noise by using June as a distraction. He tries to kiss her again and June takes offense. Jim takes the dynamite out of June's suitcase, and finds her dance costume there as well and figures how they can use it.
That night in the social hall, Bart and Bret are playing cards when Jim comes in. He tells the customers that he's going to throw a free party the next night and June will dance in the costume that he brought in to show them.
The next afternoon, Bret goes to the bank and Doll comes in. She and Bret flirt with each other.
Jim and his gang break up the floor boards of June's room, and Jim tells them that they need to do it now because they'll have to break through the beams that night. Bart is in the next room and hears the noises, and Jim uses blankets to muffle the noise. Outside, Bart listens at the door and then knocks. June answers it and Bart invites June to join her with a walk. She begs off, saying that she's tired, and Bart drops the matter and walks off. Jim figures that Bart heard the noise but June says that it wouldn't mean anything to him. She points out that Bart didn't mention anything, and says that she'd shoot Bart if she thought he heard something but he didn't. Jim asks what's more important to her--the money or the man—and two of Jim's men go after Bart.
Down in the street, Bart sees Bret going for a ride with Doll. The two men come out and notice, and once Bret drives off they intercept Bart in the street. They fake taking offense and tell him to have Bret stay away from Doll. Bart shoves past them and points out that he doesn't have a gun. The thug, Russ Aikens, tells Bart to draw and Bart tries to talk him down. He walks over and gets close enough to punch Russ, and Russ shoots him in the shoulder. McPeters comes out and Russ claims that it's self-defense. The sheriff finds a gun that Russ planted on him, while a satisfied Jim watches from the hotel window.
When Bret and Doll return to town, McPeters tells him that Bart has been shot and might not make it. Bart is at Dr. Teller's office, and Bret goes to see him. Teller says that Bart will pull through. Bart says that he'll miss the party, and Bret assures him that he doesn't plan to get revenge. Outside, Bret asks McPeters why Russ tried to pick a fight. McPeters shows him the planted gun, and Bret takes it and says that he'll have to think over whether to confront Russ.
Later, Bret puts on his gun belt and leaves his hotel room. He goes past June's room, and she secretly watches him. Once he leaves, June tells the men that everyone is gone and they start sawing at the beams.
Bret goes to the party where Jim is. Jim says that Russ left for a vacation, and Bret seemingly accepts his story and leaves. Once he leaves, the second shooter tells Jim that Bret has his gun and Jim says that he knows.
Russ and the others are working on the bank ceiling when there's a knock at the door. It's the owner, Mrs. Pierce, and she asks what's going on in the room. Mrs. Pierce demands to see what's going on, but June refuses and the owner goes to get the sheriff. Russ has June bring Mrs. Pierce back, and June invites the owner in. The thug tosses a blanket over Mrs. Pierce's head.
Out on the street, Bret has Cecil point out Russ' horse. Cecil notices that all of Jim's men's horses are there.
Jim comes upstairs and Russ assures him that Mrs. Pierce didn't see anyone but June. Russ wants a drink, and Jim warns him that Bret is looking for him and tells him to stand watch in the hallway.
Bret goes back to Bart, who reveals that he has a gun hidden under his blanket. Bart says that he didn't see anyone except Bret... and then June, later. Bret figures Russ doesn't want him walking with June because he was in the room when Bart called to June.
Jim's men cut through the bank ceiling and break through the plaster. June stands watch from the window and confirms that no one is outside, and Jim drops blankets through the hole to catch the plaster as they continue breaking through.
Bret goes back to the social hall looking for Russ. McPeters points out two of Jim's men, and they realize they're not the ones who were there earlier. Bret goes up to June's room and Russ warns the others that he's coming. When Bret knocks on the door and asks to see June, she opens the door a crack. He says that he's looking for Russ, and June asks Bret to escort him to the social hall for her dance that Jim promised. Jim secretly enters the social hall.
When it's time, Bret brings June in and Jim introduces June. As she dances on the bar, Bret sits with McPeters as the townspeople cheer... covering up the noise from the bank. McPeters goes over to get a closer look, while Jim leaves with his men. Bret notices that they're gone and goes after them.
Jim and his men go to the hotel and they lower themselves through the hole into the bank. They hear Bret outside and Russ prepares to shoot him. Mrs. Pierce wakes up and calls for help, and Russ tells her to shut up or he'll kill her. Outside, Bret tells a hotel maid that he lost his key, claiming June's room is his, and she agrees to loan him her master keys.
Russ lowers the dynamite in so the others can blast open the vault door. Bret lets himself in and gets the drop on Russ, pistol-whips him unconscious, pretends that he's Russ, lights the dynamite, and drops it down by rope. The gambler drops the pretense and tells Jim and his men to drop their guns or he'll continue lowering the dynamite. Once they surrender, Bret pulls the dynamite up and drops down. One of the men throws a knife at him, Bret shoots him and tells the others to freeze.
Later, Bret pays Bart a share of the reward money, figuring he earned it by getting shot. He suggests that they play cards so he can win back the money. Meanwhile, the real Doc Holliday rides into town and asks Cecil where he can get a bite to eat. Cecil figures that it's another Maverick and calls to McPeters, much to Doc's surprise.
Written by Gadfly on Sep 1, 2019