Bret is checking out of his hotel room in Denver after a string bad luck at the poker tables. He barely has enough money to cover his bill, and the clerk covers the penny on his bill. Bret tells the clerk that he's meeting his brother Bart in the lobby and sits down, and bumps into a woman, Abby Taylor. He takes another seat and the man next to him goes over to flirt with Abby. Abby soon makes it clear that she's not impressed with him. Bret loudly intervenes and the masher slinks off. Abby thanks Bret for driving the masher off, and says that a man has been following her for the last hour. Bret notes that she's holding onto a hatbox very tightly, and Abby offers him $100 if he stops the man from getting the hatbox. Abby explains that the hatbox contains papers showing that her uncle is the owner of a silver mine near the Wyoming border. She has to get them to a lawyer, Adam Morton, but he's being watched. Abby raises the price to $200 and Bret tells her to stay there. He instructs her to put the hatbox on the floor after they say goodbye and take another seat, and tells her to keep the $200.
After Abby leaves, Bret crawls over and takes the hatbox. He goes outside and the man draws a gun on him and tells him to go into a nearby abandoned building. The man, Monty, tells Bret to put the $120,000 down and that Johnny or Edgar will never fool him. Bret says that there are only business papers inside, and Monty has him open the box. Much to both of their surprise, the only thing inside is a hat. Monty pistol-whips Bret unconscious and leaves.
When Bret wakes up, he figures that the lawyer and the uncle don't exist. He checks the hat and discovers that it was bought in Denver. Bret goes there and the owner confirms that she made the hat, which she calls "Princess Anne". She confirms that she made it for Abby and provides her address. When Bret goes to the house, he finds Abby leaving with a suitcase. She tells Bret to go away, and a man in a prison suit comes out with a gun and orders them both inside.
Once they're inside, the man--Edgar Maxwell—tells Bret to remove his clothing. Abby asks if Bret has seen Johnny, Bret figures that Abby was going to buy a new suit for him with the money, and that Edgar is going to change his prison suit for Bret's clothing. When Edgar prepares to shoot Bret, Abby reminds him that he said no killing. Bret undresses and Edgar pistol-whips him unconscious and ties him up in his longjohns.
Bret eventually wakes up and figures that he's getting closer to the $120,000. He knocks a vase off of a table and uses a shard to cut himself loose. Bret then puts on Edgar's discarded prison suit so he can get back to the hotel and get money and clothes from Bart. He walks down the street, looking unconcerned, and asks the clerk if Bart arrived. The clerk confirms that Bart left a letter, and Bret reads it. His brother left with a millionaire said that there's a short of poker players and they're leaving town on a stage at 3. It's already past 3, and Bret finds a job as a dishwasher for five hours. Once he has a stake, Bret gets into a poker game and wins enough money to go after Abby.
Once Bret has enough money to buy a new suit, he goes to the newspaper office to look through some back issues. He finds an article about Edgar breaking out of prison while serving a two-year term for armed robbery of a grocery store in Lonesome, Colorado. Bart asks the newspaperman for information about the theft of $120,000, and the newspaper remembers that the Federal Bank and Land Company was held up for that amount the October before. Three armed men got away with $10,000 in cash, and the bank guard wounded one. The newspaperman says that the reward is 4% of the take, and Bret leaves.
Bret finds a gossip who say Abby and Edgar leave for Hedgeville, which she says is like Lonesome. He quickly excuses himself and rides to Lonesome. The saloon owner, Flora sees him and welcomes him to town. Bret offers a boy, Billy, a dollar to check the stables for a carriage, and the boy already knows where they're staying. The gambler slips into their hotel room but doesn't find the money.
Abby and Edgar return to their hotel room, and Bret hides under the bed. Abby tells Edgar that Johnny is the reason she's there, and Edgar insists that things will work out. He says that Johnny will be there, but Abby figures that Johnny is dead. Edgar tells her that they'd know if Johnny was dead, and he's lying low because the law i9s watching her to see if Johnny contacts with her. Abby says that Johnny never wanted to go along with Edgar and Monty, and Edgar reminds her that he knows where the money is hidden. They both will come to get the money's location from Edgar. Edgar is going to go out to the Mills place to dig up the money, and Abby insists that Johnny only talked big and she knows him as his wife. She explains that they were married the night before the robbery, and goes to her room. Edgar relaxes on the bed and once he dozes off, Bret slips out from under the bed and goes out the window.
Bret rides to the Mills farm and knocks at the door. The owner, Leland, draws a shotgun on his hand and says that he doesn't want poachers on his land. Bret says that there's $120,000 buried on Leland's property, and Leland wonders why Bret is telling him about it. The gambler explains that the robbers would kill Leland, and he'll take the money back with him. Leland admits that he has no idea where the money is buried, but offers to split the money 50/50. Bret explains that he'll know where it is that night when he follows Maxwell, and describes Monty and Johnny as best he can. Leland says that he'll be watching them, and Bret confirms that he's going back to town to follow them. The farmer confirms that the sheriff it out of town, and assures Bret that he's not going to search the 25 acres of his property on his own.
Back in Lonesome, Bret sees Monty drinking at the saloon. Monty tells Flora that he's meeting a couple of friends there, a man and a woman, and Flora confirms that Bret is in town. Bret goes in and confronts Monty, and Flora cold-cocks Monty and has Flora get him a glass of water. He then beats Monty and demands answers, asking what happened after they left the bank. Monty says that they road to Lonesome and split up because there was a posse after them. Edgar had the money, and they split up and agreed to meet on the others die of town. Edgar and Johnny split up, and the money disappeared.
Flora draws a gun on Bret and tells him it's enough, and reveals that she's the deputy sheriff and the sheriff's gal. Monty leaves after telling Bret that he'll hear from him again, and Bret grabs Flora's gun and goes out after Monty. Monty rides away but a man throws a knife into his back and slips away. The knife-thrower, Johnny, slips away. Flora arrests Bret, figuring that he killed Monty, and takes him to jail.
Once Flora locks Bret up, she brings him a meal. She says that they don’t have any lawyers in Lonesome, and when the sheriff returns in a couple of days, he'll take Bret to Denver. Bret offers to give her $1,000 if she lets him out for two hours, but she refuses and leaves. Once he's alone, Bret finds a loose floorboard but discovers that it doesn't go anywhere. Using the blanket to make a rope, he snags the keys Flora left on the desk but none of the keys work.
Flora returns and Bret tosses the keys on the desk before she can come in. She gives him a newspaper, and Bret says that he knows he didn't kill Monty and eventually the real killer will be caught. Meanwhile, Bret is in a rent-free jail and flirts with Flora. She isn't impressed but admits it might have worked 20 years ago. Before she goes, Flora gets the keys. Once he's alone, Bret finds some poetry written on the ceiling by the town drunk saying how to pull the door off of its hinges. Bret confirms that it's legitimate and makes his escape after putting the door back.
Bret rides to the Mills place and meets up with Leland. They watch from hiding as Edgar arrives and starts digging up the money under a water tower. Bret gets the drop on Edgar and tells him to keep digging. Leland aims his shotgun at Bret and tells him to drop the gun, figuring he'll take all of the money for himself after looking for it for 11 months ago. That was when a wounded Johnny arrived and said that Edgar had the money but didn't know where he buried it. Leland explains that he buried Johnny under the water tower because Edgar killed him, and to make sure no one would come looking for the money.
Edgar says that there's a friend of him out in the woods with a gun, and tells Leland to drop his. When Leland doesn't, Edgar tells Abby to shoot. She doesn't, and Leland shoots Edgar. Flora wings Leland and comes out of the woods with the captive Abby. Abby says that if she had a gun, she wouldn't have used it, and is heartbroken that Edgar told her that Johnny was still alive. Bret confirms that Edgar is dead, and Flora says that a married man visiting his mistress got a look at the fellow who threw the knife: Edgar. Once Abby, Flora, and Leland go to the wagon, Bret finishes digging up the money and joins the others.
Back at the jail, Flora demands half of the reward, pointing out that she saved his life. She asks how he broke out, and Bret just smiles and remains silent. Flora takes the money to the safe and Bret wishes her goodbye. He gets into the wagon with Flora and asks if Leland can read before driving off.
Written by Gadfly on Sep 15, 2019