Bret and Bart are playing poker against each other in a casino, and Bart raises against Bret. Bart tosses in a certified draft from the Gannet Express Company for $10,000, and the dealer points out that it isn't money. Bret accepts the draft as security and points out that he has one just like it. A kibitzer sees it and laughs, and says that Gannet went busted three hours ago. The brothers blame each other and go to the express office. Outside, the Gannet clerk tells the disgruntled townspeople that they'll be paid off eventually... at three cents on the dollar.
A woman, Jessamy Longacre, notices the Mavericks bemoaning their fate. When they walk off, she smiles. Outside their hotel, Bret considers taking the $30 he has left and running it up to $1,000 in poker... and then giving Bart $15. When Bart goes up to his room, Jessamy comes out of her room across the hall and greets him. She offers him some whiskey, inviting herself into his room to get some glasses. Jessamy admits that she's forcing herself on him because of money, and offers him a way to get his money back. In return she wants $1,000, cash, and when Bart accepts, she kisses hi and then introduces herself. Jessamy then says that Bart has to buy horses and supplies for a three-day trip, but then realizes he doesn't have enough money left to finance a trip.
Jessamy quickly excuses himself, but sees Bret as he arrives at his room and offers him a drink. They're soon in Bret's room kissing and she presents him the same deal. When Bret says that he can't finance a trip, Jessamy draws back and says that Bart couldn't finance the trip either. Bart comes in and sees them together, and Jessamy says that she has to make a deal before it's too late. The brothers ask for detail, and Jessamy says that she's friendly with the clerk and there's still one Gannet office that doesn't know the company is out of business. There's no telegraph line between where they are and Deadwood, where the office is. The clerk is heading there to close the office, and the Mavericks figure if they ride fast enough they can both cash the debts before the clerk gets there by riverboat. Jessamy warns that the office doesn't have enough money for both of them, and the Mavericks say that it's too dangerous to ride through Indian country to get to Deadwood. Bart quickly leaves and Bret escorts Jessamy out.
Later, Bart goes to the stable and offers his solid-gold watch for a horse and saddle. The owner finally takes Bart's hat and vest because he already has a watch. The liveryman says that it's the second horse and saddle that he's sold in twenty minutes, and Bart realizes that it was Bret. As Bart mounts up, Jessamy arrives with a derringer aimed at Bart, dressed for travel. She complains that he tried to run out on their deal, and Bart says that he can only afford one horse and will come back with her share. Jessamy insists on coming with him on one horse,
Bart and Jessamy ride along and they soon realize that they'll never beat Bret to Deadwood with two people on the horse. Jessamy orders Bart off so she can ride alone, and Bart has no choice but to do so. After Jessamy tosses away her derringer and rides to Deadwood, Bart picks up the gun and starts walking.
The next morning, Sundown and his gang of three men are splitting up the small amount of loot from their most recent robbery. They only have three horses left, and Bret rides along on his horse. He needs a fresh horse, and spots the gangs' horses. Bret enters their camp and they draw their guns. Soon, they ride off with Bret's horse, leaving Bret to walk to Deadwood.
Bart continues walking and stops for a break. A wagon comes along and the Old Man driving it aims his shotgun at Bart when he waves it down. The Old Man figures that Bart is a road agent, but agrees to give him a lift once he hands over his gun belt. They head on to Deadwood, and the Old Man says that his place and retired Confederate General Hoyt Bosco's store are the only places between where they are and Indian territory to get horses. They both have horses, but the Old Man says that they're not for sale.
Bret is getting rocks out of his boots when Jessamy rides along. She stops and Bret says that he could only afford one horse and there was no time to lose. Jessamy offers Bret a ride and says that Bart is behind them, admitting that she took his horse.
As they ride along, Bart sees that the Old Man has ears of corn for his hogs. He checks three of them and notes that they all have even rows of corn, and suggests that the Old Man pick the next one and sees if it has an even or odd number of rows. There's an even number of rows, and Bart bets him the next ear doesn't have an even row. They bet and when Bart wins, he gets the Old Man's horse. As he rides off, Bart admits that ears of corn always have even numbers of rows.
Bret and Jessamy ride and Bret figures that they're too slow and Bart will get a horse somehow. They come to Hoyt's store but there's no sign of life. They hear a horse whinny and knock at the door, and Hoyt comes to the door and says that they're closed. Bret claims that he was at Gettysburg on the side of ride, affecting a Southern accent, and Hoyt lets them in. Jessamy explains that they need to buy a horse, and Bret explains why they're heading to Deadwood and offers to pay Hoyt three times what the horse is worth if he'll give it to them now.
Sundown and his men step out, guns drawn, and tell Bret to hand over the exchange note. Bret claims that it was a fake and he was running a con, and Sundown hasn't heard that Gannet went bankrupt. The robber says that he'll hold onto it and no one is leaving for the next three days because one of the gang members, Berger, is recuperating from a gunshot wound during the robbery. When Jessamy objects, Sundown says that they'd have to kill anyone who leaves that might warn the law. Sundown asks Jessamy to look after Berger, and when she refuses warns that if Berger dies, they might start killing people to let off steam. The woman quickly changes her mind, and Sundown tells Bret and Hoyt to take seats. When Hoyt tries to serve the poorer stuff, Sundown shoots a bottle to make his point.
Bart continues riding.
That night at the store, one of the robbers complains that they shouldn't be waiting for Berger. Sundown says that there luck is changing and they can hit Stryker's Saloon. Jessamy comes out of the back and says that Berger is sleeping, and asks to get some fresh air. Sundown agrees but insists on going with her, and she says that she expected that. The outlaw perks up, and Bret wisely doesn't object.
As they walk, Jessamy tells Sundown that Bret is her business partner. Bart has arrived and secretly watches, while Jessamy tells Sundown that Gannet did go bankrupt but they can still get money on the draft. She makes Sundown promise to let her and Bret go, and give her $1,000, in return for her information. Sundown agrees and insists on kissing Jessamy to seal the deal. Bart knocks Sundown out from behind and tells Jessamy that they have too many partners already, and ties up Sundown. Jessamy explains what happened and that Berger died ten minutes ago.
One of the outlaws discovers that Berger is dead and calls out to Sundown, and Bart shoots the man when he comes out, although the outlaw gets off a shot. Bret attacks the remaining outlaw inside, and Hoyt shoots the robber dead. Bart and Bret join up and Jessamy confirms that the outlaw's bullet hit and killed Sundown. She gets the draft, and Hoyt gives them horses and invites them to drop in the next time they're in the neighborhood. However, Bret discovers that Bart has cut the cinches on his horse's saddle, and tumbles to the ground.
Down the road, Jessamy says that something happened to Bret. Bart suggests that they not wait, noting that Bret might be a while if something happened to all of his cinches. They finally stop at night to give the horses a rest, and they start to kiss. Something howls nearby, and Bart realizes that it's Bret. He explains that Bret is trying to lure him out so he can cut his saddle cinches and gallop off to Deadwood with Jessamy. Jessamy thinks that Bret sounds lonely, and Bart tells her to just relax. She wonders if it's an Indian, and Bart insists that they're not in Indian country.
Outside the camp, an Indian howls and then moves in with his warriors.
The next morning, Bart and Jessamy find themselves ties up in a teepee while Indians outside dance a war dance. Harvey Stryker comes in and says that he and the Indians do business, trading them whiskey and tobacco for jewelry and furs. He notes that he'd have to pay considerably for Bart and Jessamy, and asks if they have anything of valuable. Stryker says that the Indians don't like carrying a large inventory if they can't make a deal, and Bart offers him the draft. He's impressed but says that the Indians won't be until he cashes it and comes back with some goods. Stryker figures to take it with him along with Jessamy's ring and leave them there, and goes.
Later, Bret comes across Stryker riding to Deadwood. He asks Stryker if he's seen Bart and Jessamy, and Stryker claims that they passed him. Down the road, Bret lassos Stryker and pulls him from his horse, puts a gun to his head, and asks him if he killed Jessamy to get her ring that he's wearing. Bret finds the draft and Stryker claims they gave it to him to buy them back from the Indians while Jessamy gave him the wring as thanks.
Bret takes Stryker back to the Indians and tells him that he's going to get Bart and Jessamy out. He's keeping all of Stryker's goods to make sure he comes back, or he'll ride off and wait to ambush Stryker when he heads back to Deadwood. Stryker rides to the Indian camp, and soon rides back with Bart and Jessamy. Bret gives Stryker his guns back--absent his bullets--and rides off with Bart and Jessamy.
The trio arrive in Deadwood and go to the express office. They only have $87 in their safe because a major miner took all of the cash recently. The clerk cheerfully says that the stagecoach will be in with a cash delivery, and the Mavericks take their drafts and leave. Bret sees Stryker's Saloon, tells Jessamy to stay and watch for the stagecoach, and takes Bart into the saloon.
Inside, Bart and Bret tell Stryker's manager, Howie Horwitz, that they want to see Stryker. They say they have information for Stryker that he'll pay $200 for, and the brothers "agree" to tell Howie that they heard about the Sundown gang planning to rob the saloon. Howie tells them the information is worth nothing, and notes that he can't pay out $200 if the robbery never happens. The Mavericks agree that if the gang robs the saloon, Howie owes them $200 and if they don't, he doesn't. They suggest he put the saloon's money--$20,000--in the exchange office's safe.
As the trio wait outside for Howie to deposit the money, the stagecoach arrives. The Mavericks sends Jessamy to stall, and she meets with the clerk. She "faints" in his arms, and the clerk and the driver take her to the saloon. Howie tells the Mavericks that he's deposited the money and sees Stryker coming into town. Bart and Bret quickly leave before Stryker sees them. Howie goes into the saloon with Stryker and explains what happened, and Stryker sees Jessamy. The clerk is holding Jessamy, and says that he has to close the exchange office because the company has gone bankrupt. Stryker realizes what the Mavericks are up to and runs over to the office, and the clerk explains that he paid their drafts off with the money Howie deposited. The Mavericks are riding out of town with Jessamy, and when Stryker gets on his horse he discovers that the cinches have been cut.
Later outside of town, Jessamy rides off with her $2,000, leaving the Mavericks with $9,000 each.
Written by Gadfly on Nov 10, 2019