At the Lazy Ace, Bret is busy moving in 20 years of everything he’s left behind, much to Cy’s disgust. They notice a group of surveyors on the outskirts of the property that have been there for the last week, but no one knows why they’re there. Bret unpacks his Pappy’s rocking chair and sets it up on the porch, and settles in for peaceful hours, while Cy figures that he won’t last come July.
In Sweetwater, Tom is putting up a sign announcing his new no-guns policy, while Shifty and Jack warn him that t will never stick. He tells them that it will apply to everyone, even Bret, and to stop watering the drink and clean up the games.
At the Lazy Ace that night, Cy is carving while Bret enjoys a cigar and his rocker. Cy checks his watch and times the cricket chirps, and claims he can tell the temperature from them. Bret finally decides to ride in to check out the Red Ox, and Cy warns him that he won’t last.
At the Red Ox, Tom deals with Luke and his friends, who refuse to give up his gun. Bret comes in for some poker and Tom tells him to give up his gun as well, ignoring his partner’s objections. The gambler reluctantly gives up his gun and sits down for a game. Meanwhile, Jack talks to one of the surveyors, who admits that the railroad is coming to Sweetwater. An older surveyor, Schroeder, tries to hush Jack up, but the bartender promptly tells everyone in the bar that the railroad is coming. As most of the patrons celebrate their coming prosperity, Bret prefers to play cards. Tom spots Luke with a hidden gun and hustles him out.
The surveyors’ boss, Linus Garrick, comes in and fires the talkative surveyor, and tells Schroeder to reign in his crew. After the surveyors leave, Luke storms in with his gun and prepares to shoot Tom. Bret produces a hidden wallet-gun and threatens to shoot Luke, who backs down and leaves.
The next day, the town’s businessmen start announcing railroad specials. Rodney reports to Mary Lou and her mother Estelle that he’s confirmed that Garrick is the chief purchasing agent for the PG&O. The Springers are both happy to hear that the railroad is coming because Sweetwater can use the revenue. Mary Lou has Rodney take a broken press part to the Decker parts.
Elijah goes to the hotel to see Garrick, complaining that he owns most of the land and wasn’t told. Garrick explains that he was under orders to keep things quiet. A telegram arrives and Garrick tells Elijah that the vice president will be arriving that afternoon by private coach.
That afternoon, Linus and Schroeder meet the vice president, I.T. Austin. The townspeople gather and Austin realizes that the news is out. Austin meets at the bank with Elijah and his assistant, and explains that Sweetwater is only one route, and they’re also considering an alternate route a hundred miles north at Bitter Creek. Elijah’s aide Ben points out that they have to post a $100,000 contingency bond, and Austin explains that it’s refundable upon establishment of the Sweetwater station. The businessman warns that a few landowners in Bitter Creek are reluctant to sell their land, and Elijah assures Austin that everyone is anxious to bring the railroad through. Garrick confirms that Elijah owns most of the land on the best route, and Elijah assures him that the company will get their complete cooperation. However, when Austin lays out his route, Elijah realizes that Bret owns hundred acres of prime land. He tells Austin that he can handle Bret.
Tom rides out to the Lazy Ace to tell Bret that he needs his help to clean up the Red Ox for the railroad. Bret reminds him that he has his own problems with the railroad and he’s Tom’s silent partner, but Tom want Bret to check out the dealers and the games. He wonders how Bret plans to get around the railroad, and Bret insists that there’s always a way. Cy points out that the surveyors are setting up in the south pasture and Tom offers his help in return for Bret’s at the Red Ox.
Bret, Cy, and Tom ride out to confront Schroeder and his men, who wants to keep things friendly. However, the surveyor says that they can claim the land under eminent domain. Cy goes for his rifle but Tom calms him down and talks to Bret privately. He warns Bret that the only way to handle the situation is to knock Schroeder down to intimidate the other surveyors, and offers to do it for Bret in return for his help. The gambler agrees and Tom punches him. Schroeder is unimpressed and punches him back.
Back at the Red Ox, Bret removes all of Shifty’s crooked gambling devices while Tom tends to his bruises. Garrick comes to see Bret and apologizes for Schroeder, and then offers to skirt the land and purchase a right of way. Bret doesn’t want to have a railroad next door and Garrick warns that if he refuses, they’ll have the government condemn the property. While Bret and Cy go to complain to Dowd, Rodney comes to get Tom to deal with the Decker brothers.
Dowd tells Bret and Cy that he can’t do anything to jeopardize the coming railroad, and Deputy Sturgess shows up to tell his boss that the Decker brothers are fighting again. At the blacksmith shop, Charles and Alex are fighting it out when Tom and Dowd both arrive. Dowd tells Tom that he’ll handle it, and Tom tries to warn him. The new sheriff isn’t interested and tries to break up the fight, and finally draws his gun and manages to haul them off.
Elijah and the town businessmen come to see the Springers. He explains that they have $70,000 and wants to know when their commemorative issue will be coming out to encourage more donations to the bond. Mary Lou assures him that once the Decker brothers replace the part, they’ll have the issue out in two days. Bret and Cy arrive and Bret tells Elijah that he’s not selling. The banker figures that Bret’s trying to make a deal and offers him $60,000, but Bret still refuses. Mary Lou appeals to him and Bret wonders whether she’s a reporter, a concerned citizen, or a lumberjack, and then storms off despite Elijah’s warnings. Cy catches up to him and apologizes for giving him grief earlier for figuring he’d be gone with the wind.
That night, Mary Lou considers herself in a mirror and remembers Bret calling her a lumberjack.
Elijah meets with Austin and his secretary, Miss Rose, and assures them that they’ve raised the $100,000 for the contingency bond. The businessman receives a telegram from the home office that says there’s been a delay. Once they leave, Ben worries that they haven’t raised all the money as Elijah claimed. The banker tells him that he’ll make up the difference himself if he needs to, even though he’s already invested $25,000.
As Austin and Miss Rose go to their guest suite at the bank, Bret comes up and tells Austin that he knows who he really is: Frenchy Montana, a conman. He takes Frenchy to the bank to warn Elijah, but Frenchy bluffs it out. Elijah doesn’t believe Bret, and the gambler says that he tried and it’s up to Elijah now. Once he leaves, Frenchy takes offense and asks if they have any doubts. Elijah assures him that he doesn’t and Frenchy tells them that they’ll have the final determination the next day.
The next day, Bret and Tom go fishing and Tom admits he’s not cut out to be a saloonkeeper. Bret isn’t either and figures that he’s ready to settle down and fish. However, he quickly admits that it sounds boring and that he wants to stop Frenchy and get the $100,000 for himself. Bret starts figuring the angles and realizes that he needs help, and the only person he can trust is Tom. He offers Tom half in return for his help, but Tom refuses to help Bret steal from the townspeople. Bret wonders why Tom is loyal to the people who turned him out of office, and Tom finally agrees to help once Tom proves that it’s a con.
The announcement comes in that Sweetwater has won the railroad bid, and Tom sends Rodney off with instructions. Meanwhile, Elijah tells the townspeople that there will be a signing ceremony the next day and the courier will leave with the documents and the bond. Mary Lou spots Bret and Tom and asks why Bret thinks that it’s a con, and Bret says that he was wrong. She tells him that both she and Elijah sent telegrams confirming that Austin is who he says he is, that Austin matches the photo the home office sent by mail, and that the PG&O is considering Sweetwater for the route. Tom says that Bret is taking him out to prove that it’s a con, and Mary Lou invites herself along. Once she goes, Bert complains that Tom gave away that it’s a con because he doesn’t want it exposed if he can make a profit. As they ride out of town, Schroeder watches them go.
Bret directs Tom to the telegram wires and they find a line crew, confirming that Frenchy has cut into the wires and intercepted any inquiries and sent his own responses. They intercepted Mary Lou’s request for a photo and had a cohort in Denver send Frenchy’s photo. Mary Lou arrives and suggests that it could be a legitimate line crew. Bret agrees with her so she’ll drop it so he can run his own con, but Tom points out that the young surveyor Garrick fired is on the crew. Bret says that he’s wrong and leaves, unaware that Schroeder has spotted them.
At the guest suite, Miss Rose tends to Frenchy, who admits he’s getting too old and figures that they can retire in 24 hours. Frenchy receives a telegram confirming that Bret is up to something and decides that it’s time to take his rival out.
That night, Bret and Cy go through Bret’s crates of old con props and make sure that Cy knows his part. Meanwhile, Frenchy’s man sneaks into the barn, plants a jug of gasoline, and then slips out. When Cy and Bret hear the horses neighing, they go out and discover that the barn is fire. Frenchy’s man tries to fire at them but the horses stampede and he’s forced to take cover before he can fire a shot. Cy tries to put out the fire and tells Bret to help him even though it looks hopeless. Despite their best efforts, the fire consumes the barn and Bret has to pull Cy away.
The next day, the town prepares for the noon signing ceremony. Bret watches from an alleyway and sends Cy off to play his role, while Tom complains that he knows what he has to do even though he doesn’t like it. The courier rides in with the documentation and Bret recognizes the bogus company name. He has his own delivery bags and loads them with fake money with a few real bills on top, while Cy goes to the stables and tampers with the shoes of the horse belonging to the courier.
Elijah presents the bond to Frenchy, but Mary Lou speaks up and asks why they’re paying in cash rather than a bank draft. Elijah explains that the PG&O has lost millions due to bank failures and now demand cash for bonds of intentions. Bret tries to reassure the crowd, saying that he was mistaken, and Frenchy suggests that they take some precautions. While Elijah has Dowd watch Bret, Mary Lou continues to ask bothersome questions, wondering if they contacted Bitter Creek. Bret lies and says that he was there and they know all about it. The courier, Jack Danner, takes the money and rides off. However, his horse throws two shoes.
Elijah has Dowd take the horse to the Decker brothers to reshoe it. Bret signals Tom and drops a match, and Frenchy quickly stomps it out before it starts a fire. When he accuses Bret of trying to start a distraction, Bret claims he’s seen wolf-rats. Miss Rose screams and Bret knocks a bucket of water into the forge, setting off a burst of steam. Tom switches the delivery bags and slips away, and Frenchy has Danner check the bags. The courier confirms that the money is still there and then rides off once his horse is ready.
Bret checks the money afterward and discovers that it contains the fake money. Mary Lou is there, realizing full well that Bret tried to take the money.
Tom ambushes Danner outside of town and knocks him off the horse, but manages to knock both himself and the courier unconscious.
In Sweetwater, Frenchy departs in the coach. Meanwhile, Bret complains to Cy, figuring that Tom failed to make the switch, but Cy says that Tom’s too honest and Bret overthought things. Five men ride up and draw guns on Frenchy and his men. Their leader, Virgil Stubbs, introduces himself as the head of security for PG&O. Rodney returns with them and Virgil explains that the newsboy warned them that there were imposters in Sweetwater. Elijah tells Virgil that the courier left with the money, but Tom rides in with Danner and the delivery bags. He tosses it to Elijah, who reluctantly thanks Tom for his help. Tom tells them that it was Bret’s plan, and the banker tells Bret that they were hasty and thanks him on behalf of Sweetwater. Cy complains about the barn and Bret tells him that he’ll help rebuild it. His foreman is understandably skeptical and Mary Lou suggests that everyone in the town help.
Later, Bret and Tom go to the Red Ox. Bret removes his gun and then takes another dealing device from Shifty. Tom points out that he got rid of the crooked games and the guns, proving Bret wrong. Bret isn’t thrilled that he lost the money. Mary Lou comes in and demands an interview from Bret. If he doesn’t, she threatens to print the real story of what Bret was up to. He agrees to a small interview if she’ll wear a dress and join him for dinner. Mary Lou agrees, much to Tom’s surprise and annoyance. Before he can complain, a new advance man for a railroad comes in to buy everyone a drink. All of the customers draw hidden guns on him, and Bret point out that Tom’s no-gun policy isn’t working out quite as planned.
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