The Wheelwrights ride into town: father Joe and his sons Moose, Small Paul, and Henry. Sheriff Mattson has summoned them and insists that he’s found the man Joe wants: Bart Maverick, who is playing poker in the saloon. Matthew Braze, the saloon owner, jokes with Joe briefly, but Joe tells Moose and Small Paul to cover the sides while he and Henry approach Bart. Mattson explains that Joe owns the Sub Rosa Ranch, the Crescent Silver Mine, and the water rights to the river. Joe introduces Henry and suggests that he sit in on the game. When Bart notes that the table is full, Joe orders one of the players to leave. Henry buys his way in a hundred dollar bill, but Bart notes correctly that it’s a thousand. Joe is impressed that Bart is honest.
Small Paul comes over and offers Bart a drink, but Bart refuses. Joe is impressed again with his temperance. Braze asks what the sheriff is going on, but before Mattson can answer, Moose hits on a woman. Mattson tells Bart to save the bar girl or his card game is over, and Bart reluctantly goes over and punches Moose without success. Moose stuns him with one punch, and Joe is impressed that he didn’t fall completely after one punch from Moose.
Moose takes Bart up to his room and Joe explains that they’ve been testing him for a job. Bart isn’t interested and was planning to move on to maintain his good luck streak. Joe seemingly accepts his refusal and leaves with his sons. However, later Bart waits for the stage and Mattson arrests him for loitering, while ignoring two drunken gunmen. When Mattson explains that the Town Council passed a new loitering law, and the Wheelwrights run the Town Council, Bart realizes what’s going on. He’s taken to the Justice of the Peace: Joe. Joe takes all of his money, $2,200, for loitering, and promises he’ll also receive two years of hard labor unless he helps them. Bart still refuses, until Joe explains that he’s to chaperone the three mail-order brides arriving in town to marry his sons. They’re dealing with a crooked foreman at the mines and can’t stay, and won’t split up. The wives are the three most refined women the broker could find, and Joe wants Bart to make sure they should stay “refined.” He explains that there are some people in town that hate the Wheelwrights and would like to disrupt the ceremonies. Bart has no choice but to agree, and Joe tells him to meet Henry Whittleseed, the marriage broker, when he arrives by stage with the women.
Bart meets Henry and introduces himself, and the broker introduces the three women: Cissie, Lou Ann, and Emma. Henry has Bart sign for the women and collects his fee in cash, and then has a whispered conversation with them, supposedly to stay behind. When Bart over, Henry loudly proclaims that he’s glad they’re to be happily married. Meanwhile, Braze watches from his saloon. Once Henry is gone, Emma tells Bart that they can’t be happy in the town and are returning to San Francisco. Bart tries to convince them how peaceful the town is, and a shot echoes from an alleyway. He and Mattson go to investigate and find Whittleseed, dead, and the money gone.
Bart offers to put the women up for the night, but Emma tells him that they’ve decided to stay and make the town a more lawful place. He takes them out to the Sub Rosa Ranch, and Cissie flirts with him. Meanwhile, Braze’s man Humbolt reports back to his boss, and Braze complains that he killed Whittleseed against his orders. Humbolt says he had no choice and gives Braze a letter that he took from him. Braze says that he’s riding out to the ranch.
Bart gets the women settled in, and Emma informs him that they’re leaving. When he tries to stop her, Lou Ann knocks him out with a wine bottle. When Bart wakes up, the women explain that they’re robbing the house. Emma holds a gun on him, and Bart realizes that was their plan all along. She explains that Whittleseed couldn’t find any qualified girls, so he hired Emma, a stranded actress. Lou Ann and Cissie were fired from a dance hall and Emma brought them along. Whittleseed planned for them to back out over any excuse, then meet them later and split the broker’s fee. However, once Whittleseed was killed, Emma changed the plan and decided to rob the Wheelwright house to finance their trip back to San Francisco. Bart warns that the Wheelwrights have a long reach and suggests that the women go with Whittleseed’s original plan. He’ll split his chaperone fee with them, and Emma insists on a four-way split. Lou Ann and Cissie argue, and Bart realizes that he’s going to have to instruct them in refinement. Bart has his work cut out for him showing Cissie and Lou Ann how to behave properly. It’s rough going and they argue constantly.
Meanwhile, Braze confronts Emma and reveals that he has Whittleseed’s letter, confirming that she’s an actress. He promises he won’t give her away to the Wheelwrights and will help them, but she warns that Lou Ann and Cissie aren’t coming along. Braze says that he knows something that Bart doesn’t: that they’re going to go through with the marriage and take control of the Wheelwright empire. Emma considers it but warns that Bart won’t go along, but Braze says that he’ll collect his money and leave, and will be none the wiser. Emma agrees and they shake on the deal.
The next morning, Bart is surprised to learn that Lou Ann and Cissie have a perfect grasp of table manners. He asks Emma what is happening, and she says that she had a long talk with them. Bart has received word that the Wheelwrights will be back that night. The family arrives and Bart presents the women. The brothers leave with their respective future wives, Moose with Emma, Small Paul with Lou Ann, and Henry with Cissie. Bart asks for his money, and Joe agrees to pay him double... after the wedding.
Inside the Sub Rosa, Bart finds the three couples getting along fine. He explains that he’ll be staying until after the wedding, and talks to Emma privately. Bart warns her about Joe’s arrangement, but figures that Joe won’t hold it against him if the women pick a fight and break off the engagements. However, Emma insists on waiting a few days.
However, three days later, the women still haven’t broken up the engagements. Emma assures Bart that they’ll working on it, but the Wheelwrights are just too sweet. He talks to the Wheelwrights and suggests that Moose dominate Emma. He then tries to pick a fight between Small Paul and Lou Ann, spilling cream on her dress. The couple is too enraptured to notice. Bart then tells Joe that Cissie is a flirt. When Joe doubts it, Bart tries to get her out with him, but she’s fascinated with Henry’s stamp collection and refuses his offer.
Outside, Moose finally grabs Emma and kisses her. However, she’s impressed and kisses him back. Later, Bart comes to see Emma and tells her that Joe has made arrangements for the weddings the next day. She says that she’s really in love with Moose, and the other girls feel the same about their future husbands. Joe comes to see Emma and gives her a necklace belonging to Moose’s mother. When he sees Bart, Emma breaks and finally admits the truth to Joe.
Emma and the others go to the saloon and explain to Braze what happened, and ask him for money to get back to San Francisco. He tells them that they’ll have to work as bar girls, and figures that he can humiliate the Wheelwrights in the process. The women have no choice but to accept.
Mattson reports to the Wheelwrights what Braze has done, and Joe storms off to deal with Braze. Mattson and the brothers warn Bart that he’ll be going to prison after all, and Bart warns Joe that Braze is trying to set him up. Joe refuses to listen and goes off, and Bart tries to convince the brothers to go against their father’s wishes for the first time in their lives. Small Paul and Henry hesitate, but Moose agrees with Bart and explains that their grandfather was actually a land-swindler. He insists that he’s a grown man and heads into town, and Bart suggests that Henry and Small Paul do the same.
The cowboys are “celebrating” at the saloon when Joe arrives with Mattson in tow. Braze accuses him of causing a disturbance and demands that Mattson arrest Joe. Joe refuses and gives Emma three tickets back to San Francisco. Braze plays up the entire situation and every cowboy in the saloon gets up to take on Joe. Joe refuses to back down and prepares to fight. His sons and Bart arrive, and Joe admits that he’s glad to have them even though they disobeyed his orders. The three brothers take on five times as many men. When Bart suggests that he and Joe help, Joe offers him a cigar and a light and settles down to watch. Braze draws a derringer and Bart takes him on, and Humbolt knocks down Bart. The saloon owner and Humbolt make a run for it, and Small Paul takes them on. When Humbolt goes for his gun, Bart knocks him out with a balustrade ball.
Once the dust has settled, Emma explains that Braze had the letter from Whittleseed and forced the women to help him. The brothers insist on marrying the women regardless. When Joe objects, Bart threatens to reveal the Wheelwright family secret unless he lets his sons do what they want. Joe gives in and the brothers leave with their wives-to-be. Share this article with your friends