We open on a stagecoach driving on the road. Inside is a woman and a small boy. The boy is sleeping, dreaming. He's with his father, playing with a carved wooden toy. Sounds outside, the man puts the boy behind a curtain, tells him to be quiet. Boy sneaks a peek, sees a large man with a pocket watch shoot his father. The boy wakens as the carved toy falls to the floor.

The woman in the coach tells the boy to go back to sleep. She's shuffling a deck of cards, over and over. Tells him it's an exercise for her rheumatism.

The coach pulls into town, stops in the street, Mary comes running up to greet the boy, it's her son Billy. She's thrilled to see him, couldn't wait for school to be out and him to be able to come and visit. As they go off, the woman is cautioning the men to be careful with her luggage, it's genuine French leather. She waits impatiently for a hand down, and alights from the coach. Down the street, Vin, Josiah and Ezra are sitting along the boardwalk drinking coffee. As the luggage is unloaded, Vin wonders who would need so much stuff. As the woman turns to face their direction, all three rise from their chairs. Josiah says that (the woman) is proof there is a God. Vin agrees. Ezra looks at the woman and says "mother?" Josiah is surprised, comments that he always thought Ezra was raised by wolves.

In front of the newspaper office, Mary and Billy are greeted by Mr. Wheeler, the hotel owner. Billy doesn't like Mr. Wheeler, hides behind Mary's skirt. Mr. Wheeler offers to have his cook make some sandwiches, Mary goes along with him and Billy waits in the office. But, out on the boardwalk in front of the office sits Chris, carving a small animal from a piece of wood. Billy ventures out of the office to watch what he's doing. Chris holds the carving up, asks Billy if it looks like a horse. Billy nods. Chris gives the carving to Billy, who takes it and goes back into the office.

Inside the newspaper office, Billy is wandering around, but a man comes in, grabs him, tells Billy it's too bad he had to come back, that he's the devil and if Billy says anything, he'll kill his mother. Billy is terrified, runs out of the office and into the street, right in front of a wagon coming down the street. He stops and stares, we hear Mary scream, Chris jumps up and runs across, tackling Billy and rolling, getting him safely out of the way of the wagon. Mary comes running up, takes Billy from Chris who gets up, makes sure everyone's okay and walks away.

Roll opening credits.

Inside Mary's rooms, Nathan is looking over Billy, says he's fine, probably just a little rattled from the trip and the scare with the wagon. Billy wants to go home to Grandpa's. Billy says he's gonna get her. The devil. Mary asks if the nightmares came back, Billy nods. Billy says he saw him. Mary says she knows he misses his father, but they should talk, that forgetting isn't always good. Nathan says the boy could use some rest, Mary says she'll be outside.

In the street, Ezra is walking along, carrying four suitcases, followed by a man with a huge cart also full of luggage. Next to Ezra walks the woman from the coach, his mother. She's in black, carrying a parasol, has a white hanky in one hand. She says how charming the town is, Ezra replies, heavy with sarcasm, that's just what he wants to hear. Asks if something happened in St. Louis. She says things got a little complicated there, she thought it good to disappear for a while. Ezra's letter spoke so highly of the town, she thought she'd visit. He says he knew he should have left off his return address. As they walk along, she drops her hanky. It's picked up by the devil-man and returned to her. As they walk on, Ezra says the handkerchief is the oldest ruse in the book, his mother says one can always rely on the classics. They're now on the boardwalk in front of the hotel, and one of the cases Ezra is carrying falls open, dropping a load of bricks. His mother whispers to him that appearances are everything. Ezra looks at his mother, then the bricks, then the man standing nearby and says it's rare masonry, from Rome, very valuable. The man looks unconvinced.

Chris is sitting alone, reading. Mary comes up to tell him she's in his debt for saving Billy and to ask him if he'd consider talking to Billy about the night his father died. Chris asks if Billy saw something, Mary hopes not. Chris says maybe he needs more time, just leave him be. She says they've tried that, but when she saw Billy with Chris, he smiled, hasn't done that since that night. Chris isn't sure he'd be much help. Mary gives up and leaves, Chris goes back to his book.

JD and a girl are standing next to a wagon, JD is showing off twirling his guns. She's looking unimpressed. JD says he can do rope tricks, she says maybe later. Buck comes along, says hi, the girl is all over him, says she and Sugar Plum were hoping to see him later on their ride. Girl's father calls her inside, she goes. JD gets in Buck's face, asking what he's trying to do to him. Buck says he can't help it if he's got animal magnetism. He read about it in a magazine, it's a power he's got over women, he has no control over it, what can he do about it? JD suggests he take a bath.

Virginia's father comes back out, tells Buck that while his daughter may seem mature for her age, it might be best if Buck kept company with people his own age. Buck pulls his horse close, tells it that sometimes this animal magnetism is a curse.

Inside the saloon, Maude is telling a story to Vin, Josiah and JD about the time Ezra put a dress on his dog and danced the can-can with her until the dog bit him. The boys are laughing as Ezra walks up to the table, Vin and JD comment about the story, laughing. Ezra isn't laughing, excuses his mother, says she needs her rest. Josiah says she looks fine, Vin says she cleaned them out. Ezra is not surprised. As Maude collects her winnings, Josiah asks if she needs help carrying his money. She bids them goodnight.

Walking out, Ezra chides Maude that he never had a dog named Elsie and he surely never dressed her up. Maude says it's still an adorable story.

Back at the table, Josiah picks up the cards and says the game is called read 'em and weep. JD says he's already weeping and Vin says he's out, too. Josiah says the game is called solitaire.

It's full night, Mary and Billy are asleep in her rooms behind the Clarion office. Billy has his nightmare again, wakes up, sees the open window.

We cut to dawn and Mary is screaming, in her night dress and total disarray, Billy has gone missing. Vin is out there, says Billy is probably just wandering around the town.

A few minutes later, Mary is dressed, all the men are out looking for Billy. Chris tells Mary she shouldn't go along just in case Billy comes back. She reluctantly agrees. Buck and Nathan are looking around town on foot, Buck says he used to be good at hiding, they head out to check one more time. Ezra and Maude are walking along the boardwalk, she asks since when does he go riding out to look for runaway boys. He says the kid's mother yields considerable influence, it'd be good to have her owing him a favor. She says that's her boy, always working an angle. The look on his face does not confirm her take on things.

Vin, Chris, JD, Josiah and Ezra are mounted up, JD, Josiah and Ezra head for Baker Pass, Vin and Chris go the other direction. Mary is standing, looking worried as they ride out, Maude is sitting nearby. Maude says you never know what kids will be up to, when Ezra was a little boy he got hold of a tomahawk, he and his cousins were playing Indians or something. Before you knew it, the cousin's fingers were ... at Mary's glare Maude says it all worked out in the end.

Looking in the livery stable for Billy, Nathan and Buck are talking, Buck asks about his animal magnetism, how women can smell it on him, but it's not his fault, right, it's like a rash or an ailment, right? It'll never go away, will it?

We get a nice, dialog free scene of Vin and Chris riding along.

Back with Mary and Maude, Mary is saying she should have known, should have seen it coming. Maude says by her age you'll know there were a million things you should have done, each one will stick you in the heart like a knife. Mary says it never gets easier? Maude says no, but once in a while you see something you did right and it helps.

Mr. Wheeler comes along and Maude takes notice, asking if she didn't see him at the hotel. He says yes, likely, since he owns it. She says she was just heading over there, would she escort him, he does. She takes on with small talk, working her charm.

Vin is on the ground, checking sign, says they're getting closer, that he managed to cover a lot of ground for a little kid. Chris says he must be scared. Vin wonders what made him run off like that. Chris says he must be running from something. Vin answers ain't they all?

On JD, Ezra and Josiah, they're riding slowly, calling for Billy, hoping they find him, Mary looked ready to lose her mind over it. Ezra says his mother lost her mind long before he was born. Josiah says it's a mother's curse to worry after her kids. JD says what about Ezra's mom, Josiah says she's a charming woman. JD agrees, says she told his fortune the other day, didn't even charge him. Ezra asked what she saw from the great beyond. JD says it wasn't that good, she said he'd meet his first and last bullet within six months. Except she did an ancient ritual and now everything's going to be okay. Ezra asks the cost of the ritual, JD says usually it's ten dollars, but Maude only charged him five.

Chris and Vin are on foot, flush Billy out of the bushes, Vin catches up to him, grabs him, Billy is screaming to be let go. Chris takes Billy, says it's okay, they're going to take him back to his ma. Billy says no, no, he'll kill her. Chris asks who, when a shot comes from the ridge above them. They take Billy and dive behind some fallen logs, Vin firing at the man on the ridge. After an exchange of shots, the man rides off, Vin says he's gone, Billy says no, he's coming, he'll kill her. Chris asks who, Billy says it's the devil, he's going to kill her and come for them, too.

JD and Buck are sitting on the boardwalk outside the Clarion office, guarding. A young woman walks along, JD introduces himself and she doesn't even look at him. As she walks by Buck, she smiles and says hi to him.

Inside, Mary is telling Nathan and Chris of the night. She was off visiting neighbors, Billy was supposed to go with her, but he wanted to stay home with his father. When she got back, she saw two men riding away, but she couldn't see who they are. She thinks they heard her coming back, which is why they didn't find Billy. Chris asks who would have wanted her husband dead. He upset a lot of people with the newspaper, he published the truth. Nathan remembers after, there was an investigation. They decided it was a robbery, that the guilty men were long gone. Mary guesses they've come back. Chris says or never left. Nathan kneels to ask Billy if he saw anything that night. He shakes his head no. Mary says they can't hide from this anymore. Billy says the devil is going to get them. Mary says she won't let him, they have to talk about this.

Ezra comes into his room, finds his mother sitting on his bed, reading. She says she understands they found the boy. Ezra says yes, scared out of his wits, but they found him. Ezra slips off his coat. Maude says he's ingratiated himself quite well with the town. He says he's made a few acquaintances, nothing more. She says it's a position rife with opportunities. He gives her a look. She says she found the perfect mark, Mr. Wheeler, the owner of the hotel. They'll use the same con they used in Chicago, the cotton gin investment. Ezra says no. The answer is no. he says he has the town believing they can trust him to protect them from people like her or even people like him. She says she thought the protection thing was a front. He says of course it is. She hopes he hasn't gone and joined the ranks of the employed, that would be undignified and a waste of his God-given talents. She raised him better than that. That upsets Ezra, says she didn't raise him any better than a stray cat raises a litter. That she dumped him on every aunt or uncle she could find, unless she needed him for a con. She says she taught him a trade, she did the best she could, she's sorry if it wasn't good enough. She gets up and leaves angrily.

Josiah, Vin and Chris are talking, Josiah says it looks like Satan is up to his old tricks, Vin says, yes, and he's using a .44 these days. Josiah says Satan isn't an all powerful demon since he doesn't know Billy can't finger him. Vin asks how they're going to flush the guy out, Josiah says they can put an advert in Mary's paper. Chris says advertising might not be a bad idea.

In the street, JD and Buck and Josiah are walking around, talking loudly about how Billy and Mary are leaving town, watch him get on the coach and call their goodbyes. When the coach is gone, Buck says, let's go.

We see the coach going along the road, armed riders come down from a hill, shooting, and tell the coach driver to stop. He pulls up, the riders come close, they're masked. Driver asks if they're looking to rob him, they tell him to shut up, they open the coach door, only to come face to face with Buck's little shotgun. Coach driver pulls out his gun, Vin is there, JD also, all armed. Driver pulls off his mustache, it's Ezra in a serape and floppy hat. Mary comes out of the coach, jumps on the bad guy, he falls to the ground, she keeps pounding on him with her fists, screaming how could he do that to a little boy.

Chris and Billy are together, going into the old Travis house, they're going to stay there until Mary gets back. Billy has flashbacks of the night, doesn't come in. Chris tells him he doesn't have to do this. That he's met the devil more than once and he ain't beat Chris yet. Billy slowly walks into the house.

Vin, Buck, Ezra and JD are with Mary and the two bad guys. They have a rope slung over a tall tree branch tied to one guy's feet, they pull him up to hang him by his feet. The other guy is at the front of a shotgun held by Mary. Buck asks if they're going to leave the guy alone with Mary, Vin says he's not going to argue with her. Buck and Vin are tormenting the guy hanging by his feet, they want information on who hired him, a description, name, whatever they can get. Ezra is holding the rope that keeps him up in the air, the end of the rope is tied off to JD's saddle. They ask the guy how many times they'll have to drop him on his head before he breaks his neck. Maybe they'll ask his friend for information. They step away, only to hear a shot from Mary's rifle. Guess they can't talk to him anymore. JD suggests Buck try his animal maggotism on the guy, Buck corrects him, it's magnetism and only works on the ladies. Ezra says the guy is getting heavy and lets go of the rope. Guy drops toward the ground, misses hitting his head by inches. The rope on JD's saddle stops him. They pull him up again, the guy is blubbering, says he'll tell them anything they need to know, what the guy looked like, what he wore, what he drank, just let him down.

At the Travis house, Billy is carving on a piece of wood, Chris says he's pretty good at it, asks if his dad taught him. Billy nods. Chris says he bets he misses him a lot. Tells Billy it wasn't his fault. Billy says he was scared, bets Chris was never scared. Chris says he'd lose that bet. Most scared he'd ever been was after he'd lost someone real special, someone a lot like Billy, most scared he was having to go on without him. Sometimes the bravest thing you can do is go on living. Billy moves to sit next to Chris.

Devil man is coming out of the bank, goes to get in wagon with his daughter. She asks if he's sold the old Travis place, he says not yet. She says then they've got squatters, saw someone going in there. He says he'll send someone out there to check. Down the street he sees the coach come back in, the men are getting the bad guys out, taking them to jail. He asks his man if the boy is with them, man says no. Devil man says get Jack and Willie and meet them out at the old Travis place at ten o'clock.

It's night out at the old Travis place, inside, Billy is asleep, Chris is lost in his thoughts, he's thinking of his wife and boy, we get a shot of him with a shot of the wife and boy waving goodbye superimposed next to him.

At the saloon, Maude and Mr. Wheeler are at the bar, she's going on about how ungrateful kids are. He says he never had any, she says that's smart, tells him he's both smart and handsome, a deadly combination. Ezra comes in, leans on the bar and asks the bartender for a whiskey. He's pleased because they've saved him, he's safe and sound. Maude asks who, Ezra tells her it's the Travis boy. Maude says well, bully for you, you can return him to the mother who cares. Ezra says how foolish of him, he thought she might take some maternal pride in this, but he forgot, she's bereft of such instincts. Mr. Wheeler, who has been looking uncomfortable during the exchange, says maybe he should be going. Ezra says no, he's leaving. Maude asks if he's off to protect some little lost kitten. Ezra says touché, but he's going to the jail and find out who hired the men, then hunt the bastard down and rip his throat out. Maude says how pleasant. Ezra says he won't invite her to watch. The bar-flys follow Ezra out to see what's going to happen. Maude tells Wheeler to go on and go with the vultures, but she hates to see a man dismembered. It's what a mob does to people who prey on little children, eyes gouged, limbs torn off, etc. Wheeler says he really does have to go, call of nature. He heads out the side door right into the crowd of our guys and Mary. Ezra and Maude follow him out the door to close that retreat. He looks at Ezra and Maude and says it was all an act inside. He turns to look at Vin and Mary, says it's a mistake, they've got it all wrong. Vin asks why he's running. Wheeler says it wasn't his idea, he had to go along, he had no choice. Josiah says he always has a choice. Wheeler says Steven (Travis) was digging in the land deeds, he'd find out they were all fake. Vin says that's why he killed him. Wheeler says no, it wasn't him, he just wanted to talk to him, get him to back off, he was going to cost Wheeler everything, he protected Billy as long as he could, they've got to believe him. Vin says he's about to land Wheeler in a shallow grave, so he'd better tell who his partner is and where to find him.

Out at the old Travis place, Devil man and two associates come up, guns drawn, shoot through the window, hitting Chris in the right arm just above the elbow. Chris knocks over a lamp, starting a fire in the house, gets Billy to run with him to the barn, puts him up on his horse and sends him away. Chris stops to reload, runs out to the water trough, taking shots at the men. He's not so good a shot left handed. Again out of ammo, he's reloading as devil man walks toward him, gun aimed, telling Chris he should have stayed out of it. Billy, who didn't leave, rides over devil man, stopping him from shooting Chris, slides off the horse and runs over to Chris. Shooting continues, but our guys show up. Vin gets one of the baddies in the back, Ezra and Josiah get the drop on the other. Devil man is still on the ground, crawls toward his gun, is stopped by JD and Buck. Mary comes running in to Billy, Nathan goes to Chris to take care of his arm. Billy looks straight at Devil man and says that's the man who killed his father. Chris says it's over, he'll pay for what he did.

It's daytime, heavy suitcases are being loaded on the stage coach. Ezra and Maude come out of the hotel, Ezra starts to talk about things that were said the other night, but Maude interrupts him to say goodbye to Buck. While talking to Buck, she sniffs, wondering what that smell is, some kind of animal, and gives it a big P.U. Buck looks a little alarmed as they walk on. Ezra asks what that was about, Maude says nothing, what was Ezra saying. Ezra starts again, but as they walk by JD, he's interrupted again as JD hands Maude money and says thank you. Ezra is again trying to say that although harsh words were spoken, that in his heart ... and again interrupted by Josiah who says he believes he'll die if she leaves. Ezra whispers to Maude that Josiah is penniless. She tells him politely it was nice to meet him, and they again walk on. She prompts Ezra again, and he finally says that he just wants her to take care of herself, not what he was starting to say. She says she always does, he gives her a goodbye kiss and she takes her leave. Josiah comes up next to Ezra, says she's an extraordinary woman. Ezra agrees. At the coach, Maude is cautioning the men about her genuine French leather.

Billy comes out of the Clarion office, pulling Mary with him, saying they need to get an early start, Chris says so. Mary says she's coming, but the fish aren't going anywhere. Billy says Chris says he'll also take him hunting. Mary tells him to take it easy, Chris has an injured arm. Billy says Chris don't care, it's just a scratch. Chris is on his horse, has two fishing poles in the rifle scabbard. He hoists Billy up on the saddle in front of him. Mary tells him to be careful, Billy says he will, he's not a baby. Chris and Billy ride out of town, Mary stands watching as we...

fade to black and roll end credits.