The time is 1878 and the place is Meanly, Kansas, a little whistle stop on the Santa Fe, which has quieted down of late and wants to stay that way. Consequently, the Sheriff, prodded by the local wives and mothers, has bought a one-way ticket out of town for Bonnie Lee Dover, girlfriend of the infamous Billy Nadine, the theory being that if Bonnie is gone, Billy won't bother to come by anymore. The day of Bonnie's departure is also the time when Meanly's gift to the ministry, young Dennis McGregor, is to be sent off to divinity school in Kansas City by his doting aunt and the other good ladies. The crisis of what to do about the spotless Denny and the soiled Bonnie on the same train is deferred by news that there has been a derailment, and the Sheriff, suspecting the fine hand of Billy Nadine in the affair, decides to hold Bonnie hostage. But that night Denny confesses that the derailment was his doing, mostly because he dreaded the whole idea of becoming a minister and a missionary. But he doesn't want the innocent to suffer for his misdeeds, so he has turned over his aunt's house (and her store of Scotch whiskey) to the desperadoes who were about to hunt down the Indians on whom the blame has now fallen. He has also set their horses loose, which is not appreciated at all when they sober up the next morning. By then, however, Billy Nadine himself has turned up—claiming that he was the one who derailed the train. But it doesn't really matter much, as they are all hailed into custody—at least until Bonnie, taking advantage of the confusion raised by the horseless and irate outlaws, sends Denny and Billy racing out of town on the Sheriff's own filly. And then, her good deed done, it's off to Kansas City for Bonnie, and on to dreams of becoming a lady as Denny would have wished.
Successfully produced at Yale University and at the Opera House in Aspen, Colorado, this light-hearted spoof of the Old West pokes hilarious fun at the desperadoes, Indians, lawmen, and self-righteous townspeople who are usually treated so romantically in America's folklore.