Wilbur and his friend Floyd are bandits, but one is more loyal than the other. When Britt happens along, and is mistaken for someone else, there’s a tense few moments of gunplay. The mealy mouthed, cowardly Wilbur shares his story. He shot Floyd in the back and is worried that his brother Russ is going to be gunning for him. Britt sees Wilbur safely to town to collect his reward at killing the notorious outlaw, but the soft spoken man just isn’t a very likeable guy somehow.
With the sheriff out of town, the jumpy Wilbur hasn’t made many friends, and when a threatening note is delivered, he decides to get out on the train to Cheyenne. The deputy knows Wilbur probably did the world a favor in his deed, but frets that folks will forget the ruthless robberies and killing that Floyd did, and make him the hero instead.
When the sheriff returns, we learn he never did catch Russ, but the last anybody knew, he got away on the train to Cheyenne. In epilog, Britt tells the obvious end to the story, that only one of the men made it to his destination.
Note: Does anybody else see the parallel to a historic story here? Namely the shooting in the back of Jesse James by one of his gang members. A man who became portrayed as a snivelling coward, while Jesse became a folk legend. Then the way the coward was later gunned down by the survivors in the gang? I won’t say the story is exact, but definite parallels are there.