In the Long Branch, a young gun, Hank Fergus, shows off his handiwork by embarrassing Xeno Smith. Xeno is an old drunk who has been trying to drown his past as a well known gun fighter. Matt doesn’t see a problem with the heavy drinking man. He doesn’t cause any harm. Chester rushes in though to tell how the rowdies are still giving the old man a hard time, accusing him of being a coward.
When Xeno drinks too much, his biggest problem is getting to wwork in time, and supporting his adopted son Tommy Will he be able to afford the new boots he promised to Tommy for his birthday? Elsewhere, Matt and Chester join Tommy as he admires the boots that he likely won’t be getting. Will the soon to be 14 year old Tommy have to learn to take the hard knocks of life sooner than he would like?
Hank is back to cause trouble for Xeno. He puts on all the pressure he knows how, playing on accusing Xeno of being a coward, and telling Tommy about his past. Will Xeno cave in and help rob the store where he works? Tommy doesn’t know all the details, only that something is going on, and it isn’t good. Can Matt do something to intervene? The crime scene tells all the details, and Tommy may be learning that life has a lot harder knocks than not getting a pair of boots.
Note: Dick Beals is Tommy.