Alias Smith and Jones

Season 2 Episode 17

The Man Who Broke the Bank at Red Gap

1
Aired Thursday 8:00 PM Jan 20, 1972 on ABC

Episode Recap

Hannibal and Heyes catch a train heading out of town and board it, and make their way to the passenger car. A man, Winford Fletcher, notices them and seems to recognize them, and raises a newspaper to hide his face. Meanwhile, the boys notice a poker game and one of the players, banker Chester E. Powers, invites them to join but warns that it's a low-stakes game. Hannibal and Heyes accept the offer and sit down, while Fletcher removes a revolver from his case and puts it in his pocket.

The train arrives in the small town of Colton and the other players get up to stretch their legs. Powers lectures Hannibal and Heyes on business practices, claiming to be an expert at recognizing something of value and possessing it. Fletcher comes up behind them and orders the two outlaws to surrender, calling them by their real names. The guys try to bluff it out, claiming that their cousins and people often mistake them for the two famous outlaws. However, Fletcher, a broker, says that they ripped him off a couple of months ago and he knows who they are. Powers speaks up and suggests that rather than leave the train at Colton, they continue on to Black River where the sheriff can make a positive identification. Fletcher refuses, determine to get the $10,000 reward for each outlaw. Power then announces he has a .60 derringer with a hair trigger hidden under the table and he'll shoot Fletcher if he doesn't lower his gun. Fletcher reluctantly backs off but warns that he'll kill them if they try to leave the train. Once he leaves, Heyes thanks Powers for his help and knows he was bluffing because derringers don't go above a .54 caliber.

The train leaves Colton and Hannibal asks Powers why he helped them. The banker says that he needs two men to help him who aren't afraid of danger, and Heyes points out that they're trying to get straight. They were the ones who exposed Fletcher, who was running a real estate scam. Powers concedes that his job may be dangerous, but offers them $500 each to handle it. When they agree to consider it, Powers tells them that they need to get off the train on the next incline, avoiding Fletcher, and check in to a hotel in Red Gap. He'll contact them later and describe the job in private, and if they don't like the job then they can turn him down.

The guys leave the train in the dark and Fletcher angrily confronts Powers. Powers introduces himself as the president of the Red Gap Bank and offers Fletcher $2,000 to settle the matter without involving the laws. When the banker assures Fletcher that he'll tell the sheriff in Red Gap that the broker almost had Heyes and Hannibal, and Fletcher takes the money.

Hannibal and Heyes limp into Red Gap after a ten-mile hike. Sheriff McWhirter notices them come into town and asks how they got there. The guys spin him a story about how horse thieves took their horses and they had to walk to Red Gap. McWhirter wonders why they didn't report the theft immediately and Hannibal apologizes, saying that they were going to as soon as they had a few drinks to relieve their pain. Clearly not satisfied, McWhirter tells them to file a report with his deputy as soon as possible.

The next morning, the guys relax in their hotel room and Hannibal spots Powers going into the bank. Heyes wonders why the banker hasn't contacted them yet and Hannibal advises his friend to wait. They play some poker in the saloon and return to their room, and find an envelope on the floor from Powers. He asks them to meet him at a granary three miles outside of Red Gap, and the guy decide to check it out.

When Hannibal and Heyes arrive at the granary that night, they wait for a half hour but Powers never shows. However, they spot a posse coming and ride off. When they return to Red Gap, the guys spot a crowd outside the bank and discover that it was robbed. They catch the next train out of town and take a hotel room in the next town, Hillsboro. According to the newspaper headlines, they robbed the bank and escaped with $80,000 in money and $500,000 in stocks and bonds: the largest bank robbery in history. Fletcher confirmed that Hannibal and Heyes were on the train and jumped off just before it arrived in Red Gap, putting them in the area. The guys realize that if they don't clear their names then the governor won't give them amnesty... and that every lawman in the country will come after them.

That night, Hannibal and Heyes ride back to Red Gap and sneak into Powers' home on the outskirts of town. He's waiting for them and calmly offers them drinks. When they explain about the amnesty deal, Powers tells them that it's a pipe dream and that any lawman who suspects them can arrest them in the meantime. Instead he offers them $20,000 out of the $80,000 in money that he stole from the bank. As for the $500,000 in stocks and bonds, Powers had already embezzled that money and lost it to bad investments. Because everyone thinks the outlaws robbed the bank, it's been refinanced and Powers is in the clear. Heyes indignantly refuses to take the money but Powers warns him that it'll be his word against theirs and no one will believe them. Hannibal congratulates Powers on his scheme and says that he'll talk Heyes around, and then leaves with the $20,000.

At Hannibal and Heyes take the train out of town, Hannibal tries to come up with a plan. He gets an idea and sets up a meeting with the Devil's Hole Gang in a ghost town. Kyle, Billy, and Jess arrive and Hannibal asks them to impersonate him and Heyes, ride into Harristown, and hurrah the town at 3 a.m. in the morning. Once Hannibal promises them $100 each, the gang member eagerly agree.

Next, Hannibal and Heyes ride to Fletcher's office and tell him what happened. They offer him the $20,000 Powers gave them to go to Red Gap and recant his testimony. Fletcher doesn't want to be charged with perjury or go up against powers, and notes that even if he tells the truth, it wouldn't clear their names. Realizing that he's not going to help, Hannibal tell Fletcher that he'll have to see what they have planned next and leaves with Heyes.

That night, Hannibal and Heyes break into the Red Gap Bank while the Devil's Hole Gang is hurrahing Harristown. They blow open the bank vault and steal the money, then go back to Fletcher. They offer him the $20,000 and tell him that they have an alias for the second bank robbery. All they have to do is get Powers arrested for the second bank robbery and that will clear them for the first one as well. Fletcher agrees this time and the guys have him meet them at the train station. When he gets there, Heyes says that he misread the train schedule and that Hannibal had to run an errand. Hannibal finally arrives and they take the train to Red Gap.

That night, Hannibal and Heyes break into Powers' home a second time and try to find his safe. When they can't, they try to stuff the bag of money up the fireplace but it falls down, waking Powers. He comes down to investigate and the guys hide outside the window. Powers opens his safe behind a painting to make sure everything is okay, while the guys watch. He checks the window but fails to see them, and then goes back to bed.

With time running out until Fletcher arrives with the law, Hannibal finally convinces Heyes that they have to plant the money now rather than hope Fletcher can keep Powers distracted. They go back in and Hannibal gets the safe open. Meanwhile, McWhirter arrives with his deputies, Fletcher, and Assistant Territorial District Attorney Collins. Powers lets them in while Hannibal and Heyes try to cram the over bag into the small staff. They get it in just in time and hide outside.

Collins presents a warrant to search the place based on Fletcher's testimony, and Powers is glad to let them search the place. McWhirter finds the safe and Powers agrees to open it. He's shocked to find the bank money inside and insists that Hannibal and Heyes must have planted it. Collins points out that the outlaws were spotted in Harristown and couldn't have been responsible for the second robbery. Meanwhile, Collins confirms that there's also money from the first bank robbery in the bag, clearing Hannibal and Heyes' names.

When he hears that there's $20,000 in the bag, Fletcher realizes that something is up and rides back to his office. The next morning, he opens his safe and discovers that the only thing inside is a letter from Hannibal, telling him that he needs a better safe.

As Collins takes Powers away, Hannibal and Heyes watch in satisfaction. Heyes tells Hannibal that Powers should have remembered never to get involved in another man's game.

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