Hoss is arrested by the well-meaning but weak-willed sheriff of a town that has just suffered a bank robbery in which a man was shot to death. Hoss is carrying money to take to Ben to buy a piece of land. The amount Hoss is carrying matches the amount that was stolen from the bank. This poor town desperately needed that money, and they are eager to believe that Hoss was one of the men who robbed the bank, only because they can't stand the thought that the robbers and killers are still free, and because they could use the money. The sole witness to the crime "positively" identifies Hoss as one of the badmen, but only after being cajoled by the dead man's wife, who is anxious for blood, and has focused her vengeful anger on Hoss. The townsfolk are also thirsty for blood and threaten to lynch Hoss for fear that he may be acquitted in a trial. The sheriff seems to sympathize with Hoss, but he fears for his job, and secretly avoids sending a telegram to Ben to come to town and identify him and prove his innocence.
This is an interesting study in what people are capable of when they're desperate. At the end the sheriff reassures Ben that the people aren't really bad, just desperate. So much so that they almost killed an innocent man whom they desperately wanted to be guilty. The weak sheriff should not have let the widow of the dead man be present when the witness identified Hoss, as she was not a witness herself, and improperly influenced the man who