Tom seeks adventure out west, but he and Manfred wind up in a contemporary Texas city. Tom turns into a clock and winds backwards until they're in the days of the trek to California. The last member of a wagon train--attacked by Indians--meets Tom, who with Manfred takes him to California, where admittance costs one bag of gold. Tom and Manfred pan for gold and are attacked by Indians en route back. Manfred winds up with an Indian camp, who are enchanted by his dance of pain--having glanced through a series of cacti.