Joe is shocked to see his ex-fiancee, Emily Anderson, in Virginia City. He had met her in Monterey five years earlier, and they had planned to get married. But her strict father thought Joe was too wild, and he burned all of Joe’s letters before Emily saw them. Emily and Joe are still in love with each other, but Emily conveniently forgets to tell Joe that she is now Emily McPhail, the wife of Deputy Marshal Wade McPhail. Wade is on assignment with Marshal Calhoun to help guard a $90,000 currency shipment.
Emily tells Wade they have to leave Virginia City immediately, since Joe’s presence might interfere with their marriage, but he refuses to leave. He finds Joe and Emily embracing and engages with Joe in a savage fight, almost killing him at gunpoint. That is the first Joe hears of Emily’s marriage. That is by no means the end of her lies, which eventually get Joe shot and nearly framed for murder.