Bret came to Bent Forks broke, but won a $5 stake for a meal and entry into a local poker game by running the belt game on Moose Horton. After his meal, Bret had only three or four dollars to get into the game. Shortly, he’d made enough to repay Moose double the original $5, with more besides. It didn’t quite come to $100 though, since shortly afterwards, Bret didn’t have enough to make $100 bail.
Bret landed in the Bent Forks jail for running a con game in a town where Sheriff Wes Corwin tried to discourage confidence men. Bret had conned Moose Horton with the old belt game, but only after he’d seen Moose play a prank on an innocent saloon patron. Bret used the $5 he won from Moose to pay for a meal and as a stake in a poker game, and paid Moose $10 back rather than just the five. But the con game itself was enough to land him in jail with $100 bail, or until the circuit judge came along in about ten days. Molly Gleason had other plans for Bret before the judge was to arrive, so she arranged to have the Golden Chance Saloon post his bail and put Bret to work as a spotter during the cattle drives.
It isn't clear how much money Bret has when he left Bent Forks. He had a lucky night playing poker. He'd won enough to repay Mike the $100 he owed him, and probably a lot more. With the herds having arrived in town, money was changing hands. Perhaps Bret had replenished his $1,000 get-away money, but he had at least enough to move on. But before leaving town, circumstances allowed him to recover the bank's stolen money, and he received $3,000 reward for its return. Afterwards, we see him pinning a $1,000 bill inside his shirt. But how much of that is the reward money, and how much of the reward money did he give to Molly for a good lawyer? We will never know, but Bret had come to Bent Forks broke, and was leaving flush.
Mike Brill paid Bret's $100 bail in exchange for Bret's working for him as a spotter at the Golden Chance Saloon while the herds are passing through town. Bret reluctantly agreed to the work, but only until he was able to repay Mike the $100.
Molly Gleason seemed out of place to Bret in Bent Forks. She struck him as more of a city girl, well able to take care of herself. He was confused as to why she would leave "the big town," only to wind up in such a small, hot, remote little place like Bent Forks. To explain, she alluded to what a girl like her had to do in a big city to make a living. Bret accepted her answer without prying, but was still confused with her unpredictable behavior, only surmising that she was setting him up to be killed until it was almost too late.
Once Bret found out about Ralph Jordan's plan to kill him, he got the drop on Jordan. Bret forced Jordan to put down his shotgun and with his gun drawn, carefully approached him. But Jordan pulled a pistol from his belt fired at Bret. He missed, but Bret was able to shoot and mortally wound Jordan in self-defense.
Less than $100, not enough to pay Bret's bail.
Mr. Nelson offered $1,000 reward for the recovery of the $100,000 stolen from the bank by Ralph Jordan. Bret stated that five percent was the usual amount offered as reward, and would gain quick action. Nelson wouldn't hear of such an amount, but raised his reward to $2,000. Bret felt a compromise of $3,000 would be satisfactory, but Nelson said the bank couldn't afford it. The other bank depositors didn't care about that, since it was their money. Nelson reluctantly agreed, and Bret immediately dropped the saddle bag he was carrying on his shoulder onto Nelson's desk and spilled out the recovered money. All of the $100,000 was there, less the $3,000.
01. Maverick, Point Blank (1957), Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.
THROWN IN JAIL: For running a con game.
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