Bill Riley's Head
WHAT WOULD ONE DO FOR MONEY AND LOVE?
The love being Francine Toutant. The money being one Bill Riley – notorious Dakota Territory outlaw.
Bounty hunter T.J. Ragland is riding across the bleak Dakota Territory carrying the head of Bill Riley in a gunny sack, bound for Fort Leavenworth where a $3,000 bounty reward awaits him. Reaching the sorry little town of Bend City, tucked into a wide bend in the Missouri River, Ragland intends to catch a riverboat to Fort Leavenworth. Due to some poor decisions, Bill Riley's head is stolen.
Marshal Bethany Bulger is a no-nonsense sort of woman who would like nothing better than for Ragland to leave town. Ragland finds this curious until he discovers that Bethany and some other folks are neck-deep in insurance fraud. Throw in a drunken Indian, an undercover Pinkerton detective, foreign agents, and murder, and Ragland quickly discovers a lot more is happening in Bend City than its sleepy appearance suggests.