The three heroes ride out to Ma's place and surprise her for her birthday. Over lunch, she reveals that there has been trouble recently at her John and Bessie Burns's ranch, the Double 0. First, John Byrne was killed in Promise City while gambling. Only, he doesn't drink or gamble. Then, Bessie was killed when the ranch was raided by an Apache warband. Something seems fishy.
The boys decide to head to the ranch to check things out. They quickly decide that the scene was staged to look like an Apache attack. They discover documents hidden under the floorboards that the killers missed: deeds and demands for a below-market sale by local Banker Morgan Condon and local slimeball lawyer Jake Pilgrim.
On their way out, the boys spot someone who has been observing them. They give chase, and kill him when he turns about to fire at them. He was heading into the canyons. The boys decide not to go into the canyons, but return to Promise City.
In Promise City, they go to the bar where the man was killed. Frank confronts the Pilgrim over cards and intimidates him, taking quite a bit of his money.