Mississippi Slow Boat

Inspector Willoughby is a Fells Bargo agent who has captured some bandits and is shipping them (and a big bag of money), via steamboat, down the Mississippi to New Orleans. As the bandits, bound together by a rope, are lowered into the hold, Willoughby walks the gangplank to accompany the prisoners to their destination. A typical riverboat gambler spots Willoughby and his bag of money, and he immediately conceives a scheme to liberate the money. He tries various schemes, but Willoughby always gets the better of him. The gambler disguises himself as a poor troubled widow, and he attempts to play on Willoughby’s sympathy by telling him a sordid sob story of “her” troubles (a sick mother and no job). Willoughby, with tears in his eyes, opens a door and says, “Step in here and tell me more.” “She” steps through the door and onto the paddlewheel at the stern of the riverboat. Thrown into the river, “she” is immediately confronted by an alligator and escapes its snapping jaw by an eyelash. Back on the riverboat, the gambler endeavors, by various and devious methods, to acquire the money, but Willoughby thwarts each and every attempt. He tries dressing up as a redcap and asks to take Willoughby’s bags- but Willoughby karate-chops him. Then the crook tries some “Southern hospitality,” offering him a drink (poisoned)- but Willoughby turns the table (literally). Next, he tries to win at poker, but Willoughby is a bit suspicious when the crook has 53 aces in his hand. Finally, after he tries one last desperate effort (with a gun) to get the money, Willoughby sends him through the door onto the paddlewheel again, and the alligator gets him. Willoughby fishes them all out and takes them in. The gambler finds himself in the hold of the riverboat with the rest of the bandits. Upon arrival at New Orleans, all are led from the steamer onto the gangplank and off to prison.