Upon his arrival to San Francisco in 1884, Russian emigre Konstantin Ivanov assists an elderly Frenchman he met on the boat to America in seeking out a doctor. They get help from a friendly dock worker named Silas who fetches his brother, a local doctor, to help. While the Frenchman is trapped in San Francisco recovering, he asks Konstantin and Silas to track down his nephew. The whole reason he came to America was to give his nephew his substantial inheritance. If they can find Etienne Beaumont, then he will reward them both handsomely. Both men being poor, having sympathy for Monsieur Beaufort, and looking for some direction in life, they jump at the chance for an adventure and set off across the west in search of Etienne.