John 'Thunderbolt' Doherty is an ex-thief who teams up with an enthusiastic, amiable young drifter, Lightfoot to seek loot that was probably stolen by Thunderbolt's gang. Pursuing Thunderbolt and Lightfoot are a sadist (George Kennedy) and another thug who's not the sharpest knife in the drawer (Geoffrey Lewis). Eventually they corner Thunderbolt and Lightfoot and prepare to kill them and take the loot. But the money was hidden in an old schoolhouse that no longer exists, so their lives are spared. Lightfoot convinces the group that they should repeat the original robbery. The robbery succeeds again, but…Lewis is killed during a botched getaway, and Kennedy panics and knocks Thunderbolt unconscious, beats up Lightfoot, and takes off with the loot.