A modern-day prospector, Rick Loomis, is found dead in a creek in the town of Hadley, CA - part of the 'new California gold rush'. With Lisbon nursing a sprained ankle and confined to her desk, Hightower works with Jane in the field for the first time. The suspects include crooked claims dealer Wes Atwood, Rick's son Jeff, and Dean Puttock, the owner of the local mining store. When Atwood turns up dead in the house of a local thief, Jane reaches a conclusion: Rick must have found a new vein of gold up in the hills and Wes knew about it. Using Jeff to propogate his ruse, Jane lures the real killer up to the vein of gold. Hightower, who Jane called in for backup, steps in just in time to shoot the killer before he can attack Jane.