The opening credits roll while we stare out at a desert landscape. Back in the day, you had to put up all the movie credits before the movie began, so be prepared for this to take a while.
We cut to a work gang getting yelled at by a boss while they try to drive rails for a railroad. One of the bosses (Lyle) tells them all to stop lollygagging and then punishes a Chinese worker for fainting from the desert heat.
Lyle then asks the black workers to sing him a good old slave song. The men look offended at first, then turn and do a perfect cover of the hit song, "I Get a Kick Out of You" by Frank Sinatra.
Lyle loses it and says he want to hear something like "The Camp Town Ladies" or "Swing Low Sweet Chariot."
But when the men look confused, Lyle and his gang start singing the song themselves. And before you know it, Lyle's crew is performing the whole song while the black workers laugh at them.
Eventually, Lyle's boss Taggart shows up and wants to know why people are standing around singing. He tells Lyle to send two of the black men up ahead to check out some quicksand. So off goes a guy named Bart and his buddy Charlie.
Eventually, the two men hit a patch of quicksand and sink. Before they know it, they're up to their shoulders in quicksand.
Taggart shows up and throws a rope into the quicksand, but he only wants to save the handcart that Bart and Charlie were driving.
Luckily, one of Bart's feet is on an iron fail underneath the quicksand. He and Charlie manage to struggle their way out. By the time they're free, Taggart is yelling at them for being lazy on the job. He throws them a shovel and tells them to put it to good use.
So Bart does just that by smashing it against the back of Taggart's head.