A chemist named Walt has the skills to transform ordinary items into precious material but he's sick and needs medicine. He meets a boy who seeks treasure.
Walt and the boy travel through the desert and settlements and have thrilling adventures. To become rich, the boy needs to lead this cowboy lifestyle but he also wants the comfort of a woman regardless of the constraints his career choice imposes upon him.
Towards the end, Walt dies because he didn't get enough medicine, and the boy is given a consolatory happy ending. It is up to the reader to infer that the boy could have become rich beyond his wildest dreams if he had just learnt Walt's skills instead of mucking about.