Mr. Stancliffe, the owner of a vast fortune, and a two hundred thousand acre Texas ranch has died. His long time butler, Jarvis, and the maid, Melody, along with Mr. Stancliffe’s niece and only living relative Patrice, are there for the reading of the will by the family lawyer, Mr. Oakfield. Strangely, a Miss Tammy-Jo Harper, from the neighboring ranch, has also been invited! As expected, Patrice inherits the estate, with one clause, Jarvis may live out his life on the ranch, and Patrice may not sell it without Jarvis’s permission. After the presentation of the will, a Mary Lou Winston unexpectedly arrives. She is a dowdy ornithologist, (or is she?), who is doing research for her masters on woodpecker preservation. She requests to spend the night at the ranch, as her campsite has been rained out. Jarvis, has one other surprise for Patrice.