First, I echo Paul about the preservation of this short. The newly released Kino version is the best, but it's not perfect. A lot of frames only exist in faded 16mm prints, and it was to the point where when Image released their set years back, they opted for incompleteness and only showed the good looking, shortened, 35mm footage. A shame, but I guess we're lucky to have this at all.
I'm pleasantly surprised in the fact that spotty preservation aside, I'm giving this thing a 10. Watching these things back to back, you can tell Arbuckle's film evolved from at times incoherent Sennett like films to much more thought out pieces of work like this one. Whether this new found focus is Arbuckle spreading his wings away from Sennett, Keaton being an influence, or a combination of the two, I don't know. Either way, you can see some growth from the earlier films, as things flow together and you don't get the mindless, blink or you'll miss a frame chases you used to see.
The gag where there's the one car with dozens of extra space piling out is a classic and one that has stuck in my memory all these years. A funny and surreal gag for sure. If Keaton did not come up with it, it at least feels like a Keaton gag. Keaton and Arbuckle do fantastic team work when they,re hanging onto to the side of the cliff and eventually slide down. Arbuckle digging Keaton out with a pick axe is quite funny, especially the sight of just Keaton's hands and feet poking out of the dirt. I also love Keaton being hung upside down on the tree to dry only to come down much later in the short. Again, a surreal gag that feels very Keatonesque. Arbuckle and his supposedly torturous prison conditions also make a funny gag, as does the angle of the final gun where he blasts Al. St John at the end of this short. A lot of wonderful gags and humor here.
I really don't mind the fourth wall gags. It would admittedly get old if done every film, but for my taste, it's a fun one time novelty.