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Code of the Secret Service

Code of the Secret Service(1939)


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Tom Saxby, head of the United States Secret Service, assigns Lieutenant Brass Bancroft and his assistant, Gabby, to go to Mexico to investigate a gang of counterfeiters who have stolen treasury engraving plates that are being used to flood the country with spurious bills. Bancroft joins agent Dan Crackett in a little Mexican town, but spotters for the gang trail him there. To erase suspicion that they are working together, Brass and Crackett stage a fight in the Silver Dollar Saloon, which is a front for the counterfeiting operation. During the fight, Crackett slips a note to Brass informing him that the leader of the counterfeiters is a peg-legged man named Parker, and when the lights go out, Crackett is shot and killed. Brass flees when the police arrive and he realizes that he is going to be framed for the murder. Brass instructs Gabby to meet him in the Mexican village of Santa Margarita, and then boards a train. When Brass asks the train conductor how to get to Santa Margarita, the train conductor suggests that he ask the two men in the next car, who are going to the same place. Although Brass declines to involve the two men, who he believes are part of the counterfeiting ring, the conductor tells them about Brass's request and they immediately recognize him from the Silver Slipper shooting. In an attempt to shake Brass off their trail, the two toss a note, which says that a murder suspect is aboard, out of the train as it passes a switch operator's station, and at the next stop the police board the train looking for Brass. Brass makes a daring escape by jumping off the train while it crosses a bridge, and loses the police by hiding underwater. When a man dressed as a friar stops to offer Brass a lift, he is taken not to a monastary, but to Santa Clarita, where the friar reveals that he is the head of the counterfeit operation. After Brass is shot while attempting to escape, he fakes his death and eludes the friar, whose real name is Parker, long enough to find the evidence he needs. He then flees, only to be captured by the police, who doubt his story and jail him. Gabby rides into town just in time to help Brass make a jailbreak by creating a diversion with a game of strip poker. Brass escapes and meets Elaine, a racher's daughter, whom he kidnaps and forces to take him to the nearest telegraph station. The two head for the telegraph office to send the State Department a wire confirming that the counterfeiters have been found. However, Parker's men intercept them before they get there and bring them back to their old mission hide-out. Though the men tie up Brass and Elaine, they are able to free themselves long enough to destroy some of the money plates. Eventually they are caught and are left to die in the monastary after Parker has it blown up. Parker's men die in the explosion, but Parker escapes with some of the plates. While being pursued by the police, Parker's car is hurtled over an embankment and he is killed. Having recovered the plates, Brass returns to Washington, his mission accomplished.