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Coroner Creek

Coroner Creek(1948)

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In a remote canyon in the Southwest, a group of renegade Apache Indians under the leadership of a mysterious white man hold up a stagecoach and kill all but one of its passengers. When cowboy Chris Danning learns that his fiancée was abducted by the leader of the gang and that she killed herself while in captivity, he vows revenge. After interviewing one of the Indians involved in the massacre and getting a description of the leader, Chris begins his manhunt. Intent on killing the outlaw, Chris searches for him at every stage and freight line office in the region. Soon after arriving in the small town of Coroner Creek, Chris meets hotel owner Kate Hardison. Because Chris is a stranger in town and does not know rancher Younger Miles, Kate entrusts him to discreetly deliver Younger's drunken wife Abbie to her home at the Rainbow Ranch. En route to the ranch, however, Chris is ambushed and given a beating by Younger's gunmen. The gunmen cease their attack when Chris explains his business with Abbie, and, one of them, Ernie Combs, offers Chris a job at the Rainbow Ranch, but Chris refuses. Later, at a Coroner Creek saloon, Chris meets Younger and notices that the ranch owner fits the description of the outlaw fugitive he is seeking. Chris tries to provoke a fight with Younger, but just as the two are about to exchange punches, Abbie's father, Sheriff O'Hea, enters the saloon and forces them apart. Chris then returns to his hotel room, where widowed ranch owner Della Harms tries to enlist his help in preventing Younger from taking her land. Chris accepts the offer to be Della's ranch foreman and immediately moves onto her ranch. A short time later, Chris is caught trespassing on Younger's ranch and is given a severe beating by Ernie. Ernie continues to pummel Chris in an unfair fight until Chris's pal, Andy West, comes to his aide. After breaking Ernie's hand, Chris points his gun at Della's ranch hand, Frank Yordy, and forces him to confess that he is in league with Younger. When Yordy tells Chris about Younger's plan to steal Della's cattle, Chris tries to foil the plan by scaring Younger with gunfire. Kate, who has fallen in love with Chris, urges him to end his feud with Younger, but Chris is determined to continue the fight. Younger, undaunted by Chris's attempt to intimidate him, sets fire to the canyon near Della's ranch, killing all her cattle. When Younger and his men kill Andy and the sheriff, Chris chases after Younger and resolves to kill him. The two men engage in a struggle, during which Younger falls to his death. Satisfied that justice has been served, Chris turns his attentions to Kate, and the two look forward to a happy future together.