powered by AFI
While riding to the lawless town of Gunsight, Arizona, United States Marshal Tom O'Malley is ambushed in the desert by The Raven, his longtime foe, who steals his horse, water and identification papers. Later, The Raven loses his water and, crazed with thirst, drinks from a contaminated spring. When Tom stumbles on his dead enemy, he retrieves his belongings and takes a "letter of reference" from The Raven's pocket, which is addressed to Flash Arnold of Gunsight. By luck, Tom is picked up by a preacher, Joshua Ross, and his daughter Ruth, who take him to Gunsight. There Tom locates Arnold, the saloon proprietor, whose band of outlaws have just robbed a stagecoach, and introduces himself as The Raven. He then tells Arnold that he killed Tom O'Malley and, as proof, shows him his own badge. Convinced by Tom's story, Arnold reports to his "silent" partner in crime, John Blaine, the respected mayor of Gunsight, who tells Arnold to make Tom impersonate Tom O'Malley in order to quell the "law and order" faction in the town. As the new marshal, Tom protects Joshua and Ruth from the bullying outlaws and helps them to collect money to build a church. Soon after, Sam McGee, a deputy marshal who is working undercover as a singing waiter in Arnold's saloon, informs Tom about an upcoming payroll robbery. Disguised in a bandana, Tom ambushes Arnold's outlaws and returns the money to the stagecoach drivers. Sure that Tom is trying to take control of the town, Arnold then starts a rumor that he is a thieving impersonator and accuses him of stealing the funds for the church. Before he is arrested, Tom escapes on horseback and, with Ruth and Sam's help, exposes Blaine and Arnold and convinces the townspeople that he is, in fact, Tom O'Malley, United States Marshal.