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Bullets for Bandits

Bullets for Bandits(1942)

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One day, cowboy Cannonball bursts into the office of Tex Martin, the sheriff of Badlands County, to ask his help in locating Prince Katey, the long-lost son of Cannonball's employer, rancher Queen Katey. When Cannonball mentions that Prince has the letters "KT" branded on his forearm, the sheriff directs him to the saloon. Another stranger, Wild Bill Hickok, also rides into town and proceeds to the saloon, where he witnesses a man with "KT" branded on his arm cheat a gambler out of his winnings. When Bill demands that Prince return his chips to the hapless gambler, Prince draws his gun and Bill shoots him. Just then, Cannonball enters the saloon and mistakes Bill, who bears an uncanny resemblance to Prince, for Queen's son. Cannonball warns Bill that he may be charged with murder, and the two men gallop out of town together. Soon after, Tex arrives at the saloon and discerns that Prince was shot twice: once by Bill and once in the back. Puzzled, Tex decides to follow Bill and uncover Prince's real murderer. On the trail outside town, meanwhile, Cannonball addresses Bill as Prince and explains that his mother desperately needs him at home to defend her against Clem Jeter, the man who branded Prince as a boy and who has rallied the homesteaders against Queen in an attempt to take control of the Katey lands. Touched by the elderly woman's plight, Bill agrees to accompany Cannonball to the Katey ranch. At Jeter's cabin, meanwhile, Beetle, the man who shot Prince in the back, reports to Jeter that Prince is dead. When Bill arrives at the Katey ranch, Queen mistakes him for her son and welcomes him home. Soon after, Jeter appears with a court order appointing him as Queen's guardian. In response, Queen introduces Bill as her son. Jeter challenges him to prove his identity and a fight ensues. After Bill throws Jeter out of the house, Beetle insists that Bill is an impostor, and Jeter decides to turn Bill over to the sheriff. Tex, meanwhile, has stopped at the burned-out homestead owned by Dakota Brown and her father Bert. The Browns invite Tex to join them for dinner in the yard and explain that Queen burned down their house to force them out of the territory. When Jeter stops by the Browns's property and claims that the man who killed Prince is posing as Queen's son, Tex becomes suspicious. At the Katey ranch, meanwhile, Queen realizes that Bill is not her son when she sees his forearm. Queen relates that Jeter burned down the Browns's cabin and then blamed it on her in order to rally the homesteaders against her. Bill pledges to help, and soon after, Tex arrives at the Katey ranch. To avoid a confrontation, Bill promises to turn himself into the sheriff at the Browns's later that evening. Convinced of Bill's innocence, Tex rides back to the Browns. That night, Beetle, who has been ordered by Jeter to watch the sheriff, sneaks into the burned-out house and takes a shot at the sheriff. While pursuing his assailant, Tex encounters Bill on the trail and accuses him of firing at him. After discovering that Bill has no soot on his hands and clothes, however, Tex realizes that Bill is innocent and asks his help in tracking Prince's real killer. When Beale reports back to Jeter, Jeter declares that it is time to personally eliminate Bill. The next morning, Bill rides back to the Katey ranch to reassure Queen and asks Tex and Dakota to meet him there later. Jeter and his thugs are waiting at the ranch, and when Bill arrives, Jeter charges him with murder. When Queen pulls her gun to defend Bill, a fight ensues. While Cannonball rides for the sheriff, Queen and Bill hold off Jeter and his gang. Just as Bill runs out of bullets, Tex, Cannonball and Dakota arrive and capture Jeter and his men. After Dakota agrees to look after Queen, Tex rides out with his prisoners and Bill says goodbye, promising to return for a visit one day.