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The Phantom Pinto

The Phantom Pinto(1941)

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The citizens of Redrock are surprised when a big cattle company opens its doors in their town. The manager, Kurt F. Henck, sends for rancher Timothy Wade, and offers to buy his grazing land at Black Mountain Cut. Tim points out that there is little grazing land at the Cut and no water, but Henck insists and offers Tim an outrageous sum. When Tim refuses to sell, Henck warns him that he is determined to get it. Tim returns to his ranch and, after reprimanding his grandson Buzzy for riding the calves, rides out to Black Mountain Cut to look around. Buzzy decides to follow his grandfather, and ranch manager Jim Dana meets the boy on the trail and joins him. That night Jim and Buzzy return to the ranch house carrying Tim, who was mysteriously shot. Before he dies, Tim utters that during the attack, he saw a pinto horse. Later, Tim's ranch hand, Dude Bates, sends for Tim's daughter Ruth, who is in college. After she returns home, Henck renews his offer to buy Black Mountain Cut. Ruth eagerly considers it until Jim reminds her that she cannot sell anything without his approval, as he has been appointed the estate manager. Ruth is offended by Jim's domineering manner. When Buzzy later tells Jim that Tim thought there might be gold in Black Mountain, Jim asks assayer Hadley to test for ore. Hadley is shot at while he is working on the mountain and returns to the ranch to tell Jim. Buzzy and Dude then go into town to look for the pinto, and when Buzzy becomes covered with a sticky black substance after leaning on a horse, he realizes that the pinto may have been painted black. Jim and Hadley return armed to Black Mountain Cut, unaware that they have been followed by Buzzy. The men find an area that has been dug up, and are discussing the matter when a sniper shoots at them. Buzzy attacks the sniper, causing him to misfire, and Jim takes over the fight. Once he is captured, Jim and Hadley take the shnpper, Miller, to the sheriff, but Miller, who secretly works for Henck, refuses to talk. Henck, meanwhile prepares to dynamite a portion of Black Mountain to find ore. When Jim returns to the ranch, he tells Ruth about Black Mountain and his suspicions that Henck is involved, and Ruth apologizes for having opposed him. With news of Miller's jailbreak, Jim, Dude and Hadley head for Black Mountain, and reluctantly allow Buzzy to accompany them. They find Henck and his men setting dynamite, and defend the area with gunfire. Henck escapes, but Buzzy and Dude follow him to his secret hideout where they see a pinto horse. Jim and a posse of friends, meanwhile, track Buzzy and Dude to the hide out and arrive just as Hench is about to shoot Dude. After Jim rescues Dude, they find papers that indicate the presence of a valuable ore on Black Mountian, which can be used for munitions. This new information leads them to arrest Henck and his compatriots, whom they discover are German spies.