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When lawman Tom Barton arrests a gang of thieves, he is promoted to state inspector and his younger brother Jim is hired as state marshal on appointment in the gold mining town of Placerville. Jim disappears, however, when gang member Lukas takes over as marshal, and the gang poses as G-men to bully prospectors into relinquishing twenty percent of their profits. When Billy Parker, the son of a prospector, is killed by the gang, his father appeals to Tom for help. Meanwhile, Jim Madison has won a mail contract for his stagecoach line in Placerville, but he is killed when the gang ambushes his coach, and his daughter Mary is left to manage the coach with gang leader Clark. On his way into town, Tom, posing as a drifter, meets Madison's friend Dad Sommers, who suggests Tom work for the stagecoach line. Tom and Dad then thwart the gang's attempt to rob merchant Abe Wineman, and the three become friends. When Mary is about to sell the stagecoach line to Clark and Lukas, Tom convinces her to stall, and she fires Clark, who is hoping to get his hands on the gold shipment she is scheduled to transport the next day. That night, Clark offers Tom work, but he refuses. A fight ensues, and Tom escapes, but Clark orders reluctant gang member Reed to murder him. While the gang waits, Reed shoots a dummy Tom has placed in his bed, and Tom apprehends him, but gives him one more chance to make good by throwing the dummy off a cliff as if it is Tom's corpse. Meanwhile, Abe and Mary make another dummy of Tom to distract the gang while Tom carries the gold. When the gang threatens a Chinese man named Wong, Tom surprises them and scares them off. Tom then discovers his brother Jim hiding in Wong's closet; when Clark shot him and threw him in the river, Wong rescued him. The gang returns with Clark and fires on Wong's house, but Tom escapes through a secret tunnel beneath the floor. After he forces a gang member to wear his clothes, the man is killed by his own men while Tom escapes. Tom then prepares the dummy for the ride, but Clark knows his scheme, and when the gang follows the coach containing the dummy, Clark hops Mary's coach. Tom successfully jumps Clark and arrests him, and Mary secures her mail contract. Tom then asks Mary to be his partner for life.