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In the early days of the railroad land boom, in the western town of Powder River, Sheriff Jeff Connor wages a losing battle against the spread of lawlessness. The outlaws, under the leadership of a crooked saloon keeper named Taggart, are using a campaign of terror to impeach Jeff, but he refuses to step down as sheriff. Unknown to Jeff, the impeachment drive is being aided by his brother Bill, a greedy rancher who is in league with Taggert. One day, Jeff's young son Larry sends a letter to The Durango Kid, the famous masked horseman and champion of law and order, asking for his help. The Durango Kid, who is known as Steve Randall when he is not in disguise, accepts the challenge and travels to Powder River with his sidekick Smiley Butterbeam. Soon after arriving in Powder River, Steve meets Larry but does not reveal himself to be The Durango Kid. Steve also meets Doris Connor, Jeff's attractive daughter, and is later appointed deputy sheriff by Jeff. When Taggert learns that The Durango Kid is coming, he instructs one of his gunmen, Slade, to disguise himself as the masked hero and begin a campaign of terror to discredit him. Steve eventually discovers the impostor, and vows to stop him. Larry, who does not know that Slade is a fake, follows the masked gunman to Taggart's outlaw camp, where he overhears a conversation about plans to commit crimes. While Larry spies from some bushes, his horse whinnies and attracts the attention of the outlaws. Slade shoots his gun in the direction of the bushes, and the bullet hits and seriously wounds Larry. Larry later tells his father that The Durango Kid shot him, and Jeff immediately forms a posse to find The Durango Kid. Larry is taken to the state capital to receive special treatment for his gunshot wound, and while Jeff is out of town, Taggert coerces the townspeople to sign a petition to remove Jeff as sheriff. Taggart also instructs Slade to disguise himself again as the fake Durango Kid and attack Jeff's stagecoach when he returns to town. The plan is foiled, however, when Steve captures Slade, goes to the site of the planned ambush in his Durango Kid disguise and fools the outlaws into thinking that he is Slade in disguise. Steve then pretends to attack Jeff's stagecoach, but instead pulls Jeff and Doris out of the speeding stagecoach just before it crashes over the side of a cliff. The outlaws, witnessing the crash from a distance, conclude that Slade and the sheriff could not have survived the accident, and return to town. Steve plans to force Slade to put on his Durango Kid disguise and reveal his ruse in public, but his plan is foiled by Bill, who finds Slade and kills him before he can confess. While Taggert takes over as sheriff of Powder River, Steve learns that Bill does not believe Jeff to be dead and that he has set out to kill him. Steve follows Bill and shoots him just as he is about to kill his brother. After Jeff arrests Taggert, he and Larry, who is now fully recovered from his wounds, bid farewell to the real Durango Kid, who has successfully completed his mission.