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The Buckskin Lady

The Buckskin Lady(1957)

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In the tiny Nevada town of Bitter Water, alcoholic Doc Medley invites stage line passengers, waiting for their coach to be readied for the next leg of their journey, to play poker in the nearby saloon with his daughter Angela, an expert player. One day, a passenger becomes irate at losing, upends the card table and is shot in the arm by local gunman Slinger, who is courting the disinterested Angie. Unknown to Angie, Doc has decided to sell his moribund medical practice and has advertised it in glowing terms in a Boston newspaper. Dr. Bruce Merritt buys the practice for two hundred and fifty dollars and travels to Bitter Water, but is quickly disillusioned by the practice and the town. Although Doc and Angie are almost broke, she offers to refund Bruce his money with winnings from the poker table. Much to Slinger's dislike, Angie and Bruce are attracted to each other, and so Slinger attempts to convince Bruce to leave town by beating him up. Angie still hopes that if she can repay Bruce, he will stay and their romance will blossom. After Angie wins one hundred and fifty dollars from three stage passengers, Slinger challenges her to play to win another hundred, but she loses most of her previous earnings to him. Upon realizing that Slinger beat her with marked cards, Angie goes to his room to confront him. Alerted by town character Lon that Angie is in trouble, Bruce hurries to the room where Slinger is tussling with Angie, but misinterprets Angie's presence as being motivated by her romantic interest in Slinger. Later, Bruce opens his own medical practice in a barn while Angie, resigned to a life without him, starts drinking and offers to marry Slinger for a price. Although her father strongly opposes the union, Angie gives Slinger's money to her father then leaves for a nearby city to get married. After Lon explains to Bruce that Angie was in Slinger's room to recover money she had won to pay Bruce back, Bruce sends Lon after Angie with a conciliatory note, while he attends to a sick child. Meanwhile, in Butte City, Slinger says he has no money left to pay for a preacher, so Angie suggests that he sell his guns. Instead, Slinger uses his guns to rob a bank, although Angie tries to stop him. As they flee on horseback with over four thousand dollars, Angie is shot in the shoulder. While the banker and the sheriff organize a posse and ride after them, Angie pleads with Slinger to return the cash, but he thinks that she wants him jailed so that she can return to Bruce. As the posse catches up with them, Slinger throws the money into the air to divert them and rides off with the unwilling Angie. Lon trails them and, while attempting to deliver Bruce's note, is shot and left for dead by Slinger. Lon manages to ride back to Bitter Water where, with his dying breath, he tells Bruce where to find Angie. When they camp that night, Angie, still suffering from her shoulder wound, manages to steal one of Slinger's guns, and after ordering him to give her the other, tells him she intends to take him back to Bitter Water to hang for Lon's death. Angie's wound and lack of sleep cause her to drop her guard, and when Slinger tries to attack her, she shoots at him. Searching for them nearby, Bruce hears the gunshot and rides into the camp. While Angie holds Slinger at gunpoint, Bruce removes the bullet from her shoulder. When Slinger attempts to overpower them, he and Bruce struggle for possession of the gun. Slinger wins and threatens to kill Bruce, after which he orders Angie to drop her gun. However, Bruce tricks Slinger, allowing Angie to pick up the gun and kill Slinger. Angie and Bruce then embrace.