powered by AFI
In 1895, Eureka Power Co. representative Craig Morgan conspires with banker Emerson Wheeler and their henchman, Webb Hepburn, to ruin the ranchers of Riverdale, Nevada. A new dam has been built by the power company to help the ranchers with irrigation and power, but Morgan wants to temporarily disrupt service so that the ranchers will not be able to grow crops or sell their cattle. Morgan and Wheeler know that they can foreclose on the ranchers when they go broke and cannot pay debts owed to Wheeler and intend to sell the properties to the power company for a big profit. Their first step is to blow up the dam. Mac, one of Hepburn's cohorts, shoots the influential Judge Gleason when he catches the men in the act, but he is seen by Gleason's daughter Edith. Terry Reynolds, a special investigator for Eureka, is sent by the company chief, Alfred Johnson, to check up on Morgan. Terry impersonates the notorious "Nevada Kid," and along with his pal, Beauty Bradshaw, is kidnapped by Hepburn. During the kidnapping, Hepburn kills Sheriff Slocumb and one of the guards escorting Terry. The gang forces Terry to wear a mask and Mac's clothes and ride his distinctive pinto horse. Thus attired, Terry is misidentified by Edith as her father's killer. Terry is also blamed for the death of Slocumb, and he and Beauty are jailed. They escape, however, and rescue young Twinkle Hardy from a runaway wagon. While Terry is helping Twinkle, her father Jim is killed by Hepburn for protesting an eviction notice sent by Wheeler. Beauty takes the orphaned Twinkle to Edith and cautions her that all is not what it seems with The Nevada Kid. Edith volunteers to pay for repairs to the dam, but when she tries to send the money to the power company, the gang hijacks the stagecoach and steals the cash. Terry traces them to the infamous town of Canyon City and there recovers Edith's money, which he then returns to her. After Edith writes to the warden of the prison where the real Nevada Kid is being held, Terry admits his identity to her. She agrees to work with him, as do the other ranchers when they learn who he is. Before they can round up the gang, however, Hepburn dynamites the dam, completely destroying it. Terry chases Morgan as he tries to escape, but the criminal is drowned in the raging water. Soon after, the water has been contained, and Terry and Edith prepare for a trip to the power company's headquarters. There, they will be married and Terry will receive instructions for his new job of managing the dam once it is repaired. Twinkle is left in the care of Beauty, and as soon as her foster parents leave, she begins to pester him for candy.