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Deputy sheriff Allan "Rocky" Lane comes across a wounded man shortly after a gunfight. Before he dies, the man reveals that he was a bank robber and was shot by his gang when he ran away with the stolen money. He also tells Rocky that the gang, who are headed for the outlaw territory of Fort Dodge, where the money is hidden, seized a key from him. Rocky, posing as a drifter, travels to Fort Dodge. At first, the town appears to be deserted, but soon, Rocky encounters Skeeter Davis, who discloses that he owns the town and most of the surrounding land. Skeeter is convinced that Fort Dodge will come to life again with the advent of the railroad. Rocky doubts that the railroad would have any interest in the desolate area, but Skeeter insists that a group of surveyors, headed by Pike Hardin, are currently lodged at the hotel. Sure that the "surveyors" are really the bank robbers he is chasing, Rocky offers to work for Skeeter. Using his new position as a cover, Rocky asks the men about the railroad, but they refuse to answer his questions. Later, Rocky explains to Skeeter that the men are searching for $30,000, not working for the railroad. The news upsets Skeeter, who has attracted a group of settlers to town by swearing that a railroad was coming. Among the settlers are Jeff Bryan, who has been allied with Hardin's gang, his wife Natalie and jeweler Sparkler McCann. Unknown to the others, Sparkler is the head of Hardin's gang. Sparkler recognizes that the key stolen from the dead man opens a hotel mailbox, but Hardin has been unable to find the box because Skeeter earlier looted everything of value from the deserted town buildings and is holding the items in his store. Acting on Sparkler's orders, Hardin creates a distraction so the bandits can search the store. Rocky quickly figures out what has happened, however, and is able to drive the outlaws away. Later, Rocky and Skeeter watch from a hiding place as the bandits search the store, but before they find the stolen funds, Jeff disrupts them. After the ensuing shootout, Jeff reveals to Rocky that his real name is Jeff Adams, and that he is looking for the money stolen from his father's bank. Subsequently Jeff, Rocky and Skeeter expose the hotel mailboxes and inside find an encoded map. In an effort to uncover the real leader of the gang, Rocky privately discloses to Hardin that he has the map and offers to split the loot with him and his boss. Meanwhile, Natalie asks Sparkler to repair Jeff's father's watch. Seeing Jeff's father's name engraved inside the watch, Sparkler discovers Jeff's real identity and realizes that Rocky's offer is a trap. When Natalie returns for the watch, the gang kidnaps her, and Sparkler offers to trade her for the map. Rocky has no choice but to hand over the map. After the map is decoded, the outlaws discover the stolen money under the floor of the jewelry store. Meanwhile, Rocky overcomes his guard and releases Natalie. After a gunfight with her guards, Rocky sees Sparkler and Hardin leaving town with the strongbox. Rocky pursues them and, after a fight, rounds up the gang and returns the money to the bank. Jeff is made the new sheriff and announces that the settlers have persuaded the railroad to come to Fort Dodge after all.