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When newspaper publisher Alexander is killed by crooked politician Daniel Heston, he bequeaths his paper to Tim McDonald, the son of the town's former sheriff. At the same time, Tim is forced to resign from the Texas Rangers when he stops another ranger from shooting an escaping prisoner, Johnny Kane. Johnny has been falsely accused of murder, and only Tim believes in his innocence. Tim goes to Mill Valley to take over his inheritance, where he meets Judge Avery and Ed Carter. Carter is running for sheriff against Burke, the incumbent stooge of Heston. Heston tries to stop Tim from publishing "The Ledger" by sending Burke to collect on a bill which has already been paid. Tim promptly pays the bill, then throws the crooked sheriff out of his office when Burke insults Gloria, Alexander's beautiful daughter. In his first edition of the paper, Tim attacks Burke as an incompetent, thereby making an immediate enemy of Heston. Heston hires gunslinger Garvey to kill Tim, but Johnny enters town just in time to rope the gun from Garvey's hand, saving Tim's life. Ed Carter is mysteriously killed, and Tim finds a button near his body. Heston holds a town meeting that night for the sheriff nominations. Judge Avery nominates Tim, only to have Heston reveal that Tim was dishonorably discharged from the Texas Rangers. When Tim attempts to refute Heston's charges, "The Ledger" is mysteriously blown up; however, on election day, Tim and Gloria still manage to print an edition of "The Ledger," using old wallpaper. Tim's editorial claims that gunslinger Grant is one of Heston's henchmen, and Tim then challenges Sheriff Burke to arrest Grant, whose button Tim found earlier, for Carter's murder. Tim and Johnny have a shoot-out with Heston and his men, with the publisher winning the day.