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Lawless Breed

Lawless Breed(1946)

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Remind Me

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Ted Everett relates the events of the past few weeks to Sheriff Dan Bradley: Because of a gang which has been robbing banks across Texas, Bartley Mellon, Spearville bank owner, leaves town to form a protective association of bankers. In his absense, his brother, colorful Captain Isaac Mellon, visits, but leaves immediately when he learns Mellon is away. The next day, Ted and his sidekick, Tumbleweed, are riding into town when they spot the sheriff's niece Marjorie attempting to rope a steer, and arouse her wrath by trying to help her. At the town saloon that night, Ted stirs the interest of crooked rancher Tim Carson when he exhibits his sharpshooting skills in a fight with a cheating gambler and then avoids the sheriff. Tim hires saloon singer Cherie to seduce Ted and offer him a job at his ranch, and although Ted still appears more charmed by Marjorie than Cherie, he accepts the job. At the ranch that night, Tim rifles through Ted's clothes and, finding a reward poster with Ted's name on it, quickly blackmails Ted into agreeing to murder Bartley. Later, Ted tells Tumbleweed that he will follow through on the plan just long enough to trap Tim. When he takes the gun Tim has lent him, however, and tries to shoot a bottle with it, he discovers that the rancher has loaded it with blanks. That night, he decides that, as directed, he will follow Bartley, but while he is shooting the blanks at the banker, Tim shoots Bartley from a nearby rooftop, prompting everyone to assume that Ted and Tumbleweed are guilty of the murder. Bradley arrests them, and although he and Marjorie see the blanks in the gun, they do not trust Ted's story, especially after Tim brings in the wanted poster. Captain Mellon returns the next day and, discovering that his brother is dead, takes over the bank and organizes a mob to lynch Ted and Tumbleweed. As the mob tries to break into the jail that night, Marjorie, believing in Ted's and Tumbleweed's innocence, arranges for them to be released. The moment they reach the hills, however, Tumbleweed is annoyed to discover that Ted wants to return to town. That night, they dig up Bartley's grave, and after they find it empty, Ted goes into town and convinces Bradley to accompany them to the bank. They arrive just in time to catch the gang robbing the safe, and Ted reveals Tim and Captain Mellon among the outlaws. Ted explains that the captain and Bartley are one and the same, and Bartley's murder was merely faked so that the gang could collect his life insurance, the bankroll and the bank insurance. Thus exposed, Tim runs, and when Ted chases him, they have a violent fight in which Ted is hit on the head and forced to shoot the outlaw. In the present, he finishes his story by informing Bradley that he knew the captain was a fake when he confused the terms starboard and port. When asked about the wanted poster, Ted informs them that he and Tumbleweed are federal inspectors, sent to investigate the bank robberies. The mystery solved, Marjorie happily agrees to accompany him to that night's dance.