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The Return of Daniel Boone

The Return of Daniel Boone(1941)


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While en route to visit his father in Tuscon, Wild Bill Boone, the grandson of Daniel Boone, visits his old friend Cannonball and asks him to deposit in a bank the reward money he earned from the capture of a fugitive. At the same time, in a small town on the road to Tucson, Ellen Brandon, the daughter of rancher Jeb Brandon, accuses Leach Killgrain, the proprietor of the local hotel, of conspiring with Mayor Elwell to force the ranchers from their lands by charging exorbitant taxes and then foreclosing on their property. Upon returning home to her family's Circle D Ranch, Ellen tells her father that the mayor plans to auction the foreclosed ranches the next day and urges him to fight for his rights. When Fuller, the tax collector, arrives to collect the Brandons' levy, Ellen argues with him, and in the ensuing struggle, Fuller's gun discharges and he falls to the ground, dead. Ellen flees on horseback with Fuller's men in pursuit, and when she sees Bill riding along the trail, she aims a gun at him and demands that he switch horses with her. When Bill rides into town on Ellen's horse, Killgrain's men begin to question him, and after Bill defeats his gun-wielding interrogators, Killgrain offers him the job of tax collector. Bill accepts and rides to the Brandons' place, where he sees Ellen riding off to a meeting of the ranchers. After following her there, Bill admonishes the ranchers to abide by the law, but Ellen challenges his authority and accuses him of being in league with Killgrain and the mayor. Bill then cables Cannonball to withdraw his bankroll and meet him at a deserted ghost town. After bidding farewell to his sweetheart Melinda, Cannonball keeps his appointment with Bill, who marks the banknotes and instructs Cannonball to apply for a job at the hotel so that he can spy on Killgrain. The two then ride into town separately, and Killgrain orders Bill to collect the Brandon taxes and dispatches two thugs to accompany him to the ranch. Bill tells the men to wait outside while he enters the ranch house, and after demanding the taxes in a bellicose voice, Bill passes Brandon a note reassuring him that he is on the side of the ranchers. Extracting his marked currency from his pocket, Bill strides out of the house and delivers the money to the mayor, hoping that the official will hand it over to his henchmen to purchase property at the delinquint tax sale that night. Bill's plan to expose the mayor with the marked money goes awry, however, when Ellen interrupts the sale with gunfire. Bill then directs Cannonball to search Killgrain's office for incriminating evidence, but Cannonball is discovered by one of Killgrain's men and jailed. The next day, Ellen apologizes to Bill for misjudging his character, and he asks her to assemble the ranchers in town. Bill then tricks the mayor into visiting the jailhouse and there locks both the sheriff and the mayor in a cell and tells Cannonball to guard them while he gathers proof of their guilt. When Melinda's man-hungry twin sister Matilda visits Cannonball in his cell, however, he runs out of the jailhouse and into Melinda, who has just arrived on the stage. Panicked, Cannonball scurries into an alley, and Bill warns him to stay out of sight. Bill then informs Killgrain that the mayor has abscounded with the tax money. When Killgrain hurries to the mayor's office and unlocks the safe, Bill charges him with complicity in defrauding the ranchers of their land, and Killgrain flees the office with Bill in pursuit. After catching Killgrain, Bill brings him and the mayor to justice. With law and order restored, Bill rides off to join his father, while Cannonball, pursued by the twins, runs into the jailhouse and locks himself in a cell.