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The Sagebrush Family Trails West

The Sagebrush Family Trails West(1940)


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When Bobby Sawyer, the twelve-year-old world champion cowboy star of Sawyer's Greater Attractions, averts a daring robbery at the local bank, the grateful citizens of Halfway, Texas induce his parents, Doc and Minerva Sawyer, to settle in their community. Crafty Len Gorman, editor of the town paper and secret brain behind the robbers terrorizing the community, notices that Jim Barton, the young deputy sheriff, is infatuated with the Sawyer's daughter Nellie and, surmising that Jim would never violate his beloved's home, decides to sell the Sawyers a plot of land that sits directly over the abandoned mine shaft that serves as the gang's treasure trove. After the outlaws intensify their activities, the sheriff decides that Doc Sawyer is behind the lawlessness as his appearance coincided with the increase in crime. Ordered by the sheriff to investigate, Jim questions Doc in his hen house laboratory, where he notices the old chemist pouring tobacco from a pouch that recently contained the gold stolen from a nearby mine. Discovering that Doc found the bag on the ranch, Jim invites Bobby to the sheriff's office, intending to question the lad while ostensibly showing him the machinery of law enforcement. Once alone again, Doc turns back to his experiments and accidentally mixes a solution that rocks the ranch with a silent explosion. Meanwhile, at the sheriff's office, Bobby detects Jim's ruse and decides to investigate for himself. Returning to the ranch, he follows a trail to the abandoned mine entrance and rides off to inform Jim. That night, Gorman, having learned of Doc's noiseless explosive, raids the hen house and steals Doc's solution, which he tests on the express company's new safe. The next day, Doc brags about his new discovery and is arrested for the robbery. While an angry mob forms near the jail, Bobby steals the cell keys and frees his father. Determined to learn Doc's formula, Gorman kidnaps the fugitive and holds him prisoner in a mountain hideout. Picking up his father's trail, Bobby makes his way to the hideout, where, in a display of roping and shooting, he rescues Doc and returns him to jail. There, Jim asks Doc to pretend that he knows where the loot is hidden in hopes of tricking the outlaws into revealing their hiding place. Having long suspected Gorman, Jim informs him of the news and then watches as he and his men ride to the mine entrance. Insisting upon accompanying Jim, Bobby leads him on a shortcut to the mine, where in a pitched battle, they overpower the outlaws.