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Snake River Desperadoes

Snake River Desperadoes(1951)

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Little Hawk, an Indian boy, is determined to stop the fighting that has broken out between his father, Black Eagle, and white settlers. Little Hawk goes in search of The Durango Kid, the secret identity of Steve Reynolds, an officer for the Department of Indian Affairs, to ask Durango to stop the men who are selling guns to the Indians. Meanwhile, a stagecoach conveying cornet player Smiley Burnette, and Jason Fox, a government man investigating the sale of guns to the Indians, is held up by a group of whites dressed as Indians. Soon after Fox is shot and killed, Steve arrives and discovers in Fox's jacket pocket a letter addressed to Jim Haverly, a friend to the Indians and the owner of the Stardale Idaho Trading Post. Steve visits the Trading Post, where he finds Jim teaching his nephew Billy how to do the Indian buffalo hunt dance. Jim reports that when Black Eagle showed him his recently procured rifles, he went to the government in the hope of averting bloodshed. When news of the stagecoach raid reaches Stardale, a vigilante group forms. A townsman tries to convince Steve to join them, and when he declines, the man tells the others that Steve belongs to the Department of Indian Affairs and should be watched. Little Hawk and Billy, who are good friends, meet outside town, and when they discover a cache of rifles, they alert Durango. When the vigilantes attack an Indian village, Durango goes after them and captures two of the leaders. Meanwhile, Billy goes back to town and tells Smiley, who is performing with his Silver Cornet Band, that he must get the rifles before the Indians find them. Smiley follows directions, but is captured by Black Eagle's men. Steve asks Jim to take him to see Black Eagle, and meanwhile, Jim, who is the secret leader of the gang selling weapons to the Indians as well as the mastermind behind the stagecoach attack, plans another "Indian" raid in which he plans to get rid of Steve. When the men attack Steve and Jim on their way to Black Eagle's camp, they believe that they have killed Steve, but, dressed as Durango, he arrives at the Indian village and overhears Jim trying to scare Black Eagle into buying rifles by telling him stories of white aggression. When Jim departs, Steve assures Black Eagle that Jim is a liar and that no white man will attack the Indians again. Jim then negotiates Smiley's release, and Smiley returns to Stardale with a peace treaty signed by Black Eagle. Jim immediately denounces the document and says that Steve was killed in an Indian ambush, but Steve arrives and disproves the traitor's words. Jim then angrily confronts his man Brandt for not shooting Steve and says that they must convince the town that the treaty is a fake by staging an "Indian" raid on Stardale. That evening, during a party celebrating the peace, someone announces the Indian raid. Jim and the vigilantes respond by reporting that they will raise an army and strike back against Black Eagle. Steve tries to convince the townspeople that the raid was done by whites, but is unsuccessful. Meanwhile, Billy goes into the wilderness and sends smoke signals to warn the Indians of the imminent attack. Jim sees the smoke signals and, recognizing Billy's work, captures the boy and then Little Hawk. Billy gets away and tells George, his father, and Steve about Jim's machinations. When George arrives to talk sense into his brother, Steve, dressed as Durango, arrives and shoots Jim dead. At Black Eagle's village, George apologizes to Black Eagle and the Indian says that he hopes the two groups can live together like Steve Reynolds and The Durango Kid. Finally, Billy and Little Hawk share a peace pipe.