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Son of a Badman

Son of a Badman(1949)

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As a band of outlaws attack a stagecoach bound for Silver City, a masked mustacheoed rider watches silently from the hills above the trail. Surprised by the sudden appearance of rancher Brad Burley, the rider, known as La Sombre, hurls a knife into the luckless Burley's chest. Soon after, U.S. Marshal Lash La Rue and his deputy Fuzzy, who have come to Silver City at the behest of Burley, an old friend of Lash's family, spot a riderless horse and beside it, Burley's dead body. Meanwhile, the outlaws--Horn, Rocky, Larson and Bart--converge at their hideout to await the arrival of their leader, La Sombre. When La Sombre appears, he warns them of the imminent arrival of a U.S. Marshal and dispatches his men to rout the lawman. Lash is ambushed by La Sombre's gang, but adeptly pulls one of the outlaws from his horse with a well-aimed blow from his whip. After scattering their assailants, Lash and Fuzzy ride into town. There, Fuzzy, who is suffering from a toothache, visits Dr. Harlow Jarvis, the local dentist, while Lash introduces himself to Sheriff Matt Ragel. When Lash identifies himself as a marshal, Ragel becomes tense but pledges his help. After Lash leaves his office, the crooked Ragel goes to the saloon to warn Rocky and the others about Lash. His treatment completed, Fuzzy joins Lash, and together they watch Rocky emerge from the saloon, mount his horse and ride off. Lash and Fuzzy follow him, but when Rocky nonchalantly leads them on, Lash becomes suspicious and separates from Fuzzy. After setting a trap for Rocky, Fuzzy captures him, but when Rocky pulls his gun, Lash suddenly appears and lashes the weapon from his hand. After jailing Rocky, Lash and Fuzzy ride to the Burley ranch, where Burley's widow recalls the disagreement her husband had with saloon owner Joe Christ over selling the Burley's old Indian stockade. Christ, a representative of an Eastern syndicate, became infuriated when Burley changed his mind about selling the stockade and decided to will it to his niece Vicki instead. That night, Fuzzy and Lash watch the jailhouse and see the sheriff release Rocky. Rocky is met by Horn, and Lash decides to follow them, hoping that they will lead him to La Sombre. When the outlaws disappear through a pass, Lash speculates that the pass must lead to the old Indian stockade. Sure enough, Rocky and Horn's destination is the stockade, where they meet the sheriff to discuss their plans to rustle some cattle. After the gang rides out to steal another herd, Lash and Fuzzy arrive and begin to search the premises. Soon after, Vicki and her Indian friend Piute appear and mistake the lawmen for trespassers. Upon learning their identity, Vicki greets Lash and Fuzzy, and as they talk, La Sombre gallops up, guns ablaze. Lash and Fuzzy pursue the outlaw, but when they lose him, Lash formulates a plan that will reveal why the stockade is so valuable. Lash then sends Vicki to bring Christ to the ranch under the pretense of selling him the stockade. As they await Christ's arrival, Mrs. Burley tells Lash that the Indian stockade was originally named Fort Wilson, and was the site of a notorious massacre led by Apache Jack, the father of Dr. Jarvis. After Apache Jack was lynched by an angry mob, the ranchers banded together to send the young Jarvis to medical school. Believing that he is now the owner of the stockade, Christ locks the gates that surround the property and posts a notice, charging ranchers $20 for every head of livestock that crosses his land. When Christ shows up at the Burley ranch, Mrs. Burley informs him that Vicki is not legally of age to sell the property and that new papers must be drawn up. As Christ directs that he be named sole owner, La Sombre bursts into the room, hurls a knife into Christ's back and escapes with the bill of sale. Soon after, Lash visits Jarvis, complaining of a toothache. When Lash informs Jarvis that he believes La Sombre is not a Mexican bandit but a well-educated and respected man, Jarvis instructs Lash to administer a drug and admits that he is La Sombre. As he dons the disguise of La Sombre, Jarvis explains that he enacted the toll gate for revenge on the ranchers who killed his father. After La Sombre departs, Lash, who did not inject the doctor's potion, instructs Fuzzy to assemble a posse and ride for the stockade. Mounting his horse, Lash pursues La Sombre and knocks him from his horse with his whip. Justice is served after Lash subdues La Sombre, and Fuzzy and his men apprehend the rest of the gang.