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Dave Crockett, the son of the famous frontiersman, and his sidekick Cannonball ride into a small western town to deliver a wagon containing the bodies of three dead men they found at a poisoned spring. Before dying, one of the men provided a description of the three men who poisoned them, and when Dave sees two horses caked with the same clay that surrounds the spring tied up outside the saloon, he enters the building to confront the murderers. Approaching two men with mud-caked boots, Dave offers them some spring water from his canteen, and when the men draw their guns, Dave shoots them dead. Accused of murder by the town's crooked marshal, Dave and Cannonball become fugitives and are apprehended by a troop of Union soldiers, who escort Dave to Washington, D. C. There, Dave meets President Ulysses S. Grant, who offers him a pardon in exchange for helping Grandpa Gerald Mathews and the ranchers of the Yucca Valley Strip. At the close of the Civil War, the strip was not incorporated into the Union, and now a corrupt despot named King Canfield rules the territory with his ruthless gunmen. Dave agrees to oversee an election to admit the territory to the Union and is appointed an unofficial representative of the government and travels to the Strip with Mathews. After he is greeted by Mathews' granddaughter Doris and Cannonball, Dave goes to Canfield's office and there clashes with Canfield's henchman, Jack Ringe, when he comments that Ringe fits the description of one of the poisoners. After pummeling Ringe, Dave invites Canfield to a meeting of the ranchers. At the meeting, Dave reads a letter from President Grant authorizing an election to admit the Yucca Strip to the Union, causing Canfield to protest that he is the ruler of the strip. Angry, the ranchers decide to lynch Canfield, but Dave stops them, thus earning their enmity. To insure that he will win the election, Canfield undertakes a campaign of intimidation against the ranchers. Accusing Dave of complicity with Canfield, rancher Jesse Gordon denounces him as a traitor, and Mathews asks him to resign his commission. On election day, the two opposing sides eagerly await the returns from Southfork. Knowing that the election will turn on those votes, Ringe and his men ambush Gordon, who is delivering the voting box. Hearing the sound of gunfire, Dave rides to Gordon's rescue, and after killing Ringe, delivers the voting box to town. As Doris implores the ranchers to cast their ballots, Canfield instructs his men to torch the voting office if he loses the election. Overhearing Canfield's directive, Cannonball alerts Dave, who then confronts Canfield. When Canfield draws his gun, Dave kills him, insuring that democracy will reign in the Yucca Strip. After the votes are tallied, the motion for inclusion in the Union is passed, and Mathews proudly hoists the American flag.