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The Trail of the Silver Spurs

The Trail of the Silver Spurs(1941)


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In a cabin, a man identified only by the spurs he wears kills two other men suspected of robbing the Denver Mint. San Francisco and Arizona newspaper headlines reveal that a miner known as Jingler has struck a gold vein in the Arizona desert. Soon after, in San Francisco, Jingler cashes in the gold. Some time later, "Crash" Corrigan, "Dusty" King and "Alibi" Terhune, marshals known as The Range Busters, ride to an Arizona ghost town called Bottle Neck, on a government commission to determine why gold sold to the Denver Mint by Jingler does not match the coloration of Arizona gold. Although Alibi is nervous about ghosts, The Range Busters, who are posing as prospectors, spend the night in an abandoned hotel. To their surprise, there is a great deal of activity in the hotel that night. When they hear gunshots, The Range Busters hurry outside to investigate. Dusty goes back inside and meets Nancy Nordick, whose father Dan is shooting at the two strangers who are engaged in the gunfight. Dusty learns that Dan bought the town property and the mines when the town was booming, but after the gold ran out, the town became deserted, his wife died, and he became obsessed with restoring the town's glory. The next morning, Crash follows Dan to a mine, and gets in a shooting match with an unidentified gunman. The shooter is scared off when Alibi comes along, and Alibi later conceives of a plan to restore Dan's happiness by "salting" the mine with gold nuggets. Dan believes the nuggets indicate that he has found a major mother lode, and news of the gold strike draws thousands of prospectors to the town. The prospectors breathe new life into the town, but The Range Busters feel guilty for deceiving the now rejuvenated Dan, especially after he generously sells shares in the mines at a low cost. Unknown to The Range Busters, Jingler uses a secret entrance in the hotel's grandfather clock to get to a cellar, where he has hidden a load of gold bars stolen from the Denver Mint. Jingler now introduces himself to Crash and threatens to expose The Range Busters for starting a false strike unless they get out of town. When they do not leave, Jingler attempts to make an announcement in a busy saloon, but Crash and Dusty drag him into another room. Jingler pulls a gun on them and they allow him to exit, but Crash explains to Dusty that this situation fits in with his plans, as he is hoping the mob will chase them, rather than Dan and Nancy. As predicted, Jingler's announcement about the fraud turns the crowd of prospectors into a lynch mob, who chase The Range Busters out of town. Jingler, meanwhile, is confronted by a gunman, who tries to bribe him with a map to a secret gold vein that he obtained from the mine's previous foreman, whom he met in prison. After Jingler takes the map, he shoots the man just as Crash and Dusty are circling back to town. They hear the gunshot but allow Jingler to believe they can be bribed. He takes them into his cellar, ostensibly to show them the map. The marshals recognize his gold bars as belonging to the Denver Mint, and arrest him. Later, headlines announce that a true gold vein has been discovered in Bottle Neck, and the town thrives again.