Cast & Crew
Outside the Crawley cabin in the town of Independence, cowboy Johnny Peale listens as saloon owner Juno Jessup bargains with brothers Hi, Dade and Rufe Crawley for the hand of Marsha, the Crawleys' niece, in marriage. When Hi discovers the cowboy's unwelcome presence, Johnny declares that he is in love with Marsha and plans to marry her. Hearing the two men arguing, the rest of the family rushes outside and Rufe, the patriarch, warns Johnny that he will be shot the next time he trespasses on Crawley property. Jessup, who is desperate to marry Marsha because she witnessed him murder Dan Taylor, offers the Crawleys $2,000 to consent to the wedding. In a distant town, meanwhile, Cannonball Taylor, the murdered man's son, and his friend, Wild Bill Hickok, board a stage bound for Independence to bring Taylor's killer to justice. On the journey, Bill recognizes one of the passengers as outlaw Cash Jennings and turns him over to the law. Upon arriving in Independence, Cannonball and Bill watch as Johnny and Marsha ride into town and are accosted by the Crawleys. Rufe is about to strike Marsha with his riding whip when Cannonball grabs it from his hand. When the town marshal arrives to investigate the disturbance, Rufe charges Johnny with kidnapping and the lawman arrests Johnny. While Dade escorts Marsha back to confinement at the ranch, Rufe informs Jessup that Taylor's son is in town. Claiming to be Johnny's lawyer, Bill demands to interview his client, but Johnny refuses to talk to him. Under cover of nightfall, Bill and Cannonball ride to the Crawley ranch, and Bill sneaks up to Marsha's bedroom window to offer her his help. Overhearing their conversation, Dade steps outside to confront Bill and a fight ensues. As Cannonball joins the fray, Hi and Rufe return. When gunfire breaks out, Cannonball and Bill mount their horses and gallop back to town. Striding into the saloon, Bill introduces himself as Johnny's attorney and warns that he plans to insure that Johnny receives a fair trial. At Johnny's trial the next morning, the cantankerous judge arrives armed with a shotgun to maintain order. After the judge empanels a jury of twelve bystanders, Bill asks for a bench warrant to summon his witnesses. Rufe then takes the stand and testifies that Johnny kidnapped Marsha. Upon learning that Bill intends to call witnesses, Jessup orders his henchmen to surround the courthouse and incite a riot at his signal. Calling the jurors' wives as witnesses, Bill enters Rufus' whip as an exhibit for the defense and then asks the women to examine Marsha. When the women testify that Marsha has been cruelly beaten with Rufus' whip, the judge drops all charges against Johnny and sentences Rufus to ten years in jail for perjury. With the dismissal of Johnny's case, Bill asks the judge to try Jessup for the murder of Taylor, which causes Jessup to scurry from the courthouse to his saloon. Bill follows, and when Jessup flees out the back door, Bill takes aim and shoots him. With Rufus and Jessup neutralized, Bill admits to the judge that he is not a real lawyer. As Johnny is about to sign his license to marry Marsha, a telegram arrives for Bill, notifying him that Cash has escaped from jail. Wishing the couple the best of luck, Cannonball and Bill ride out of town to apprehend the fugitive.
Art Mix Red
Modern sources add Tex Cooper, George Chesebro, Curley Dresden and Steve Clark to the cast. For additional information on the "Wild Bill Hickok" series, please consult the Series Index and see the entry above for Across the Sierras.