Cast & Crew
When Ted Rawlings, the mayor of Gold Field, is murdered, his son Tex Rawlings vows to avenge his father's death. Suspecting that Hawk Hammond, the town's new mayor and the leader of the lawless element in town, murdered his father, Tex confronts Hammond at the Golden Nugget Saloon. When the two men begin to fight, the sheriff tries to break them apart, and in the ensuing chaos, a lamp is shattered by an unseen bystander. In the darkness, a shot rings out and the sheriff falls dead at Tex's feet. When circumstantial evidence suggests that Tex killed the sheriff, he flees into the hills and is trailed by Hammond's men. Soon after, Wild Bill Hickok, the newly appointed marshal, arrives in town and immediatley earns Hammond's enmity when he prevents Knuckles, one of Hammond's henchmen, from shooting Cannonball, a prospector. Bill then rides to Tex's hideout and convinces the fugitive to surrender and face trial. In town, Hammond attempts to subvert the justice system by insisting that the saloon function as a courtroom and the bartender serve as judge. Tex objects and asks Bill to arrange for a change of venue. Undeterred, Hammond and his men besiege the jail, and in the ensuing gun battle, Tex is wounded, but he and Bill escape. The two hitch a ride on the stage bound for Red Bend, and once inside the coach, they meet passengers Flint Adams, the sheriff's killer; barber Link Twiddle; Cannonball and Reba Bailey, an outspoken Wells Fargo ticket agent. When the stage stops at an outpost rest station, the barber removes the bullet from Tex's wound and Reba nurses the wounded man while the others play poker. After the game, Bill asks Tex if he can identify the man who shot the sheriff. When Tex recalls that the killer smashed the lamp with his left hand, Bill remembers seeing a burn on Adams' left hand and realizes that he must be the killer. Cornered, Adams escapes on one of the coach horses. Believing that Adams will return to town and seek Hammond's protection, Tex and Bill ride back to Gold Field, and in the ensuing gun battle, Tex kills Hammond and Adams. With Hammond's demise, Tex is appointed the new mayor and Bill rides off to accept another assignment.
The working title of this film was A Star on Its Saddle. Modern sources add Charles King 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.