Cast & Crew
Rancher Dan Whipple returns from Tombstone, bearing enough cash to pay off the mortgage he owes to Jim Kelton and buy two malachite gun handles that he has custom ordered. Before Whipple can reach his ranch, however, he is murdered and robbed by Kelton and his henchman, Spike Allen. In reaction to the murder, Whipple's neighbors, Henry Wade and his daughter Lucy, call a meeting of the ranchers in the valley. The meeting is attended by rancher Tex Terrell and his sidekick, Cannonball. When Henry mentions seeing Kelton in the vicinity of Whipple's murder, Tex wonders why Kelton is so interested in acquiring his and Whipple's worthless land, which is connected by an abandoned mine tunnel. Soon after, Wild Bill Hickok appears at the Wade ranch and is greeted hostilely by Tex and the others, who suspect that he has been hired by Kelton. After inquiring about Whipple, Bill rides to the Whipple ranch, sees a foreclosure notice posted to the door and finds one of Kelton's men working in the mine shaft. From the ranch, Bill rides into town and introduces himself to Kelton. Thinking that Bill is a hired gun, Kelton offers him the job of coercing Tex into selling his land, but Bill is noncommittal. Curious about Kelton's interest in Tex's property, Bill examines the abandoned mine tunnel. After discovering some valuable ore, Bill returns to Kelton's office and threatens to inform Tex about the value of his property unless Kelton makes Bill a partner. While riding the range, meanwhile, Tex sees one of Kelton's men about to set fire to the Wades' s barn and apprehends the arsonist. As he questions the man at the Wades's ranch, Cannonball arrives with news that Kelton's men are slaughtering Tex's cattle. Leaving the arsonist in the Wades's care, Tex rides off to stop the rustlers. After Tex leaves, Kelton's men, led by Spike, arrive at the Wade ranch, overpower Cannonball and kidnap Wade. Lucy rides for help, but is overtaken by Kelton's men and imprisoned at the Whipple ranch. Tex, discovering that the rustlers have fled, returns to the ranch, where Cannonball excitedly informs him that Spike has kidnapped Wade. While Tex rides to town to confront Kelton, Bill watches from outside Kelton's office. After Spike enters with Wade and disappears into the back room, Bill sneaks into the office, searches Kelton's desk and finds Whipple's malachite gun handles. When Bill overhears Spike tell Wade that Lucy is being held captive at the Whipple ranch, Bill slips out of the office and meets Tex on the street. After explaining to Tex that Whipple was his uncle and showing him the malachite gun handles as proof that he was murdered by Kelton, Bill sends Tex to rescue Lucy while he frees Wade. After swiftly overpowering Wade's captors, Bill rides to the Whipple ranch to help Tex. At the ranch, Tex has successfully subdued Lucy's guards when Kelton and his reinforcements arrive and surround the ranch house. As Kelton plots to dynamite the house, Bill arrives, overpowers him and accuses him of Whipple's murder. With his uncle's death avenged, Bill bids farewell to his new friends and hits the trail.
This was the final film in Columbia's "Wild Bill Hickok" series. For additional information on the series, please consult the Series Index and see the entry above for Across the Sierras. Modern sources add Art Mix, Francis Walker, Ray Jones, Ted Mapes and Glenn Strange to the cast.