Cast & Crew
Johnny Mack Brown
When wandering cowboy Johnny Williams returns to his hometown after a two-year absence, he is accosted by angry townsmen, who try to arrest him without explanation. Johnny escapes the mob and flees to his uncle Ed's ranch, where his old friend, Rusty Peters, tells him that Ed was killed in an accident just after he had been accused of embezzling money from the bank he founded with partner Henry Stevens. Rusty explains that Ed had developed plans to dam the local river and solicited money from the townspeople, but the dam was never built and the money disappeared. Just then, a posse, led by Sheriff Wheeler, arrives at the Williams ranch looking for Johnny. With his gun drawn, Johnny confronts the men and insists that he never received any stolen money from his uncle, as they allege, then convinces the men to give him a chance to prove his innocence. Afterward, rancher Tom Lansing and his foreman, Spence Mallory, tell Johnny that they have always believed in Ed's innocence and offer their support. Tom adds that he suspects that Stevens embezzled the money and now plans to foreclose on the ranchers who invested their mortgages in the dam project. Later, while Johnny and Rusty inspect the area where Ed supposedly died in a carriage accident, Johnny spots some boot prints leading to and from the crash site and concludes that Ed was murdered. After sending Rusty to the local bootmaker to make a cast, Johnny is shot at by a sniper named Duke. Johnny apprehends Duke, who then admits that Stevens paid him to commit the crime. At the bank, Sheriff Wheeler, Johnny and Rusty confront Stevens, who has just informed the ranchers that he must foreclose on their mortgages unless he receives their interest payments by the following week. When Stevens identifies Duke's money as coming from the embezzled funds, however, Johnny declares him innocent. Anxious to "smoke out" the real crook, Stevens suggests that the sheriff pretend to arrest him, but when Frank Wilkins, one of the bilked investors, incites the townsmen to form a lynch mob, Stevens is dragged from his cell. As Stevens is about to be hanged, Johnny and Rusty, having heard about the lynching from Joan Travers, Stevens' fiancée, ride to his rescue. Later, Joan's father Les, the primary dam investor, decides to use his dead wife's jewelry to make the ranchers' interest payment. While on their way to the rail head with the jewels, Joan and Les are pursued by a band of masked men. Sheriff Wheeler, Johnny and Rusty see the attack and chase off the bandits. Les is sure that the bandits were after the jewelry, but says that Stevens was the only outsider who knew about them. To Joan's relief, Johnny reveals that Stevens is working with them and that the sheriff will be releasing him so he will not have to stand trial. Hoping to trap the real crook, Johnny spreads the word that he has found more evidence and also lets on that he and Rusty are sleeping in their stable. That night, the killer tries to ambush Johnny at the stable, but before Johnny can apprehend him, Rusty accidentally scares him off. Johnny does find a boot track left by his would-be killer and makes a cast of it, and the sheriff summons the bootmaker to compare that cast with one made at Ed's murder site. At the same time, a real estate agent named Jamison Forbes meets with Johnny and the Traverses about buying all of the investors' land. During their discussion, Stevens bursts in with news that both the bootmaker and the sheriff have been shot and the boot casts, stolen. Fearful of being implicated in the murders, Duke is about to reveal the name of the man who hired him, when he is killed by an unseen assailant. Joan then recalls that Tom knew about her mother's jewels, and sure that Tom is the crook, Johnny and Rusty plot to trap him by accusing Forbes, of whom they are also suspicious, of being involved in the killings. As hoped, Forbes reveals that Tom gave him the money with which to buy out the investors. Before Tom can be arrested, he is alerted by his cohort, Wilkins, and a gunfight ensues. Johnny finally captures Tom and retrieves the money. Later, as Les makes plans to renew the dam project, Johnny rides off to his next adventure.
Johnny Mack Brown
Edward J. Peil
Bud L. Buster
Production was held up for several hours on this film due to the birth of Johnny Mack Brown's youngest daughter Sally. When he returned from the hospital, the cameras rolled again. It was the first time in his then 20-year career that Brown had ever been the cause of a delay on a picture.
Modern sources add Matty Roubert to the cast.