Cast & Crew
Traveling cowboys "Tex" Williams and "Smokey" Rogers reach the town of Miller's Flats in time to find their old friend, local stageline manager "Deuce" Spriggins, searching an incoming wagon for its missing payload of gold bullions. Behind them, stagecoach driver Hartley sneaks past to unload his cargo: a trunk containing fellow outlaw Shorty and the stolen gold. Tex and Smokey offer to help Deuce find the bandit, who has been nicknamed "The Fargo Phantom," by replacing Hartley on the next run. Soon after, Tex makes fun of a horse owned by Pat Condon, only to discover that she is the owner of the stage line. She forgives him, and over the next few weeks, Tex and Smokey protect the line. During one pickup, as Tex places the strongbox full of gold under his feet for protection, a man named Barnes gives them a trunk to deliver to Bill Watson, Miller's Flats's blacksmith. In Miller's Flats, Hartley claims the trunk and brings it to Watson, who is his boss. When Shorty emerges empty-handed, because of Tex's close watch over the strongbox, Watson instructs him to crawl out of the trunk on the next trip in order to steal the gold. After Pat informs Tex and Smokey that the next shipment of gold will either make or break her stageline, they agree to stay on to guard it. On the trip, however, Hartley and his men distract them long enough for Shorty to steal the strongbox and jump off the stage. Hartley then rushes Shorty back to town to unload the trunk before Tex and Smokey notice that is it now empty. Before they return to town, however, Smokey finds the trunk empty and the gold gone, and Tex decides to crawl in the trunk himself, hoping to be lead to the outlaws when he is unloaded. When they reach town, Deuce mistakenly gives the now-heavy trunk to Hartley without alerting Smokey to follow and protect Tex. Pat, Smokey and Deuce chase Hartley's wagon and see him pushing the trunk into a river, but rescue the trunk and, upon finding it empty, realize that Tex must still be on the wagon. They follow Hartley as he drives to Watson's, where Tex jumps off the wagon and holds up the outlaws. Watson then shoots Tex. He falls just as Pat, Smokey and Deuce arrive and a gunfight ensues. After all the outlaws except Hartley are killed, Pat runs to Tex, who has only been grazed by the bullet. Smokey and Deuce see Hartley aiming his gun at Pat and Tex and kill him, but the happy couple is to preoccupied to notice that their lives have been spared.
In the 1880s, "Tex" Williams and his partner, "Smokey" Rogers, chase down Jane Barlow's runaway carriage outside the lawless town of Gold City. After rescuing Jane, Tex learns that her father runs the stageline and that her driver, who fell asleep and tumbled off the wagon, is his old friend, "Deuce" Spriggins. Smokey explains to Deuce why he and Tex left the town of Valley Falls: After being mistaken for outlaws Jack Steele and Ben Clemmons, Tex and Smokey wait in jail for their hanging. Sheriff Haight, however, secretly releases them and leads them to Judge Coleman, who reveals that Steele is his son. Coleman then promises to set them free if they can bring back Steele. After hearing the story, Deuce informs them that he has learned that the gang is hiding in Coyote Canyon and continuing to raid stagecoaches. One night, after meeting U.S. Marshal Kelly at Barlow's, Tex and Smokey explore Coyote Canyon, where Steele captures them. They lie to Steele that they are looking for him to collect the debt he owes them for getting arrested in his place in Valley Falls, and he allows them to bunk with his gang. The next day, however, Kelly, sees the phony wanted posters of Tex and Smokey which Deuce has posted to trick Steele and organizes a posse to find them. Meanwhile, Smokey overhears Steele discuss his plan to rob the next Barlow stagecoach, but before Tex can make a plan to guard it, Kelly arrests him. Later, Smokey informs the jailed Tex that he is leaving to ask Judge Coleman for help. Soon after, as Kelly arranges to take Tex back to Valley Falls to be hanged, the marshal allows his prisoner to have one last conversation with Jane, who is unaware of his arrest. On their trip, however, Deuce rescues Tex and informs him that the Steele robbery will take place that evening. Tex forces a suspicious Kelly to accompany him to the Barstow stage, which Jane is driving, and as soon as they reach it, Kelly sees Steele's gang mount an ambush. Together, Kelly and Tex quickly kill Steele and rescue Jane, and as Smokey arrives with Judge Coleman, a delighted Jane watches Kelly free Tex.
Leslie I. Carey
A. Roland Fields
Russell A. Gausman
Norton S. Parker
Charles Van Enger
Tales of the West 2 was a compilation of two three-reel shorts, The Fargo Phantom and Coyote Canyon, both of which were released earlier in 1950. According to the The Exhibitor review, the two short films were linked by a spoken narration and footage of an uncredited actor playing a stagecoach driver who describes the exploits of the character "Tex Williams." Although a print of the compilation was not available, plot and credit information was taken from cutting continuities of both shorts, as well as reviews of the shorts and the feature. Unless otherwise noted, the above credits pertain to both of the short films. Although no copyright information exists for Tales of the West 2, the above copyright listings pertain to each short. For additional information on Universal's Tales of the West compilations, see entry above for Tales of the West 1. Fargo Phantom begins with the following written foreword: "In the early eighties, pioneers in covered wagons rumbled across the plains and mountains, extending the already far flung frontiers. But unfortunately for them, the tide of empire moved westward faster than did the forces of law and order."