Cast & Crew
Fred F. Sears
Surveyors working for a railroad company are attacked by mysterious masked riders while trying to find the legendary Ranahan Trail, a shortcut that crosses the badlands to the town of San Feliz. Although Sheriff Crocker wants to form a posse to search for the outlaws, railroad man Gregory Banion insists that Jeff Carson must be behind the attempt to stop the railroad because his stagecoach lines will be out of business once it is built. Banion then announces that he has sent for ex-Texas Ranger Steve Ransom to bring Carson to justice. When Steve arrives in town, he heads for Smiley Burnette's gunshop. Steve was attacked along the trail and now asks Smiley to identify a gun that was left behind by the gunmen. Although Smiley recognizes the gun, he cannot remember who owns it. They are joined by hotel owner, Rufus Downey, who tells Steve that he is a distant relative of Mike Ranahan, the founder of the trail. Later, Carson's daughter Eileen comes into the shop, and both she and Rufus learn about the gun that Steve has shown to Smiley. During his meeting with Crocker, Steve suggests that Rufus may have sinister intentions, but Crocker assures him that Rufus, who owns much of the town, would benefit from the railway. Their conversation is interrupted by Smiley, who has identified the gun as belonging to Carson, but when they return to Smiley's shop, they discover that the gun has been stolen. Later, Steve rides to the Carson ranch and claims that he can prove that Eileen stole the gun. Carson then explains that he lost the gun several weeks earlier. Later, Banion announces to the townspeople that he has organized a group to search for the trail, but before the expedition can set out, its supplies are stolen. Bart, a citizen of the town, who is secretly one of the outlaws, then rouses a mob to lynch Carson. Dressed as masked crime fighter The Durango Kid, Steve rescues Carson and takes him to a hideout. Carson tells The Durango Kid that he is certain there never was a Ranahan Trail. Instead, he claims that Ranahan killed the other members of the expedition that supposedly used the trail to cross the badlands and stole their money. Carson says that he plans to prove his thesis by uncovering the site of the massacre and further speculates that Rufus is behind the attacks because he wants to sell his land before the truth becomes known. Steve also suspects that Rufus is behind the attacks and plots to trap him. The outlaws then help fellow outlaw Duke Jackson's twin brother Keeno escape from a jail in another town. Steve learns of the breakout and asks the sheriff if Keeno is related to Duke. Later, Duke reveals in public a map hidden in a gun that formerly belonged to Ranahan. Unknown to Steve, Carson's theory that the Ranahan trail does not exist is correct, but hoping to convince the town otherwise, Duke plans to start traveling along the trail shown on the map. Later, Keeno will appear in San Feliz to make it seem as if Duke successfully crossed the badlands. Meanwhile, Smiley and Carson discover the remains of Ranahan's fellow travelers. Steve then presents his suspicions to Crocker, and the two men leave town to arrest Duke. Once outside of town, however, Crocker reveals that he is Ranahan's closest living relative and is behind the attacks on the railroad. Steve overcomes the sheriff, and later, dressed as The Durango Kid, rounds up the rest of the gang. Now that Carson's name is cleared, Steve leaves town.
Fred F. Sears
Robert W. Cavendish
For more information on "The Durango Kid" series, consult the Series Index and see the entry below for The Return of the Durango Kid.