Cast & Crew
Wild Bill Elliott
Jason Hopkins, the president of the Blue Springs Bank, sets out to ensnare his cashier, Harrison Colby, whom he suspects is exchanging the bank's gold certificates with counterfeits. Hopkins catches Colby in the act, and although Colby confesses and also implicates his partner, Dandy Joe Meeker, he is able to avoid arrest by pointing out that the scandal will upset Hopkins' foster daughter Betty Lou. The situation is further complicated by the fact that fifteen years previously, Colby and Meeker perpetrated a similar crime at Hopkins' former bank, for which Hopkins unwittingly had his partner, Jim Douglas, arrested and convicted. Now sure that Colby was the guilty party, Hopkins has arranged for Douglas' parole and intends to reveal the truth to him when he arrives. The worried Colby, meanwhile, consults Meeker, who hires gunslinger Pete to kill Hopkins and then pin the murder on Douglas, whose animosity toward Hopkins is well known. Soon after, Hopkins meets Douglas at a stagecoach relay station, but before he can reveal Colby's guilt, Pete shoots him. The driver and guard find only Douglas, however, and take him to town, where Sheriff Brown incarcerates him. Pete is later captured by rancher Red Ryder and his ward, Little Beaver, who have come to Blue Springs at the summons of Red's aunt, the Duchess. Red and Little Beaver, who witnessed the shooting, take Pete to jail. As he dies, Hopkins asks Red to care for Betty Lou and warn "Doug" about Colby. Red is confused about the warning, as Douglas has not revealed his identity for fear that Betty Lou will discover that he is her true father, and that Hopkins adopted her when Douglas was imprisoned. When the sheriff then tries to question Pete, he finds that the gunman has been stabbed in the back. Certain that Pete was silenced to prevent him from revealing his cohorts, the sheriff frees Douglas for his own protection. Colby hires Douglas as a bank guard, and using the name Johnson, Douglas is able to see his beloved daughter every day. As Betty Lou is determined to keep the bank going, Meeker has Colby steal the forged certificates, then claim that Hopkins embezzled the originals. To cover the losses, Betty Lou decides to invest her inheritance in the bank, and Red and the Duchess chip in as well. Still desiring to take over, Meeker instigates a run on the bank, which he hopes will close it down. Thanks to Red and a skunk supplied by Little Beaver, Meeker's plan is foiled and the bank remains solvent. Soon after, the bank receives a shipment of money, which Meeker orders his men to steal. Betty Lou, seeing only part of the incident, mistakenly assumes that Douglas was in on the robbery, although in reality he was forced at gunpoint to accompany the fleeing criminals. Suspicious of Colby's insistence that only Meeker can help them now, Red, however, decides to investigate, and near the open vault, he finds a pocket watch, inscribed "to Jim Douglas from Jason Hopkins." The watch also contains a picture of Betty Lou's mother, leading Red to guess Douglas' real identity and relationship to Betty Lou. Hoping to lure Douglas back to town, Red plants newspaper stories that Betty Lou was seriously injured during the robbery. Meanwhile, Meeker pressures a bank commissioner to take control of the bank away from Betty Lou. Red's newspaper ploy works, and Douglas admits to him that he is Betty Lou's father, but insists that he is innocent of any wrongdoing. Continuing his investigation, Red gathers evidence to prove that Douglas was framed for the robbery, and also tells Betty Lou that Douglas is her real father. The delighted Betty Lou gets Douglas released from jail, but Meeker tries to organize a lynch mob by telling the townspeople that he will not invest in the bank if Douglas is freed. Red's evidence proves Meeker's guilt, however, and Colby and Meeker take the Duchess hostage in an attempt to escape. Red then fights with Meeker, who is killed with his own knife after he tries to stab Red. Soon after the rest of the gang is rounded up, Betty Lou and Douglas host a party to celebrate the re-opening of the bank, which they intend to run together.
Wild Bill Elliott
Robert E. Burns
Modern sources include the following actors in the cast: Tom Steele, Horace Carpenter, Frank Ellis, Charles Morton, Wee Willie Keeler, Universal Jack, Tom Smith and Rudy Bowman. For more information on the "Red Ryder" series, please consult the Series Index and the entry below for Tucson Raiders.