Cast & Crew
Wallace A. Grissell
Air Force pilot and Distinguished Flying Cross winner Jim Christie has returned home from the war to Texas, where he is to be honored by the govornor for his combat record. Jim's little sister Nancy and her friends admire Jim's exploits, but he asks his father to tell Nancy about the challenges faced by their grandfather, Corpus Christie Jim, in the days just after the Civil War: A veteran of the Texas Cavalry, Corpus Christie Jim returns from the lost war to find his hometown destroyed and no jobs available. Fleeing a charge of murder, Jim, who killed in self defense, and three others from his old troop, Rocky, Steve and Spake, go west of the Pecos into a lawless territory. The men hold up a stage, justifying the robbery as money owed them for their war service. Spake wants to continue rustling, but Jim and the others vow to put their money to good use and not steal again. In the nearby town of Pecos Wells, reformist newspaper editor Alonzo Adams posts a sign demanding that the town elect a sheriff to curb the violence in the area. When Jim comes into town, saloon keeper Wade Larkin's men are shooting up Adam's office, the Beacon . Adams is beaten and when his daughter Dorothy tries to help and is also roughed up, Jim comes to their rescue. Adams tells Jim about how Larkin has hold over Pecos Wells through his disreputable saloon, the Lone Star. Upon learning that Larkin has a fondness for gambling, Jim decides to take him on. He asks the others to remain out of the game, but Spake stubbornly refuses to comply. Back at the Beacon , Dorothy reads a description of the robbery and the bandits. She tells Adams she believes Jim and his gang are responsible, but her father cautions her about jumping to conclusions. At the Lone Star, Jim beats Larkin in several rounds of poker, then convinces him to wager the entire saloon on a single cut of the cards. When Jim wins, Larkin resists turning over the saloon, but after a furious fistfight with Jim, acquiesces. Jim takes his winnings to Adams and, without directly admitting his participation in the theft, asks him to return the money to the bank whose stage was robbed. As Adams promises to send the money out on the next day's stage, one of Larkin's men takes a shot at Jim, who kills him. Jim returns to the Lone Star and offers Rocky and Steve joint ownership in the saloon if they agree to put their share of the robbery money towards restoring it to respectability. Spake has lost his money while gambling with Jim and Larkin and is furious at being excluded. He goes to Larkin and tells him that Jim's winnings will be on the next stage, and the two plan a hold-up. Meanwhile, Jim asks Adams to help him spread the word about improving the Lone Star, but Dorothy views Jim's crusade with suspicion. On the pretext of interviewing Jim for the Beacon , she tries to find out about his possible involvement in the stage robbery. When she expresses her doubts about his motives because she has seen Spake with Larkin, Jim immediately realizes they intend to rob the stage and goes after them. Larkin and Spake have already killed the stage guard and driver when Jim overtakes them. In the ensuing shootout, Spake is killed and Larkin is injured and eventually jailed. Jim returns to Pecos Wells to discover Adam's cousin Dan, a U.S. Marshal, has arrived seeking Corpus Christie Jim on the murder charge. Dan tells Adams and Dorothy that new evidence has arisen proving Jim acted in self-defense, but he must be formally charged. Jim has already decided to give himself up, but when Dan tries to serve the warrant in the Lone Star, Rocky and Steve defend Jim, who in trying to stop them is mistakenly wounded by Dan. Back in the present, Jim receives congratulations from the governor and praise for his family's history as fighting Texans.