Enemy of the Law
Cast & Crew
Texas Rangers Dave Wyatt and Panhandle Perkins and former Ranger Tex Haines, who now practices law, are recruited to locate a strongbox filled with gold, which was stolen from the Army five years earlier by Charley Gray and his gang. Charley, who hid the gold before being captured, is about to be paroled from jail, so Panhandle, posing as a safecracker, becomes Charley's cellmate in order to learn what he can about the gold. When the blustery Charley confides to Panhandle that he has a map to his stolen cache, Panhandle suggests that, as a precaution, Charley allow him to sneak the map out of jail. Instead, Charley makes an imprint of the map on Panhandle's foot while he thinks he is sleeping and then tears up the map. After Charley and Panhandle are released, they join up with Charley's partner, Steve Martin, and his henchmen, Red and Mike. At the saloon operated by Steve and his niece and ward Ruby Lawson, he, Charley, Panhandle, Red and Mike make plans for digging up the gold. Meanwhile, Dave and Tex, who has done legal work for Ruby, show up separately at the saloon. Posing as a hobo, Dave talks Ruby into hiring him and tries to eavesdrop on the outlaws' conversation. Steve is suspicious of Dave, however, and the two men end up brawling. Before Steve can pull his gun on Dave, Tex intercedes and, at gunpoint, orders Steve to leave. Fearing his cover has been compromised, Dave also departs. Charley, meanwhile, visits a doctor and demands that he remove an identifying scar on his arm. After the doctor performs the operation, Charley murders him. Later, at Charley's cabin, Panhandle secretly presses the map that Charley put on his foot onto one of his socks, then washes the foot and throws the sock out the window. Just then, Tex and Dave burst in and arrest Charley for murder, but Steve, Red and Mike ride up and overwhelm the Rangers. The outlaws tie up Tex and Dave and leave with Panhandle, who is soon forced to reveal his now-bare foot. Tex and Dave deduce that the map must be on Panhandle's discarded sock at the same time that Charley and Steve do, but before any of the men can reclaim the sock, a passing cowboy picks it up. Steve and Charley discover the cowboy as he is about to wash the sock, grab it from him and reproduce the map in the sandy ground. After Steve, Charley, Red and Mike ride off to uncover the gold, Tex and Dave, who were spying on the outlaws, read the map and follow them. The outlaws soon realize that the gold is hidden in the cellar of Steve's recently built saloon and send Charley to retrieve it. As Charley is dragging the strongbox up, Steve, who is plotting with Red and Mike to eliminate Charley, fires his gun at him but misses. At that moment, Dave, Tex and Panhandle, who fled the gang, burst in, and a bruising fight ensues. During the mêlée, a still unsuspecting Charley enlists Panhandle's help in sneaking away with the gold, and while Tex and Dave are routing Steve, Mike and Red, Panhandle is leading Charley to jail. Later, after all of the outlaws are arrested, Ruby learns that she is now the sole owner of the saloon and expresses her gratitude to the departing Rangers.
Sarah Jane Cooper
The film opens with the following written foreword: "Dedicated to the law officers of the Old West, who led the fight for law and order in the pioneer days of this country in 1880." Although Kay Hughes's character is listed as "Ruby Martin" in the onscreen credits, she is called "Ruby Lawson" in the film. Modern sources add Karl Hackett, Edward Cassidy and Ben Corbett to the cast. For more information on the "Texas Ranger" series, for The Rangers Take Over and consult the Series Index.