Cast & Crew
Bill Carson, disguised as "El Puma," a Mexican vaquero known as the desert Robin Hood, is hired to escort an archaeological expedition through the badlands. The expedition, led by Professor Lucius Lloyd, is searching for buried Indian treasure as documented in the diary of the professor's late brother-in-law, Professor Willis. Willis was murdered six years earlier by Bill Carson, the government agent in charge of the expedition, and now Lloyd and Willis' daughter Marian have returned to complete Willis' work. When Old Dobie, one of the hired hands, warns Lloyd that El Puma is untrustworthy, Lloyd objects to his joining the expedition, but Magpie, a government agent, vouches for El Puma's integrity. Nevertheless, on the night of El Puma's arrival, Lloyd gets into an argument with the Mexican and orders him to leave camp. As El Puma prepares to depart, Magpie recognizes him as his old friend Lightning Bill Carson, Willis' alleged murderer. Bill tells Magpie that Link Benson, the expedition foreman, killed Willis, but he has no evidence to prove his guilt. Bill continues that he believes that Benson will return for Willis' diary, which contains a map to the buried treasure written in Indian script. After Bill leaves, Old Dobie stabs the professor, frames El Puma for the murder and steals the diary, which he then takes to Benson. Benson decides to kidnap Marian because she can decipher the map, but before he can act, Old Dobie decides to sell the diary to Bill and tells him of the planned kidnapping. Bill kidnaps Marian first, and after she deciphers the map, he releases her. Learning that the treasure is buried in Broken Mesa, Old Dobie rides to Benson with the news. As Bill and Benson converge upon Broken Mesa, the sheriff and his posse, led by Marian and Magpie, arrive. After Bill captures Benson, Old Dobie confesses and exonerates Bill of all guilt.
Modern sources add Carl Mathews to the cast. This was the fifth film in the "Lightning Bill Carson" series. For additional information about the series, consult the Series Index and see entry for Lightnin' Bill Carson (below).