Cast & Crew
Johnny Mack Brown
On the day that his mortgage loan on his ranch is due, Amos Shelby tells his son Fred to notify the banker, Ainsworth, that the money is on the way. Fred's sister Ann is bringing the money from a nearby town because Fred is a compulsive gambler and cannot be trusted. When Fred enters the town saloon, Ripley, a crooked dealer, orders him to pay his gambling debt out of the mortgage money, and, while Sagebrush, one of Ripley's men, guards Fred, Duke, Ripley's henchman, ambushes Ann and steals the money. Ann is rescued by a stranger named Johnny Mack, who accompanies her home, then goes to town to investigate the heist. He finds Fred gambling with the remaining mortgage money, and catches Ripley using a marked deck. Johnny deftly holds up Ripley, and Fred absconds with $2,000. When Ripley draws his gun, Johnny shoots him dead in self-defense. Ainsworth, meanwhile, has asked Longdon, the saloon proprietor, to forge Amos' signature on a loan note dated the previous day. When Amos arrives with the $2,000, Ainsworth insists he is one day too late. Mr. Cannon, a member of a mining syndicate, arrives in town to make a deal with Ainsworth, and Johnny suspects that there is a fortune in precious ore on the Shelby property. With Sheriff Ed Newman conveniently out of town, Ainsworth sends Longdon and his men to seize the Shelby land. While Johnny finds nuggets of silver, a gunfight starts at the ranch. Although Johnny gets Longdon to agree to a truce, Longdon breaks his word, and Amos is forced to shoot Duke. The sheriff arrives in the middle of the mêlée and hauls Amos and Longdon into court. The judge chastises Longdon for serving a writ without the permission of the court, and dismisses the murder charge against Amos. The judge cannot arrest Ainsworth for fraud, however, without proof that Amos' signature was forged, and gives Amos three days to vacate his land. Johnny then tells Amos to spread the word that Johnny has left town to fetch a handwriting expert. Longdon sends Sagebrush and Dishpan to hold up Johnny and his friend, Mike Foley, on their way back to town, and Johnny is ready for them. While Fred searches Ainsworth's office, Johnny and Mike intimidate Sagebrush into confessing who sent him. Fred is caught in the bank by Longdon and flees. Again in the absence of the sheriff, Longdon forms his own "posse" to bring in Fred and hold him hostage until Amos agrees to give up the ranch. Back at the ranch, Amos pretends to be crazy with vengeance and scares Sagebrush into confessing that Ainsworth and Longdon are co-conspirators. Longdon issues Amos an ultimatum: he will not free Fred until Foley has left town and Sagebrush has been released. While Longdon schemes to shoot Fred, but report that he was trying to escape, Johnny and Amos plan their own ambush. Johnny shoots Longdon to save Fred, then aids Amos in bringing down the gang. Later, the sheriff has arrested Ainsworth, and Amos reports that Cannon's down payment on the silver mine has made him a rich man. Ann makes Johnny promise to return, while Fred assures Johnny that he has sworn off gambling.
Johnny Mack Brown
Frank La Rue
Harvey Gates appears in two reviews as the writer of the film's original screenplay; a studio production sheet found in copyright records shows, however, that Frank H. Young replaced him. A Hollywood Reporter news item adds Don Weston, Stanley Ellison, Dick Reinhart and Jesse Ashlock to the cast, but their appearance in the released film has not been confirmed.