Cast & Crew
Steven Monroe, a young frontier doctor, is taking a post-graduate course at the state university. Steve's roommate is Roy Mandan, an Indian youth who is planning to return to his home in Rock City and practice medicine among his people. On the day that Steve receives an offer to be an assistant staff doctor at Bellevue Hospital. In New York, Roy receives a letter from his brother, notifying him that his father is near death. Roy leaves school to return home without completing his degree and finds that the countryside surrounding Rock City has been ruined by the drought and dust storms. Roy's brother Clay is working on an irrigation project, digging ditches and paying the project's crooked boss, Henry Clayton, for the privilege. Roy decides to join his brother on the project while Steve, unhappy in New York, decides to return West to practice. In Rock City, Steve meets Bones Malloy, who has been taking a medical correspondence course and becomes Steve's apprentice. Steve treats the area's impoverished population, receiving little financial remuneration, and even delivers a litter of puppies for Timmy Wheeler, the son of Dave Wheeler, an educated but poor Indian. Meanwhile, Roy and Clay argue with Clayton's henchmen, Taylor and Hartley, and are fired from the project. To earn money, the brothers decide to hunt wild horses, hoping to sell the animals to the Midwest Construction Company. When the brothers return with the herd, however, the Midwest brand is found on two of the horses and the brothers are accused of theft, even though the animals are strays. The brothers flee from the law, but when Roy is wounded by the posse, his sister Nona summons Steve to the fugitives' hideout, where the doctor operates on Roy. Steve tries to convince the brothers to surrender and prove their innocence, but they refuse. Soon after, a violent storm strikes, and the dam begins to fail, due to the inferior construction materials used by Clayton. Seeking to protect himself, Clayton orders the dam dynamited and then throws suspicion on Roy and Clay. Following Clayton's orders, Wheeler, now working as a night watchman, testifies that he saw Clay and Roy set the explosion. When Steve is summoned to treat little Timmy, the doctor forces a confession from the boy's father and then convinces Roy to surrender and stand trial. Believing that his brother will be railroaded into jail, Clay enlists the help of his Indian friends, rounds up another herd of horses and stampedes the animals into town while the trial is in progress. In the ensuing chaos, Roy fatally wounds Hartley, while Timmy is injured and dies in Steve's arms. With his dying breath, Hartley exposes Clayton and his gang as criminals. After the brothers are exonerated, Steve and Bones move on to new territory.
The working title of this film was The Medico Rides. Modern sources include Horace B. Carpenter in the cast. For additional information on the "Medico" series, please consult the Series Index and see the entry above for The Medico of Painted Springs.