Cast & Crew
Hopalong Cassidy, Lucky Jenkins and California Carlson head for the ranch of Hiram Baxter, California's late cousin, for the reading of Hiram's will. Along the way, they are fired on by a hooded figure. David J. Potter, Hiram's lawyer and the executor of the will, reveals that the will splits the estate evenly between Ruth Baxter, Hiram's niece, whose father died under mysterious circumstances; Ralph Baxter, Hiram's step-son; California; Matilda Hackett, the superstitious housekeeper; Joshua Colter, a ranch hand; and Phineas Phipps, a relative. When any one of the six dies, that person's estate will then be split among the remaining heirs. Potter adds that there is no money in the estate and the ranch land is worth very little. He then suggests that the heirs sell the land, but Hoppy is suspicious and advises California not to sell. Ruth and Phineas also refuse to sell their shares. While they all argue, a wind blows out the candles and, in the dark, Phineas is shot. Hoppy investigates outside and overhears Ralph accuse Matt Ogden, to whom he owes money, of trying to kill him. He also admits that he has a special arrangement with Potter. That night, Hoppy and Lucky follow Ruth to a meeting with Matilda. Matilda tells Ruth that her "voices" have informed her that Ruth will learn something important if she rides to a hidden canyon the next day. After Ruth leaves, a disembodied voice praises Matilda, and Hoppy is surprised to realize that Matilda's voices are not imaginary, as he had thought. In the morning, Hoppy. Lucky and California follow Ruth and see her fall into a deep hole. After he helps her out of the trap, Hoppy advises Ruth to keep the morning's events a secret. Hoppy and California then explore the area and discover an oil well, which explains why Potter is eager to sell the ranch. Later, Ralph is killed while he waits to see Hoppy. Back at the ranch, Hoppy searches the library and finds a secret panel that conceals the account books belonging to Ruth's father. He accuses Potter of embezzling money from the estate and demands the name of his accomplice. The two men struggle and Potter escapes into a secret passageway, where he struggles with the hooded figure and is killed. Hearing a gunshot, Hoppy follows and finds the hooded man, who is revealed to be Hiram. Hiram has only been pretending to be dead and murdered the others so that he would not have to share the estate. Using a bullhorn, Hiram also spoke to Matilda, convincing her that he was a spirit. Now that everything is cleared up, Ruth, Matilda and Joshua decide to return the ranch to its original prosperity, and Hoppy, California and Lucky return home.
Robert B. Williams
The film's working title was Whispering Walls. Some scenes were shot on location in Lone Pine, CA. Modern sources add Ian Wolfe to the cast. For additional information on the series, consult the Series Index and see the entry for Hop-Along Cassidy in AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40; F3.1990.