Cast & Crew
Charles "buck" Jones
Ranger Joe Gordon learns that a man named Zeke has been found at Skeleton Rock in Dead Man's Valley. Joe surmises that Zeke and his companion, Charlie, crossed the desert and tried to defend themselves from attackers. After Joe discovers a golden bullet and a map in Zeke's shoe, he mounts his horse "Silver" and retraces Zeke's path into the desert. Meanwhile, two orphans, Shad O'Neill and his sister Sheila, bribe Tim, the guard, to let them look past "the forbidden zone." As Shad and Sheila look through a telescope, they see Joe collapse in the desert, and Tim summons the community's elders. The elders warily decide to bring Joe into the valley, and keep him there forever, isolated from the others so that his worldliness will not influence them. Joe learns that the residents of the valley are the survivors of a wagon train of religious zealots thought lost many years before, who have isolated their community from the outside world. Shad is publicly flogged for showing disrespect to an elder, and then Sheila and Mary James are declared to be of marriageable age. Tim, having once tried to leave the valley, treats Shad's back despite a ban. The elders choose Elder Crossett to be Sheila's husband, but she dislikes him, especially because she and Joe have fallen in love. Tim, Joe and the O'Neills plan to escape together, but when Joe learns that Crossett and his cohort, Elder Snead, have trapped an old man in a mine at the bottom of a steep cliff, he attempts to rescue him as well. Joe lowers himself down into the cave and finds that the man is Zeke's partner, Charlie, and his own long-lost father. As Joe and his father are about to escape, Crossett and Snead arrive and force both men back into the mine. Then, Crossett and Snead kill Tim and frame Joe for the murder. When Shad protests Sheila's marriage, Crossett promises Sheila that his punishment will be light if she remains quiet. Meanwhile, in the mine, Joe slices his leather jacket to form a thin twine and attaches it to the rope when Crossett and Snead lower food into the mine the next day. Joe and Charlie escape and when they reach the summit, overcome Snead. Joe hurries to the church and interrupts the wedding to expose Crossett and Snead's scheme. As Joe, his father and the O'Neills escape, pursued by Crossett and Snead, the villains are captured at gunpoint by the other elders. Safe at last, the group finds a river that leads them back through the desert. Joe tells his father that their story can never be told, because the people of Dead Man's Valley want their isolated existence. Joe and Sheila then kiss.
Charles "buck" Jones
Silver, A Horse
A working title was Lost Valley Gold. Modern sources include Frank Ellis in the cast.