Cast & Crew
Johnny Mack Brown
While bear hunting, vacationing U.S. Marshals Jack McKenzie, also known as "Nevada," and Sandy Hopkins come upon an overturned stagecoach and the dead bodies of the driver and a passenger. Nevada and Sandy deliver the corpses to the nearest town, where the sheriff identifies the passenger as an archaeologist named Hinkley. The sheriff explains that, according to rumors, Hinkley had discovered gold-laden jewelry in the graves of local Indians, and speculates that his attackers were after information about the graves's location. Abandoning his vacation, Nevada heads for Pawnee, Hinkley's last address, and instructs Sandy to assume a disguise and meet him there later. In Pawnee, meanwhile, the outlaws behind the attack report to their boss, saloon owner Lucky Baker, that they were unable to find out the graves's whereabouts from Hinkley. Aware that Hinkley was working with an Indian named Shag, Lucky orders his men to find Shag. Just then, Nevada rides into town and hints to the suspicious Lucky that he is "prospecting." While Nevada talks with Pawnee café owner Jane, who tells him that her father was Hinkley's partner and died under mysterious circumstances, Lucky's men confront Shag in the street. Nevada follows the fleeing Indian but arrives too late to save him from the outlaws' torture and bullets. Although Nevada wounds one outlaw, the other two, Whity and Cyclone, ride off to claim the gold, whose location Shag revealed, for themselves. Back in town, Nevada accuses Lucky and his men of killing Shag, and a fight breaks out between Nevada and Lucky's right-hand man Knuckles. After Nevada knocks out Knuckles, Sandy, who has arrived in Pawnee posing as a medicine man, informs him that the outlaws have been paying for drinks with gold. While Nevada and Sandy confer with Jane, who is now aware of their real mission, the wounded outlaw staggers into town. Having seen the outlaw enter Lucky's back office, Nevada goes to interrogate him, but the outlaw dies without revealing anything. Soon after, Hinkley's son Joel shows up in Pawnee and informs Jane that he has a map of the grave sites and intends to find the gold himself. Jane invites Joel to stay at her house, but on his way there, he is accosted by Lucky's men. Sandy and Nevada, who is still posing as a prospector, interrupt the ambush. At first, Joel refuses to believe Sandy and Nevada are marshals, until Jane confirms their identity. The next day, Joel, Sandy and Nevada follow the map to the grave sites, which Cyclone and Whity are already plundering. Cyclone and Whity flee into a cave, but by pretending to have explosives, the marshals scare them out and shoot them. Joel then claims the unearthed gold and agrees to help the marshals trap Lucky. Entrusting the treasure to Sandy, Joel tells Lucky that Nevada had attacked him but that the gold is safely on its way East. Lucky sends Knuckles and his men to hold up the stage, but after he secures the gold from Sandy, Knuckles decides to double-cross Lucky. As Knuckles is reporting to Lucky that the robbery failed, however, Nevada and Sandy burst into the saloon and arrest the lot. Later, the marshals' vacation is again interrupted when Jane and Joel ask them to witness their wedding.
Johnny Mack Brown
Roy E. Butler
The working title of this film was Saddle Smoke. Modern sources add Chick Hannon to the cast. For more information on the "Nevada McKenzie" series, consult the Series Index and for The Ghost Rider.