Cast & Crew
Betty Jane Graham
When Steve Holden, the head of a gang of outlaws, leads an attack on a wagon and then sends one of his men to escort the wounded driver to the doctor, his gang is puzzled by his humanitarianism. Back at their hideout, Steve berates Nick Dunham, one of the outlaws, for shooting at the driver after he gave explicit orders to fire in the air. Nick, who used to work with Blackie Moran, the late leader of the gang, resents Steve, who took over after Blackie was killed. The next day in town, Virgil Trent, the head of the Ranchers' Association, convenes a meeting to deal with the rash of raids that have been plaguing the ranchers' wagon shipments. Trent proposes enlisting Steve, a newcomer to the area, in their cause. Over the objections of hot-tempered rancher Sidney Padgett, the association votes to send Cannonball, the sheriff's deputy, to contact Steve. When Steve agrees to meet Trent that evening, the rancher brings his daughter Gail to the rendezvous. After Trent offers Steve a job guarding the ranchers' wagons, Steve accepts and notifies Nick that he is quitting the gang. Steve's friends, Jimmy and Bob, join him in his quest, leaving Nick behind to assume leadership of the gang. Upon learning that Steve has been hired to escort the ranchers' wagons, Nick orders the gang to attack every shipment but to make sure that none of Steve's men are injured, thus making it appear that Steve is masterminding the raids. As the outlaws' campaign of terror intensifies, the ranchers become dissatisfied with Steve's performance. One morning, as Steve escorts three wagons, Pete, one of the gang, looks on and then reports the wagons' location to Nick. When the gang attacks, Steve follows Lacey, one of the outlaws, to their hideout. As Lacey recalls his prior association with Steve, Harris, a disgruntled rancher, arrives and accuses Steve of being in league with the gang. After Steve denies Harris' accusation and flees, Harris delivers Lacey to Sheriff Kramer and confides his suspicions about Steve to the lawman. When Kramer refuses to arrest Steve without evidence, Harris threatens to take the law into his own hands. Seeking refuge at the Trent ranch, Steve meets Jimmy and the boys there and tells them that he thinks one of the ranchers is working with Nick. Soon after, Trent arrives at the ranch and informs Steve that although he still believes in his honesty, the others ranchers have decided to terminate his employment. Meanwhile, Nick meets with his contact at the Ranchers' Association, who instructs him to kill Lacey and frame Steve for the murder. That night, Nick and his men surround the jailhouse, take Cannonball prisoner and lock him in a cell. When Steve arrives, Pete shoots Lacey and the gang gallops off, with Steve in pursuit. The sheriff organizes a posse to follow them, but unable to locate their trail, returns to his office. There he is met by Steve, who proposes a way to trap Nick and the rancher with whom he is working. The next day, Steve kidnaps Padgett and Harris and forces them each to drive a wagon. As they near a pass, Padgett, fearing for his life, confesses that Nick is waiting in ambush. Furious at his friend's betrayal, Harris throttles Padgett. As the sheriff and his posse decoy the outlaws, Steve and the boys surround the gang. After Steve outdraws Nick, Nick swirls around and pulls his gun, but Steve shoots him. His mission accomplished, Steve reveals that he is an agent of the Interstate Ranchers' Commission and was assigned to bring Nick and his gang to justice.