Cast & Crew
Don "red" Barry
"Iron Joe" Martin, the Sonora County Commissioner of Pardons and Paroles, concocts a scheme with cattle barons Rayburn and Blalock and outlaw Hack Roberts whereby Martin will parole certain convicts on the condition that they become part of Hack's gang or be killed. The men will then help Roberts target the ranchers and homesteaders using land desired by Rayburn and Blalock. Once the unfortunate settlers have been driven out, Rayburn and Blalock will be able to claim the land as their own. One of the parolees, John "Keeno" Phillips, participates in an attack on rancher Smith, but manages to escape with the gang before the arrival of Martin's niece Dixie and Dave Winters, a traveling parson. Dixie explains to Dave that Sonora has become a land of lawlessness, and Dave accompanies her to discuss the matter with Martin, whose criminal activities are unknown to Dixie. Pretending to support Dave, Martin asks him to investigate and establish a church in town. Meanwhile, Keeno is on his way to town when he stops some of his cohorts from picking on scrawny Jackpot Murphy, the local tombstone carver. Jackpot is afraid of Keeno at first, but the two become friends when Keeno laughingly approves of the tombstones that Jackpot has already prepared for him and his cohorts. Jackpot is then amazed by the arrival of Dave, who bears a startling resemblance to Keeno. The mystery deepens further when Jackpot takes Dave to meet Keeno, who rudely denies being Dave's older brother, Ted Winters. After Keeno storms off, Dave confides to Jackpot that Keeno, the black sheep of the family, is indeed his brother, and that he still loves him despite his criminal past. Soon after, Dave is accosted in the saloon, but Keeno comes to his defense and the battling brothers subdue their opponents, although Keeno again denies any association with Dave. Time passes as Dave establishes his church, and one of his first requests for help comes from young Tom Lawrence, a robber paroled by Martin into Hack's gang. Dave agrees to write to Tom's mother with news that he is well, but urges Tom to avoid Hack. Dave discusses with Dixie his theory that there is a larger force behind Hack's activities, but when Dixie presents Dave's case to Martin, he brushes it off, saying that Smith and the other ranchers were killed because they were rustlers. Martin then orders his men to keep an eye on the meddling Dave, and so, when Tom again goes to Dave and reveals Martin's involvement in the gang, Martin orders Hack and his henchman, R. J. Cole, to kill Tom. Dave, who is riding to the county seat to find a U.S. Marshal, is also shot by Hack, who steals his ring. Later, in the saloon, Keeno recognizes the ring and buys it from Hack, and is inwardly grieved because he assumes that his brother is dead. He is elated soon after, when Jackpot and Dixie take him to Dave, who is recuperating from his injuries. Keeno and Dave reconcile, and Keeno tells Dave that he must now take care of the gang his own way. Keeno shoots Hack in a fair fight, then shoots Martin and Cole when they attempt to ambush him. Keeno is mortally wounded in the fray, but before he dies, Dave assures him that their mother will not learn about the circumstances of his death. Later, Blalock and Rayburn are convicted for their crimes, and Dave approves of Jackpot's epitaph for Keeno, which proclaims that Keeno "died to aid unfortunate men with heavy burdens."
Don "red" Barry
Charles "slim" Whitaker
The working title of this film was Bad Man of Sonora. Modern sources include Art Dillard, Ray Jones and Augie Gomez in the cast.