Cast & Crew
Johnny Mack Brown
Because ore shipments from his Blue Boy mine are routinely being hijacked on the way to the smelter, mine owner Dan Broderick cancels his shipping contract with Frank Carson's freight line and decides to use his own wagons to deliver the ore. Broderick's decision pleases saloon owner Ed Hammond, the mastermind behind the hijacking, because unknown to Broderick, Slim Carter, the mine's foreman, is in Hammond's employ. Hammond instructs Carter to switch the wagons loaded with the Blue Boy's high grade ore with those carrying worthless ore, which forces Broderick to consider selling his mine cheaply. Broderick has sent for U.S. Marshals Jack McKenzie, known as "Nevada," and Sandy Hopkins to investigate the robberies. Outside of town, the two lawmen split up, Nevada planning to work undercover at the saloon, while Sandy poses as a cowhand and hires on at Carson's freight line. At the saloon, Nevada joins a card game, and his winning streak so impresses Hammond that the saloon owner offers him the job of overseeing the games. That night, under cover of darkness, Sandy and Nevada meet, and Sandy reports that he has recognized Carson as Frank Carr, a convicted stage robber. After wiring headquarters to determine if Carson is still a wanted man, Nevada visits Broderick and reveals that he is a U.S. Marshal. Broderick confides that he plans to sell the mine because of the poor quality of its ore, and Nevada becomes suspicious because the deterioration of the ore quality coincided with the ending of Carson's shipping contract. When Broderick mentions that Hammond offered to buy the mine, Nevada suspects that someone may be doctoring the ore and suggests rehiring Carson to deliver the shipments. Upon learning that Broderick is rehiring Carson, Bart Green, one of the hijackers, leads a raid on Carson's wagon. Nevada and Sandy, watching from the hills, ride to the rescue and capture Vic, one of the outlaws. When Carter discovers that the ore was successfully delivered to the smelter, he decides to switch the smelter's report and formulates a plan to silence the imprisoned Vic. That night, Carter slips a gun loaded with blanks to Vic in his cell, and when Vic aims the useless gun at Nevada and the sheriff, they shoot him. With his dying breath, Vic gasps the name "Carr," leading Sandy to think that Carson is involved. When questioned by the marshals, Carson protests his innocence, and Nevada, having learned that Carson has served his time in prison, begins to suspect that Carter is the real culprit. After Hammond and Carter switch the assayer's report, Nevada asks the assayer to accompany him to the mine for an onsite inspection. When Ellen, Carson's fiancée, accidentally tells Hammond that Nevada is a U.S. Marshal, Hammond instructs Carter to dynamite the mine while Nevada is inside. As Nevada and the assayer enter the mine, Carson and the sheriff guard the road while Sandy and Broderick wait just outside the entrance. Carter guides them to a tunnel while Sam, one of his henchman, lights the fuse to the explosives. Hearing the sound of a sizzling fuse, Nevada blocks Carter's exit and forces him to disclose Hammond's involvement in the robberies. After Carter confesses, they all run out of the tunnel just before it explodes. Nevada then rides back to town to arrest Hammond, and with the demise of the hijackers, Carson is exonerated of all guilt. Their mission accomplished, the marshals then ride off into the sunset.
Johnny Mack Brown
The working title of this film was Fool's Gold. For more information on the "Nevada McKenzie" series, consult the Series Index and see entry above for The Ghost Rider.