Cast & Crew
In 1858, Daniel Burke prepares to start Sacramento's first coast-to-coast stagecoach line. He is aided by The Three Mesquiteers, "Stony" Brooke, "Tucson" Smith and "Lullaby" Joslin, who also look after Dan's wayward son Larry. On the day that Dan's daughter June returns from the East, the Mesquiteers find Larry gambling with saloon owner Keno Hawkins, a gunman for lawyer Buckley. June introduces them to Stevens, the owner of a steamship line, who is secretly conspiring with Buckley to force Dan out of business so that he can maintain a monopoly on transportation. Keno sees an opportunity for sabotage when Dan asks Larry to take his payroll to the construction site, where the men are finishing the connecting road for the line. Keno pressures Larry to use the money to pay off his gambling debts, and helps him by staging a phony robbery. The Mesquiteers become nervous about Larry having the payroll and track him to an isolated relay station, where they find one of Larry's companions, who has been shot by Keno. The man tells the Mesquiteers that Larry was in on the holdup, after which the Mesquiteers engage in a shootout with Keno and his men. The men slip away unseen after killing Larry, and the Mesquiteers mistakenly believe that they shot Larry. Back in town, the Mesquiteers lie to the Burke family by telling them that Larry died trying to foil the robbery. June sees through their story, however, and while they soon realize that someone else shot Larry, the suspicious June tells the sheriff that they were responsible. Soon after, the Mesquiteers attempt to retrieve the stolen money from Keno's saloon, but Buckley convinces the sheriff that they were trying to pass the money themselves. The Mesquiteers are jailed, after which Dan, in despair, agrees to sell the line. Tim, Dan's youngest son, refuses to believe that the Mesquiteers are guilty, however, and helps them break out of jail. They then succeed in getting the money from Keno and convincing the construction workers to finish the road. The next day, the Mesquiteers drive Dan's stagecoach in a test run from Twin Pines to Sacramento to win a postal contract. The sheriff again tries to arrest the Mesquiteers, but they force him and Buckley to ride in the coach during the run. The terrified Buckley tells them that Keno is going to blow up the pass through which they must travel, and also reveals that Keno killed Larry. Stony and Tucson stop the coach just before the pass, and after the explosion, the Mesquiteers succeed in getting the coach over the hill and into town. With the contract secured, the Mesquiteers round up the rest of the gang and receive the Burkes's thanks.
The opening title card to the film reads "Republic Pictures presents The Three Mesquiteers in Pals of the Pecos featuring," followed by pictures of Robert Livingston, Bob Steele and Rufe Davis with their names and character names superimposed. Although a February 28, 1941 Hollywood Reporter news item noted that Davis was to sing two comedy songs in the picture, "Don Pedro Pistachio" by Eddie Cherkose and Jule Styne and the other written by himself, only "Don Pedro Pistachio" is included in the completed film. The Variety review erroneously refers to Pat O'Malley's character as "Jim Burke;" in the film he is called "Daniel Burke." Modern sources include the following players in the cast: George Chesebro, Chuck Morrison, Bud Osborne, Forrest Taylor, Frank Ellis and Eddie Dean. For additional information on the series, consult the Series Index and the entry for The Three Mesquiteers (AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1931-40; F3.4617).