Cast & Crew
Jimmy Wakely and his pal "Cannonball" capture Spooky, a wild stallion, and present it to sixteen-year-old Perry Andrews, a student at the Sheriffs' Association School, who is spending his summer vacation with aunt Jessica Martin. Prospector Mossy Stevens then stops by the Martin place to tell Cannonball, his partner, that he has struck gold nearby and that a gold rush has started. After claim jumpers move in, the town hires a tough new marshal, Bill Braden. When Jimmy, Perry and Cannonball go into town for supplies and to record Cannonball's claim, gunman Jorgen, eyeing Spooky, claims that the horse is his, pulls Perry off and punches him. Jimmy comes to Perry's rescue and fights with Jorgen until Braden shows up and pistol whips Jimmy in error. Later, when Mossy is murdered by claim jumper Sanders and a henchman, the marshal and his deputy happen along, kill the henchman, then chase after Sanders on horseback. Sanders comes across Perry tending camp and, at gunpoint, demands his shirt and hat, then rides off on Spooky. Perry pursues him but is shot and killed by Braden, who mistakes him for Sanders. Jimmy, meanwhile, goes to Braden's office to complain about his treatment, and meets Braden's daughter Susan. When Braden brings in Perry's body, Jimmy is enraged with the marshal for killing the boy but a coroner's jury later finds the killing justifiable. Due to Perry's suspected involvement in a murder, the foundation that funds the sheriffs' school withdraws its support, so Jimmy and Cannonball vow to find the claim jumper responsible for Perry's death. To that end, Jimmy becomes involved in a saloon card game with Sanders, who cheats him. Later, after Jimmy jumps Sanders and recovers his money, he stands up to Braden, who wants to arrest him for theft, hoping that his defiance will encourage Morgan and Bart, the heads of the claim jumping gang, to accept him. The outlaws do invite Jimmy to join them, but Sanders is not pleased about this development and, after a fistfight with Jimmy, quits the gang. Later, Braden receives a message that the depot is to be held up, and when the gang, including Jimmy, arrives at the depot, Braden and his deputy are waiting for them and drive them off. Morgan suspects Sanders of tipping off the lawmen and assigns Jimmy and Bart to find him. After a gunfight, Sanders seeks Braden's protection and this solidifies Jimmy's image as an outlaw. Soon after, Cannonball finds Spooky, and Jimmy proves that Sanders was riding him the day after Mossy was killed. Jimmy and Cannonball then call on Jessica, who is visiting with Susan, and Susan attempts to arrest Jimmy. Jessica, however, explains to her that Jimmy has infiltrated the gang to find Perry's killer and has established that he is Sanders. Sanders overhears the conversation and persuades Morgan and Bart that he is really on their side, and together they plan to trap Jimmy by having Braden go after him. When Susan discovers what her father is doing, she rides to warn Jimmy of an ambush and is shot by her own father as she talks with Jimmy. Wounded, Susan tells her father, in front of Sanders, about Jimmy's undercover work. After Jimmy takes Sanders' gun, the marshal confesses that many of his actions have been hasty and tells Susan that he will change his ways. When Morgan and Bart show up, a gunfight erupts and Cannonball shoots Bart while Braden shoots Morgan. Sanders tries to escape on horseback, but Jimmy catches him and he admits his role in Perry's death. Back in town, the marshal receives a letter thanking him for deeding his ranch to the Sheriffs' Association for use as a boys' ranch, which Jessica, Jimmy and Susan will manage.
Marcel Le Picard
This film's working title was Boom Town Bad Men. Modern sources add Al Haskell, Tom Smith and Denver Dixon to the cast.