Cast & Crew
After several messengers are murdered during holdups while transporting Kenmore Mine payrolls from Fort Henry to Big Creek in the Northwest Territory, Canadian police district headquarters dispatch Mounty Rod Webb to solve the crimes. Mine owners Kenmore and his niece Jane are the only people who knew about payroll shipments in advance, but they appear to have no connection to the robberies. Working undercover, Rod and his clever dog Chinook board a train carrying the next mine payroll. Also onboard the train are Jane, payroll messenger Brown, payroll guard Jacques LeClerque, young mining engineer Len, his sister Polly, mine employee Duval and a man named Benson. Late that night, when Rod enters the next car to investigate a strange noise, two strangers knock him out. Meanwhile, the other passengers are rendered unconscious by the fumes of a chemical placed in the wood stove. During the resulting confusion, Brown and the train conductor are killed and the payroll vanishes. Rod assumes that the thief is still on board the train since the train's high speed would prevent anyone from jumping. Rod then reveals his true identity and begins to inspect the luggage. When Rod discovers a knife belonging to Jacques LeClerque near the conductor's body, he accuses LeClerque of the crime, but LeClerque claims to have been with Len in the back car. Because he lacks enough evidence to sustain the acccusation, Rod orders all the passengers to get off the train at Big Creek so he can question them further. As they near the mining settlement, a man fires on the group, wounding Len. When Rod spots Duval on the shore with the firearm, he and Chinook chase after him. In the ensuing gunfight, Chinook is wounded and Duval escapes. That night, Rod, alerted by Polly's screams, rushes to Len's cabin and finds the engineer dead. Duval tries to flee from the cabin, but Rod intercepts him. In the ensuing fistfight, Rod is knocked unconscious, after which Kenmore shoots and kills Duval. Later, when Rod questions Kenmore about the Duval's background, he feigns ignorance and becomes defensive about killing Duval. Later, as Jane, Chinook and Rod canoe to Duval's cabin to investigate further, Jane reveals to Rod that Len was a prospector representing a group of Calgary investors interested in installing new equipment at the Kenmore mine. As they approach the cabin Jane pretends to have a sprained ankle and then tells Rod she will wait for him. After Rod enters the cabin; however, she rushes off and slashes the canoe. She returns to the cabin before Rod notices she has been gone. Meanwhile, a recovered Chinook sniffs out a notebook inside the cabin, which Rod discovers is a diary written in shorthand. Upon leaving the cabin, Rod finds the canoe has been slashed. Late that evening, when Jane and Rod finally reach Big Creek, Rod gathers all murder suspects in Kenmore's office. Although everyone believes Duval is responsible for murdering Brown and the conductor, Rod wants more evidence. He announces that Duval's diary has been found and that he has sent for an expert to transcribe the shorthand. While they wait for the expert's arrival, the diary is to be locked in Kenmore's safe. Later, Rod notices a light in Len's cabin and finds Polly packing her belongings. She then admits that Len was an ex-convict and explains that his work for the mine was his chance to begin a new life. Meanwhile in the mine office, Kenmore catches Benson trying to steal the notebook from the safe. During the ensuing struggle, a gun is fired. After Rod and Chinook catch Benson in the woods, Rod accuses him of murdering the others. Benson then presents his credentials as a special investigator for a company insuring the payroll. When he admits that he was at Duval's cabin the day that Rod found the notebook, but claims he did not slash the canoe, Rod surmises that Jane slashed the canoe. Just then LeClerque shoots at Rod and Benson, wounding Benson. Assuming that he has killed both Benson and Rod, LeClerque leaves. Benson and Rod then deduce that the Kenmore is in league with LeClerque to steal his own payroll and then claim the insurance money. Meanwhile, in Big Creek, Kenmore and Jane escape by boat, after smashing all the other boats to prevent anyone following them. Soon after, Rod and Benson return to town, where Polly tells Rod that she heard Kenmore and Jane discussing the murders. Rod and Chinook race over land and reach the railroad tracks just as Kenmore, Jane and LeClerque board a freight car. Once they jump onto the car, Chinook attacks LeClerque and Rod subdues Kenmore. During a fistfight between Rod and LeClerque, LeClerque is thrown from the train and falls to his death. After Kenmore and Jane are arrested and the mystery resolved, Rod reveals his romantic feelings for Polly.
William Beaudine Jr.
William F. Broidy
Edward J. Kay
About five minutes were missing from the viewed print. Portions of the film were shot on location at Bartlett's Cedar Lake in the San Bernardino Mountains, California. For additional information on the "Chinook" series, please consult the Series Index and see the entry for Trail of the Yukon in AFI Catalog of Feature Films, 1941-50.