After a posse looking for bank robbers Al Bartlett and Trot Lucas
stops a train crossing the desert, Bartlett and Lucas detach the
engine and drive away. The engineer climbs after them, and is shot.
Once out of sight of the posse, Bartlett and Lucas jump off the train
and head for the hills to hide. When the runaway train engine passes
through the town of White Water, Gene Autry, an investigator for a
bankers' association, stops the train and rescues the wounded
In the desert, meanwhile, the robbers steal horses from Doc
Larry Taylor and his assistant, Helen Ellis, who are on their way from
the nearby town of Los Robles to treat the engineer in White Water.
Later, Gene encounters Larry and Helen and waits with Helen while
Larry rides Gene's horse Champion into White Water. The next morning
in Los Robles, Helen's father Tom asks townsperson Ben Luber to test
some ore. Then Ben and his brother Carl meet Bartlett and Lucas in the
hills. Bartlett announces his plans to hide out in a shack where his
brother, who informed on him, lives under an assumed name.
are talking, Gene rides nearby, and to distract him, Ben releases the
stolen horses. After Gene collects them, Ben rides down and accuses
him of stealing the horses from Larry and Helen. The two men fight,
but Gene overcomes Ben and continues his search. This time, Carl joins
his brother, and while the robbers hurry to the hideout, Ben and Carl
bring Gene into town. Gene quickly clears himself and stops
in a café
run by his friend, Mike. Gene and Mike spend that night in the hills
searching for the fugitives and spot Ben's car returning from the
hideout, where he has delivered two horses.
The next day, Ben tells
Tom that he will need machinery to extract the ore and offers to lend
him the money for an interest in the mine. Later, when Gene confronts
Ben about his late night trip, Ben says two men stole his horses and
then sends a posse in the opposite direction from the cabin.
Mistrusting Ben's story, Gene refuses to join the posse, and the
sheriff puts him in jail. Meanwhile, Bartlett takes advantage of the
sheriff's absence to rob the local bank. Helen witnesses the robbery
and chases Bartlett to the cabin, but her presence is discovered.
Gene, who has been released from jail, joins her during the ensuing
When the robbers run out of ammunition, Bartlett kills Lucas
and his brother, whose beard has been shaved to make him resemble
Bartlett, and Bartlett is declared dead. Although she is upset that
she may have killed the men,
Helen wants the reward for Bartlett's
capture, as this will enable Tom to buy the machinery he needs for his
mine. Gene, however, is not sure that she has really killed Bartlett.
Later, when a woman named Kitty (Anne Gwynne), who claims to be Bartlett's wife,
identifies the body, Gene asks for a fingerprint identification, but
that night, a fire destroys the body.
The next morning Gene questions
Kitty and learns that unlike the dead man, Bartlett did not wear
glasses and was right-handed. Later, Gene follows Ben to Bartlett's
new hideout. After Ben offers to bring Bartlett to town in exchange
for the reward, Gene asks Mike to wire Ben's car for sound. The plan
is foiled, however, when Bartlett discovers Ben's ruse. Bartlett kills
Ben and takes Larry hostage. Gene and Tom pursue Bartlett to the train
and, after a fierce gunfight
on board, arrest him. Gene gives Helen
and Tom the reward money, and Helen and Larry then announce their
When Gene learns that
Kitty, who is really the daughter of
a sheriff whom Bartlett killed, has left on the train, he hurries
after it and tells her that he may soon be heading her way.