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Along the Sundown Trail

Along the Sundown Trail(1942)

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Pop Lawrence's tungsten mine is failing because the ore lacks sufficient concentrate. Although Pop's foreman, Bob Fleming, is encouraging, Pop's daughter Susan is mystified as a government report indicates that a load of tungsten was found in Pop's mine. Unknown to Pop, Fleming is secretly working for his neighbor, Big Ben Salter, who is switching his wagons with Pop's as they go to the smelter. At the request of their friend, Marshal Lee Powell, Marshals Art Davis and Bill Boyd arrive in town to investigate the disappearance of fellow marshal Johnson. Art and Bill witness Johnson's murder, but the killers escape. To catch Johnson's killers, Art and Bill try to go undercover working at the local saloon, but they fight with the hostile bartender. Later, Salter hires Art and Bill to work in his saloon to pay off the damage of their fight. The marshals soon find out that Johnson had been investigating Pop's ore situation, so Lee poses as an assayer and goes to Pop's mine. Fleming, however, prevents him from making a new report. Pop's rebellious son Joe, meanwhile, goes into debt at Salter's gaming tables. The sheriff then agrees to help Lee get samples from Salter's mine, but is nearly murdered, and Lee narrowly escapes from Fleming. After confirming that Salter's mine is ore poor, and Pop's is replete with ore, Lee takes over for the recovering sheriff. When Deputy Sheriff Casey shows the marshals the wagon route, they suspect that Pop's ore is being hijacked. Hoping to trap the hijackers, the marshals drive Pop's next wagon load of ore, but Salter's men realize something is amiss and begin firing. Although only two of Salter's men survive the ensuing gunfight, Salter is encouraged to continue his trickery by the syndicate for whom he works, which plans to buy Pop's property for $500,000 if Salter is unsuccessful. Now determined to get the property and the money, Salter learns from an unscrupulous lawyer that Joe and Susan would inherit the mine if Pop died. Salter gets Joe drunk in the saloon, and when Pop comes looking for him, Salter shoots Pop and makes it look as if Joe murdered his father. Salter then calls Susan and pins the murder on Lee. Her trust dissolved, Susan accompanies Fleming to Salter's mine, where Joe is being forced to sign over the mine deed to Salter, after which Joe is shot. After finding Pop's body and Salter's office cleared out, the marshals head for the mine and arrive just as Susan, who is unaware of Joe's death, is being forced to sign the deed. Salter takes Susan hostage, but the marshals capture the outlaws, and Salter is charged with Johnson's and Pop's murders. Later, Susan tells the marshals that she is thinking of her father as a wagonload of ore is sent to the smelter.