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At home one evening, cranky rancher John Roberts intimates to his devoted daughter Carol that finding her a suitable husband will be a difficult task, unaware that Carol has already picked her man. Soon after, ranchhand Bill Grant arrives, kindly asking John for Carol's hand in marriage. When John accuses Bill of trying to marry Carol for her inheritance, the family ranch and house, Bill leaves insulted, and Carol runs upstairs screaming that her father has ruined her life. In the moments following, John answers the door and a masked bandit knocks him unconscious. Days later cowboy and federal agent Johnny Mack Brown visits a U.S. Marshal's office to report on some stolen U.S. treasury gold. He believes the gold can be found by returning to the territory from which it was stolen, reasoning that it will be difficult to move unless it is melted down into jewelry. He leaves to investigate and during his ride comes across an abandoned ranch and is ambushed by an old man. Though his assailant escapes, Johnny spots evidence--a gun handle and a gold bullet--on the ground. Later Johnny rides to the hotel in a nearby town and meets Carol, the hotelkeeper. When Johnny asks Carol about the mysterious ranch and his evidence, Carol explains that the ranch is hers but she was forced to abandon it since rumor of ghosts scared her ranchhands away. The locals assume the ranch is haunted and believe that only gold bullets can kill ghosts. At that moment Bill, suspicious of Johnny's line of questioning, enters the lobby with his gun drawn. Johnny knocks the gun from Bill's hand and threatens to take him to the sheriff but Carol begs him not to, explaining that the town will hang him because everyone thinks Bill killed her father. Later when Johnny tells the suspicious town sheriff about the incident at the ranch, he advises Johnny to stay away from it, but Carol asks Johnny to run the ranch for her. That night at the hotel while Johnny sleeps, two masked gunmen stealthily rifle through his belongings. Johnny wakes but is unable to capture or identify them. The next day the same men, Crowley and Hawkins, stumble down the town's main street in a drunken manner and pick a fight with Johnny. The sheriff jails them for disorderly conduct, but when Johnny finds his hotel room has been ransacked, he realizes the fight was staged to distract him. The next morning Johnny stops at the gunsmith and discovers that eccentric old prospector Andy Mullins recently had his gun handle fixed. Johnny decides to take Carol's offer and rides out to the ranch with Bill, where they spot Andy and tie him up. While Johnny and Bill investigate the ranch house, Andy manages to send a smoke signal to the sheriff in town. In the house Johnny discovers a secret cellar and finds some jeweler's tools and the missing gold. Just as Bill remembers that John used to be a jeweler, they discover John, tied up and groaning in a dark corner. Before they can free him, the sheriff, Crowley and Hawkins disarm Johnny and Bill and, with their hands tied, Johnny and Bill are led away on horseback. However, Johnny escapes on his horse and Crowley chases after him. Around the bend Johnny jumps from his horse and cuts the rope loose with his spurs. He then ambushes Crowley, ties him up and later kills Hawkins in self-defense. Bill also manages to escape but the sheriff wounds him and then reloads his gun to kill him, but Johnny arrives and scares the sheriff off. Meanwhile Crowley, Andy and the sheriff decide they have to move the gold immediately. Johnny and Bill return to the cellar, where John explains that the sheriff and his men tried to force him to make jewelry from the gold. As Johnny carries the tired old man out of the house, the sheriff arrives with two more men and a wagon to haul the gold. A shootout ensues, and Johnny kills one cohort while Bill ties both the sheriff and Andy up. Meanwhile Crowley and the other cohort have loaded the wagon and fled. Johnny chases the wagon and, while dodging bullets, manages to kill the gunman and forces Crowley, now wounded, to head the wagon for town. Later at the ranch, John happily recuperates with help from Bill and Carol, and after congratulating John on his choice of son-in-laws, Johnny rides off for other adventures.