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Marshal of Amarillo

Marshal of Amarillo(1948)

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As he rides a stagecoach into town, prospector Nugget Clark meets fellow passengers Hiram Short, a salesman, and James Underwood, a retired businessman. The driver, Ben, grounds the coach on purpose, instructing the passengers to continue on foot to the nearest inn, Half-Way House, while he stays with the coach. When they arrive at the inn the next morning, Hiram helps the exhausted Underwood up to his room. While Nugget waits for the ghoulish concierge to summon the bellhop, he accidentally nudges an envelope containing $50,000 that Underwood had been carrying into a crack in the desk. When Nugget discovers Hiram stabbed in the back shortly thereafter, he draws a line through his name in the guest register, steals a stagecoach and escapes. While the coach speeds along, Nugget slips off the driver's box and hangs precariously from the underside of the vehicle. Passing by, the marshal of Amarillo, Allan "Rocky" Lane, hears Nugget's cries and rescues him, but then notices Hiram's body in the back of the coach. Nugget insists that the inn is haunted, but when they return there, stage line agent Art Crandall introduces Rocky to inn proprietor Frank Welch, who states that he has never seen Nugget. When Nugget examines the register, he notices that his name is no longer there and goes upstairs to show Rocky the room that Underwood had taken. They find only a storage room, however, so Art demands Nugget's arrest. Outside Nugget asks Ben to verify his story, but the driver also claims not to recognize him. Later, when Rocky catches him stealing a letter addressed to Underwood, Ben admits that Underwood has been kidnapped. Before Ben can say where Underwood is being held, however, he is shot. Rocky reads the letter, which announces the arrival of Underwood's daughter Marjorie that evening. Rocky and Nugget decide to meet Marjorie's stage along the way to give her the news of her father's kidnapping. After Marjorie mentions that her father was carrying $50,000 in cash to buy a cattle ranch, Rocky asks her to write a second letter stating that she has been delayed. At the inn, Rocky pretends to arrest Nugget for trying to steal Marjorie's letter and asks Frank to keep it for him until he returns. Upon his return, however, Rocky finds that the letter had been stolen and his plan put into action. When Marjorie finally arrives at the inn, Frank has again been replaced by the concierge. He shows Marjorie up to the same room he had given to Underwood, which has been converted back into a regular room. When he sees Rocky and Nugget trying to break in, the concierge tries to escape, but is apprehended by Rocky. Back at the inn, Nugget re-enacts their arrival that first evening and discovers the envelope stuck inside the crack. Rocky and Nugget follow Frank's henchman Sam to Underwood's hiding place, and he is then rescued. Sam and Art flee, but after their coach careens into a pool of water, Rocky arrests them.