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Deputy U.S. Marshall Sam Buckhart takes an idea from Greek history by renting a show wagon and hiding in it to infiltrate a gang's hideout.
Unscrupulous prospectors kill an Indian for a map they believe will lead them to gold. Then, they kidnap Sam to decipher the instructions which are written in Apache symbols. The prospectors aren't expecting to be greeted at the cave by a group of revenge-seeking tribe members.
No good widower Jeb Wicken comes to town dragging his teen-aged daughter, intending to sell her to the highest bidder. Though its not yet illegal, Buckhart refuses to allow her to be auctioned into involuntary servitude.
The Erby brothers blow up a band valunt and make off with the money. Buckhart goes after them, figuring they've returned to their old homestead, and learns they have a new memb've added another relative to their gang: their half-sister Stella who's as mean as they are.
Mite, a young man with the mind of a 12-year-old, is mighty sweet on Miss Jessie, a woman who's past come back to haunt her. The husband she split from years earlier, outlaw Qwert Phillips, has shown up in town to cause trouble for her. Mite doesn't like it a bit.moreless
A 19-year-old shows up in Santa Fe passing himself off as Billy the Kid. Once Buckhart determines he's just an attention-seeking kid, he escorts Clancy James out of town. Unfortunately for the faker, there's an aggressive bounty hunter on his trail who believes he's the wanted killer.
Ranch owner Constance Valeri guns down one of her employees who was carrying her son's saddle. She says she didn't recognize him when she fired, but Sam is suspicious, especially once the dead man's father turns up murdered.
Martha and Tess are held by "Gentleman" Frank Deegan who hides out in their home after being shot in a stagecoach holdup. Sam offers to let the man escape, but the injured gunslinger had rather have a duel.
People in Santa Fe are about to take the law into their own hands, fearful the prisoner being held will attract his murderous compatriots. Sam, temporarily the lone lawman in town, refuses to turn the prisoner over to another marshal; he's not convinced the lawman is who who he claims.
A wagon train of rowdy rawhiders make camp in the middle of town when one of their men is arrested. Sam thinks he's innocent of killing a local scoundrel, especially since the crook's business partner is in a hurry to see the young man hang.
Three con men descend on the town of Libertyville just as a comet appears in the sky. Their scheme scares the pious residents into thinking that the end is near, prompting them to sell their farms and homes for next to nothing.
Returning to Santa Fe, Sam and Tess stop at a burned-out house when the little girl falls into an abandoned well. The marshal can't retrieve her alone and seeks help at a nearby farmhouse, only to be shot.
A lynch mob is ready to string up a possibly innocent out-of-towner when a local man is murdered. Knowing he won't get a fair trail in Santa Fe, Sam escorts the prisoner and his new wife to Albuquerque, but on the way, they stage an escape.
Deputy Marshal Sam Buckhart faces one of the most difficult tasks of his career. He must bring in an Apache whom he grew up with for killing a marshal and deputy.
Crazed mountain man Truck Garnett has escaped, killing a young woman upon his return to the hills. Buckhart goes after him and encounters resistance from the locals who are protecting the murderer.
A tip puts Buckhart on the trail of notorious outlaw Charlie Slade. Sam finds the criminal now has a wife and that the pregnant woman may die from advanced toxemia. Slade allows Buckhart to help save the woman, put promises to kill him when the crisis has passed.
Sam Buckhart finds a young girl hiding in a wagon and her father dead on the ground; he was murdered by a pair of outlaws after his money. Sam brings the new orphan to Martha's boarding house for safe keeping, but her life is in danger. The killer knows that the girl can identify him.moreless
An Apache Indian named Sam Buckhart, educated at Harvard,
becomes Deputy U.S. Marshal for New Mexico, whom Lucas McCain lends his help to arrest the criminal.