A son of a dead man accused of robbing a Wells Fargo stage discovers an empty strong box in the attic of his farmhouse. The boy is still convinced that his father has been falsely accused and hopes Jim Hardie finds the real culprits.
Sam Craig has died and thought by many in his hometown of Calico that he held up a Wells Fargo stage alone getting $10,000. He was known to have told his sister he made a big deal before he died and deposited $10,000 in the Calico bank. He died leaving a young son Jason and sister Ellen who both believe Sam was innocent. After Sam's funeral Jason finds a Wells Fargo strong box in the attic while picking up his dad's things. Ellen goes to the main Wells Fargo office in San Francisco where she tells Jim Hardie about the find but that Sam had been very sick before his death and he had told her he had made a big deal in Virginia City. Hardie agrees to pick up the box and investigate but that any new findings must be based on hard evidence and so far it looks bad for Sam. When Jason learns of Hardie's arrival, he hides the box and refuses to return it until he fills it with the $10,000. Hardie stays at a hotel owned by Frank Finley who is the only friend of Jason and Ellen in Calico. ... Written by
TALES OF WELLS FARGO was a western series than ran for a total of 200 episodes between 1957 and 1962. Dale Robertson plays the lead as Jim Hardee. Hardee is an agent for the stage and cargo hauling outfit. When something goes wrong he is the man they send to fix it.
This episode is the 5th of the series. A Wells Fargo stage has been robbed of a strongbox containing $10,000 is silver. A man who deposited an identical sum in a bank is the main suspect. The man however dies before he can be questioned. Several days later the dead man's sister, Rachel Ames and his young son, Brad Morrow find a Wells Fargo strongbox in the attic.
Miss Ames contacts Wells Fargo Investigator Dale Robertson about the box. Though she cannot explain where her brother got the cash, she is sure that the strongbox is a set up. Robertson agrees to look into the matter though he believes the dead man is the actual thief.
Robertson roots around the small town looking for any possible evidence to clear Ames' brother. He does not find any. The entire town is convinced the dead man did the deed. Robertson is about to end his search when he spots a man he is sure he knows from somewhere. The man, K.L. Smith turns out to be an ex Wells Fargo guard who had been cashiered for being a drunk. Smith seems to be a bit over friendly with local hotel owner Robert Rockwell.
Now Miss Ames discovers a set of papers among her dead brother's belongings. It is bill of sale for a part of a gold mine. The sale amount was exactly $10,000. She rushes to town to show said papers to Robertson. Robertson is out at the moment. Hotelier Rockwell offers to takes the papers and give them to Robertson when he returns to his room. Ames keeps said papers and asks Rockwell to send Robertson out her farm instead.
Now we find out that Rockwell and Smith are indeed the hold-up men. They have the coin hidden and are waiting for the heat to cool down. They had gotten a lucky break when suspicion had fallen on Ames' dead brother. The last thing they need now is for this bill of sale clearing the dead man to appear.
Rockwell sends Smith out to bump off Miss Ames and grab up the bill of sale for destruction. Smith is however interrupted by the timely arrival of Robertson. Iron is pulled and several ounces of lead exchanged. Robertson has the better aim and floors Smith. Before he dies, Smith confesses to the whole robbery as well as Rockwell's part in it. Rockwell is soon scooped up and handed up for a bit of jail.
This is a decent little half hour western that was directed by former big screen man, Jerry Hopper.
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