To net a thousand-dollar reward and save a friend, Josh saves Tolliver Bender from a hanging so he can testify in a nearby trial. Double-crosses are immediately hatched by those who want Tolliver dead and by those who want the money.
Josh and Jason ride into Pittman looking for Tolliver Bender. The town is deserted other than an old man napping. He tells them Tolliver and the town's version of law, Amos McKenna, are down by the tree where Tolliver is to be hanged. They ride up just in time to stop the hanging. McKenna stops it in response to Josh's request but he wants to know why. Josh shows him a poster saying there is a reward of $1000 for Tolliver to testify at a hearing for Josh's friend Fletcher Grant in Dry Creek. After reading the poster, McKenna wanting to be paid, eventually agrees to accept $250 for Tolliver if he is returned to Pittman to be hanged. Josh says he can have him back in ten days but McKenna wants Jason as a guarantee that Josh returns with Tolliver. Josh doesn't want to do it but Jason tells him to go ahead. As soon as everyone leaves, McKenna stops Flint Bickford to tell him about the reward. If Flint can take Tolliver away, McKenna will split the $1000 with him. Josh soon finds himself ... Written by
How come you killed the Bickford boy?
He was no good.
Well, that's a reason to kill a man?
He was sayin' things about my daughter. Oh, mind ya they was true, but a Daddy don't like to hear things like that. So I killed him. I shoulda killed the rest of 'em. Ain't none of 'em any good.
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"Tolliver Bender," played by Douglas V. Fowley, is an old codger who killed a man because he said things about Tolliver's daughter. The town of Pittman succeeded in convicting him, but just as he's about to be hanged, Josh Randall arrives, intending to 'borrow' the captive so his testimony will free an innocent man being tried in another town three days away. The shifty mayor, Amos McKenna (John Carradine), having promised the bloodthirsty mob a hanging, barters for half of the $1000 dollar reward, settles for $250, then insists on keeping Jason Nichols (Wright King) around, in case their prisoner fails to return in time. The trip there and back find Randall being ambushed for the money not just by one of McKenna's flunkies, but also a pretty girl handy with the rifle (Gloria Talbott, from the earlier "Fatal Memory" and the later "Three for One"). All the while, Bender himself shows no remorse for his crime (simply defending his daughter), wanting only to avenge himself on the despised townsfolk of Pittman. Legendary scene stealer John Carradine, dapper and clean shaven, alternates between droll and conniving, casually relaxing with another drink while everyone else runs around to do his bidding (sneaking in one reference to his beloved Bard). This was a TV reunion for Carradine and Douglas Fowley, paired in nine different titles over the years, from 1935's "Transient Lady" to 1977's "The White Buffalo." Lovely Gloria Talbott, Carradine's co- star from 1959's "The Oregon Trail," unfortunately hasn't much screen time, while sharp eyed viewers will spot Frank Sully (from Carradine's "Grapes of Wrath") and Percy Helton, both uncredited playing various townsmen.
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