Road Agent (1952)

Road Agent (1952)

Directed by Lesley Selander and written by Norman Houston this average Tim Holt (using his own name) B Western also features Richard Martin as Chito Jose Gonzalez Bustamante Rafferty. Tim plays an unusual (for him) “Robin Hood”-like character in the title role (a road agent is effectively a highway robber) who along with his sidekick helps some ranchers avoid paying the excessive toll road fees imposed by Milo Brand (Mauritz Hugo). Naturally they assist a young lady Cora Drew (Noreen Nash) daughter of one of the ranchers (Sam Flint). But they are also assisted themselves by another woman the saloon’s piano player Sally Clayton (Dorothy Patrick).

After Tim & Chito reluctantly pay the $10 toll fee to use the road into town they decide to take back $16 of their $20 from the courier Slab Babcock (Bob Wilke). They then decide to avoid the town altogether but get themselves shot at by Cora Drew when they stop to view some cattle. She thought they were rustlers. Cora tells Tim & Chito about her dilemma that she and the other ranchers can’t get their cattle to market because of Milo Brand’s per head toll fees else she could hire them to help with the drive. Meanwhile when Slab returns to town with Brand’s money short the $16 Tim & Chito retrieved he is fired. Tim & Chito decide to ride into town. After getting a meal and a room from the bartender (Tom Kennedy uncredited) they spot an old friend Sally Clayton who plays the piano in the establishment. Slab upset about being fired starts a fight with Tim which is stopped by the Sheriff (Edward Hearn) who after hearing the story tells Tim & Chito to give back the $16. They do then they see Brand and his heavy Larkin (Tom Tyler) leaving town with a strongbox.

Nearly out of money themselves Tim & Chito decide to borrow some capes from Sally in order to hold up Brand and get their $16 back yet again. Unfortunately during the robbery Chito speaks (his Spanish accent is heard) and accidentally fires his gun spooking Brand’s horses; his carriage leaves before Tim is able to give him back the strongbox with the rest of the money. Tim then decides that they could give Brand his money back and help the ranchers pay their toll fees simultaneously. They rush back to town and fool the Sheriff et al into thinking that Chito has small pox while Sally learns how much each rancher needs to pay Brand for a road permit. A few days later when Brand & Larkin go out of town Tim & Chito borrow the capes again to ride by each of the rancher’s homes to drop off the required toll fees leaving a Robin Hood note in each money bag. The ranchers purchase their permits from Pringle (actor completely uncredited?). Tim & Chito then help Cora and the other ranchers gather their cattle for one big drive to market. Though Cora is suspicious Tim doesn’t admit that he and Chito are Robin Hood. Cora doesn’t hire the penniless Slab for the cattle drive because she doesn’t trust him.

When Brand returns to find the cattle drive is almost underway he is furious. He and Larkin head back into to town to find that they’ve been robbed; the desperate Slab had killed Pringle to take the money and then scrawled the name “Robin Hood” on a piece of paper. Brand and the Sheriff ride out to the Drew’s to stop the cattle drive until the culprit can be apprehended. Tim & Chito return to town to talk with Sally but then notice that Slab is suddenly flush with money. After failing to get him to admit that he’s guilty Tim follows him while Chito returns to get the capes from Sally. The fact that he speaks with an accent and is carrying capes while he bumps into Brand makes Chito the prime suspect in the murder. Brand & Larkin learn the truth from Sally such that Larkin keeps her company while Brand gets his men to head out to Slab’s ranch. Meanwhile Chito gets the cape to Tim who then sneaks up on Slab to force him to admit his crime. Just as he does Brand and his men ride up to corner Tim & Chito with Slab; he also kills Slab just before the Sheriff rides up with his posse. Sally had escaped from Larkin and alerted the Sheriff to what had happened. The Sheriff puts 2 & 2 together and reprimands Brand for taking the law into his own hands. He then decides to let Tim & Chito help Cora with her cattle drive before they must return to pay for their crimes.

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