Hopalong Cassidy, now the sheriff of Twin River, has a lot of experience rounding up and arresting the bad guys, but what happens when the comes across and outlaw queen? The beautiful, raven-haired Nellie Blaine has shot and killed a pony express rider for the treasure map he was supposedly delivering. What Nellie and her accomplice -- the appropriately named Sneer -- did not realize was that Hopalong had intercepted the rider earlier and took the map for safe keeping. Nellie puts on a store-bought dress and charms Hoppy (ever-the-gentleman) to help her to a remote cabin. Soon Hoppy is knocked unconscious, tied up, and forced to to lead Nellie and Sneer to the treasure map. How can Hoppy get out of this mess? I man, it's easy enough to knock out Sneer, but what about Nellie? It's just not right for a gentleman to hit a lady.
When bad guy Red Topp attempts to rob a stagecoach a passenger jumps out and tries to stop him -- getting a bullet for his heroism. The stagecoach drive uses this diversion to get away and later identifies the robber/killer as Red Topp. Hoppy places the driver in protective custody while he goes after Red, but Red has sneaked into the jail and killed the driver -- the only witness who could convict him. Now that there is no proof he is guilty, Red figures that he is in the clear. But Red has not figured on Hoppy's curiosity and interest in the science of ballistics.
Hoppy's deputy Mesquite takes the "Widder" Jones on a picnic. Hoppy has warned him to be on the lookout for a desperado who has stolen a diamond necklace. And where is the desperado? He's hiding out at the Widder Jones' boarding house and is desperate to hide the stolen necklace. Luckily (?) for him, the widow is baking a cake to take on the picnic with Mesquite. After the cake is in the oven, the neer-do-well hides the necklace in the cooking batter. Imagine how peeved the varmint is
he he discovers the cake is meant for a picnic. At the picnic he gets the drop on Mesquite but doesn't realize it's not nice to interrupt a widow lady's picnic until it is too late.
The town of Cactusville is in trouble. Crime and violence are pampart and the local sheriff is doing nothing about it. Hoppy travels to Cactusville and sees that the sheriff there is letting murder and robbery go unchecked. Hoppy is sure that the sheriff is in cahoots with the town's law-breaking elements and said he was going to write a report to the governor about conditions in Cactusville.
The sheriff knocks Hopalong out, tears up the just-finished report, and aims his gun at Hoppy's unconscious body...Well, this is Hopalong Cassidy we're talking about. Of course he gets out of this mess and cleans up Cactusville.
Why is it that so many bad guys forget that "Hoppy Always Wins" is the unwritten the law of the West?
Also in this issue, "Bang-Up Humor Features!" and "A Gripping Short Story!" (by pulpster Joseph Millard, no less).