This fast-paced western, geared entirely to the small-fry, was the first in Republic Pictures' long-running "Red Ryder" series to star Allan Lane. Lane had taken over from William Elliot, who had been promised A-westerns only by company president Herbert I. Yates. Ryder and his young Indian pal Little Beaver (Robert Blake) come to the aid of Ryder's stout aunt, "The Duchess" (Martha Wentworth), whose crusading efforts to open up a privately owned toll-road for all travellers has put the elderly rancher in danger from a powerful if corrupt civic leader, newspaper publisher Crawford (Barton MacLane). The second in the Lane "Red Ryder" series to be filmed, Santa Fe Uprising was substituted for a weaker entry in order to give the new Ryder the best possible chances for success. Wentworth, whose character name as depicted by series creator Fred Harman was, interestingly enough, "Martha 'The Duchess' Wentworth," replaced Alice Fleming in the role as Ryder's indomitable aunt. Lane, Blake, and Wentworth went on to star in six more "Red Ryder" westerns before the series moved over to Eagle-Lion (the former PRC) where the roles would be played by Jim Bannon, Don Kay Reynolds, and veteran B-western actress Marin Sais.