Just after the echos of civil war ended for America, Emporer Maximillian was sweeping through Mexico. News comes in for the president of Mexico of the latest towns that have fallen. What should he do? With ammunition running low, the Mexican president decides that what he needs is a shipment of nitro gliserin.
President Juarez tells how he plans to use the new explosive to cut off the enemie’s approach. Will the plan work? It’s all he has left, and sends a man to get a sample to start a manufacturing plant in Mexico. When Maximillian hears of the plan to retrieve the explosive, he decides to set up an ambush to intercept the man, and steal it for himself.
Out on the range, Lone Ranger and Tonto spot the lone rider, about to be caught by troops wearing the French uniforms of Maximillians soldiers. Since those soldiers aren’t supposed to be across the border, our masked hero rides to defend the lone rider, saving him from the evil clutches of Maximillian. It looks like the victory may be short lived when the angry Maximillian hears about it.
Fortunately, Lone Ranger is cautious, and lays low with the messenger at a nearby mission. He explains to the messenger how he used the fear of the large troops to overcome them with only their small numbers. When the cavalry troop comes back, will another bluff work as well? It’ll take another kind of diversion to fool the army again, but the Lone Rangerworks his plan, and does some quick switching.
Will the trickery work? The nitro seems to be safe, but it doesn’t keep the Lone Ranger from becoming a prisoner, condemned to die in front of a firing squad. Things have never appeared so dire for the masked man. There’s still a bluff he can pull that might help him at least get free of the firing squad. The final moments are suspenseful as the military commander decides what to do next.