In 1883, Paris Pitman, Jr. has pulled off a $500,000 robbery and, having murdered his partners, is the only one who knows where the money is hidden. He is seen in a bordello and is captured, tried, convicted and sentenced to an Arizona penitentiary.
A corrupt warden, LeGoff, is willing to cut the prisoner a deal. He will let Pitman break out of jail for an even split of the half-million dollars. Pitman agrees, but the plan goes awry when LeGoff is murdered during an inmate uprising.
Former sheriff Woodward Lopeman becomes the new warden. Although they are enemies, he and Pitman work together to improve conditions at the prison. On a day the lieutenant governor visits, Pitman makes his move. He sparks a riot and manages to escape, but not before three inmates are killed, whereupon Pitman himself does away with two more partners.
The money has been hidden in a nest of rattlesnakes. Pitman heads for it, with Lopeman in hot pursuit. The money is his again when Pitman is suddenly bitten by a rattlesnake. By the time Lopeman comes across him, Pitman is already dead. Lopeman collects the money, as well as Pitman’s body, and rides back to the prison. However, upon his arrival, he abruptly decides to leave the body and gallop off, absconding to Mexico with the money.