On the trail, Ben Kane, a former Dodge City lawman, comes across Billy Young, who has no horse and was abandoned by partner Jesse Boone soon after the killing of a Mexican general.
Kane lets young Billy accompany him to a town in New Mexico where he has a job waiting for him as deputy sheriff. Kane’s real aim is to find the man who murdered his son.
In town, Kane learns from dance-hall girl Lily Beloit that two men who run the town, John Behan and Frank Boone, secretly intend to gun down Kane first chance they get. Frank Boone may be the one Kane is looking for, but Jesse, who is Frank’s son, lands in jail first, accused of shooting Doc Cushman.
Kane and Lily become lovers. Billy, meanwhile, springs Jesse from jail, but feels guilty once Lily reveals to him what happened to Kane’s son. After he deals with Behan and the older Boone, the deputy turns in his badge, but recommends Billy for the job.