Four men are sentenced to hang in the small town of Rio Arriba, and Jim Douglass (Gregory Peck) is glad to see it happen. Jim believes the men murdered his wife and wants them to suffer. However, things go awry when the convicts escape from jail, kidnapping young Emma (Kathleen Gallant) as they gallop out of town. A search party forms with Jim in the lead, especially intent on catching them. He encounters each villain individually, growing closer to rescuing Emma and exacting his revenge.