Two friends, middle-aged Pearl and pretty, young schoolteacher Hallie, have just about decided to leave the rough Western town of Whiskey Bend, where both are disillusioned with the way they have been treated. The final straw comes when they witness their friend Mary being assaulted in the street by her stepbrother Chester and no one steps forward to help her. They decide to leave and take Mary with them. They go out to the shack where Chester and Mary live to get her, but when Chester attacks them, Pearl shoots him in the leg. He screams after the three that he will follow them wherever they go. Desperately they drive away in an open wagon seeking a new life and safety. One night along the way they are caught in a violent storm and Mary nearly drowns in a roiling river. She is saved by a daring young rancher who brings them back to his home to stay until Mary recovers. The rancher has troubles of his own. He is condemned by his mother for having left his father to run the ranch alone years earlier. He is searching for the murderer of his younger brother. And someone now is trying to kill him. Attracted to him and grateful, Hallie vows to help him..