Somebody doesn't like the idea of James Buckley Armstrong coming to help a recently widowed woman. His welcome to the basin is an ambush that leaves one man dead. The problems facing the young widow are overpowering: first her husband was killed, then gambling IOUs showed up and now a bank loan is due and payable. To top it off, rustlers are stealing her herd.
Buck doesn't know where to start, but after he is ambushed for a second time and beaten unconscious, he gets mad. Waking up somewhere in the middle of a sand blow with no water, no hat and no horse only makes Buck ready to even the score.