Tom Logan is a rustler experiencing hard times. His gang and he are particularly upset by the hanging of a friend of theirs by Braxton, a land baron, who takes the law into his own hands. They decide to seek vengeance against Braxton by killing his foreman Pete Marker, hanging him from the same tree that Braxton and his men hanged their friend. Logan and his gang then buy a small farm close to Braxton's ranch with money they stole during a train robbery, and begin rustling his stock.
First the gang, without Logan, rides across the Missouri River and north of the border into Canada to steal horses belonging to the North-West Mounted Police. The theft initially goes well, until the Mounted Police catch up to the gang, forcing them to abandon the stolen horses and flee for their lives. In their absence, Logan plants crops and enters into a relationship with Braxton's aggressive, virginal daughter, Jane.
Braxton is incensed with both his rustling problem and his daughter, and sends for Robert E. Lee Clayton, a notorious Irish-American "regulator", who for a price, will take care of rustlers personally.
Quickly suspicious of Logan, who does not strike him as a farmer, Clayton dons a variety of disguises and begins to pick off Logan's gang, one by one. Identifying himself under the pseudonym of "Jim Ferguson", he kills Logan's young friend Little Tod, who cannot swim, by drowning him in the Missouri River.
Clayton spies on Logan with binoculars and taunts Braxton about his daughter's affair with a horse thief. Braxton attempts to discharge him, but Clayton is determined to finish his job. He shoots Si as he is trying to have sex with a farmer's adulterous wife. He also shoots Cary after he enters an outhouse. Finally, Clayton arrives at the gang's hideout one night and sets fire to the house, forcing a burning Cal to run to the river and throw himself in to extinguish the flames. He askes Cal where Logan is, and Cal says he was in the house but refused to come out. Clayton then impales Cal through his right eye with a large throwing star. Logan arrives the next morning, and sadly buries Cal.
A few nights later, Clayton is serenading his horse by campfire light. Once the campfire goes dark and Clayton falls asleep, Logan sneaks into his camp and slits his throat. Logan then comes after Braxton, who has been feigning a trance due to shock. But, at an opportune time, Braxton pulls a gun on Logan and attempts to kill him. Logan gets the upper hand and shoots Braxton in the chest, killing him.
Logan abandons his farm and packs up to leave, planning to go north of the Missouri River. Jane arrives, telling him that she has found a buyer for the ranch, and asks about the two of them. He acknowledges to Jane the possibility that they can renew their relationship at another time and place, maybe six months in the future.
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