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After eluding a posse, escaped convict Jonathan Hart rides into the town of Red Gulch, where he quickly attracts the attention of the townspeople. When asked what he is doing there, Johnny tells the local magistrate, Judge Prescott, that he is looking for the man who killed his partner. Johnny becomes entangled in a brief barroom fight, then meets saloon keeper Lorena Dumont. Because of his romantic interest in the beautiful Lorena, Johnny quickly runs afoul of Blackie, a crook who sees himself as the man in Lorena's life. However, Johnny is saved from the full wrath of Blackie and his gang by Big Ben, a local ruffian. Lorena quickly falls in love with Johnny and goes so far as to plan a wedding, telling everyone in Red Gulch about it except Johnny. When he is apprised, Johnny informs Lorena that he has no intention of marrying her, as he hopes to marry his old girl friend, Sheila Winthrop, as soon as he clears his name. Angered, Lorena pulls a pistol and forces Johnny to marry her at gunpoint. After the ceremony, Johnny is arrested, as Lorena has learned from Blackie that Johnny is wanted for manslaughter. He escapes his prison escort, however, and rides back into Red Gulch, then abducts Lorena and forces her on a honeymoon. The next morning, Johnny is arrested once more and sent back to prison. Six years later, Johnny gains his lawful release and returns to Red Gulch, where he learns that he has a five-year-old daughter, Mary Ann. Lorena becomes enraged at Johnny's rejection of both her and Mary Ann and impulsively agrees to marry Blackie. Johnny, in turn, tells Blackie that he plans to kill him, having learned in prison that Blackie is the man who killed his partner. Big Ben, however, tells Johnny that he is the new sheriff and will arrest him if he tries to take the law into his own hands. Refusing to listen to his friend, the single-minded Johnny is almost trapped by Blackie and his men but is inadvertently saved by Mary Ann when she persistently asks her father to buy her some candy. Acting on his fatherly instincts, Johnny decides to hold off on his revenge and take care of Mary Ann at his ranch. Convinced by his friends that he needs a feminine touch to rear Mary Ann properly, Johnny sends for his fiancée Sheila and her aunt Abigail, in King City. Mistakenly thinking that Johnny wants her instead, Lorena closes her saloon and breaks her engagement to Blackie. Upon her arrival in Red Gulch, Abigail manages to convince Lorena that it would be better for Mary Ann if she was brought up as a lady by Johnny and Sheila. The jealous Blackie, however, abducts Mary Ann, in a feeble attempt to reclaim Lorena and kill Johnny. Johnny takes off after Blackie and falls into his trap, but Mary Ann escapes from Blackie's men long enough for Lorena and the townspeople to arrive on the scene. During the ensuing shootout, Johnny kills Blackie and rescues Mary Ann, who has become trapped on a log suspended over a waterfall. Afterward, Johnny gives Lorena a spanking, then confesses his love to her.