The movie opens with a stranger walking into a campfire where two men sit on a rainy night. He reveals that he is the former sheriff of Silver Springs, where 7 men robbed the Wells Fargo office of a large amount of gold and killed a woman. He is after those men. They ask if he has found any yet. He replies "Two", and shoots them.
Sheriff Ben Stride (Randolph Scott) later comes across John and Anne Greer (Walter Reed and Gail Russell), two settlers moving west. Their wagon is stuck in mud. He helps free them. The couple are inexperienced and having a lot of difficulty. Since all are headed to Flora Vista, the Greers ask Stride if they can travel along with him. Along the way, they encounter Bill Masters (Lee Marvin). Masters is a troublemaking gunslinger, who has twice been jailed by Stride. Masters reveals to Stride that his intention is to rob the gold from the original robbers. As the group travels, it is obvious that there are sparks between Stride and Anne Greer, although her husband seems oblivious. Masters tries to stir up trouble with constant comments about the attraction between the two. Fed up, Stride finally forces Masters to leave the group.
Masters travels ahead to Flora Vista, where he meets Bodeen, the leader of the robbers. He informs them that 2 of their accomplices are dead (the 2 killed by Stride in the opening), and that Stride is coming for the rest. The robbers are visibly shaken, and wonder why Stride is after them if he is no longer Sheriff. Masters reveals that the woman killed in the robbery was Stride's wife. It is personal, Stride wants them dead, not just arrested. They are worried, and offer Masters a share of the loot if he will help them face Stride. Masters wants his money up front, and Bodeen reveals that the money is being brought to Flora Vista by an additional accomplice- John Greer.
Two more of the bank robbers go out to ambush Stride on his way in. They shoot from too far away. Stride falls off his horse and rolls behind a boulder. When they go to inspect the body, Stride shoots both dead. Stride is injured and has lost his horse. As he rests, the Greers reach him. A remorseful Greer, reveals to his wife that he is transporting the gold to Flora Vista for the robbers. Stride hears, and takes the gold from Greer. Stride holes up in a canyon with the gold, so the remaining robbers will have to come to him. He tells Greer to bypass the town and continue west. Instead, Greer enters town and tells Bodeen where Stride is with the gold. Greer also informs Stride that he is going to the sheriff to get help for Stride. As Greer turns to walk to the sheriff's office, he is shot in the back by Bodeen (conveniently leaving his wife a widow for Stride).
The last 3 robbers head to the canyon to confront Stride. Stride kills 2 of them, and the 3rd is killed by Masters who was tailing them. Masters and Stride face off in the canyon. Masters does not want to fight Stride. Masters tells Stride that since all 7 robbers are dead, Stride has gotten the revenge he wanted. He asks Stride to leave him the gold he wants. Stride refuses, and in the shootout Stride kills Masters. In the end, Stride returns to Silver Springs, and Anne Greer follows him there.
Thanks Joseph C!