Ben Brigade rides down wanted murderer Billy John and plans to take him back to Vera Cruz. On the way he runs into an old acquaintance, Sam Boone and his friend Whit, who are both wanted by the law. At a stage relay station they pick up Carrie Lane, whose husband is missing. Another love interest with a weak husband for the hero which is a common occurence in the Ranown cycle movies.
Indians wanted to trade a horse for Carrie but Ben said no. Now they are trailing the group along with Billy's brother Frank. To complicate matters, Sam and Whit want to bring Billy in because then they can get amnesty for any crimes they may have committed.
When Bill gets a hold of a gun, Sam takes it away from him. Sam is another of those bad guys who has good qualities that we see in the Ranown cycle movies who usually save the hero's life at some point.
Ben brings the group to a "hanging tree." Frank who is still following knew that was where he was going. It seems that he had done Ben a wrong long ago, which is why Ben took Billy.
During the show down at the tree, Ben guns down the charging Frank (bull fighting scene once again) with the help of Sam and Whit. He then turns Billy over to Sam and Whit. The film ends with Ben burning down the tree where Frank had hung his wife.
Great casts of villains, led by Pernell Roberts, Lee van Cleef and James Coburn (in his first role), makes this one of the best in this great series of movies.