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It is 1878 in Texas. A thirty-two year old town marshal is shot, but his wife (Beverly Garland) grabs a rifle and kills one of the two assailants. The other gets away. At her husband's burial, she snatches a pistol from one of the mourners and shoots a man, saying he was the second shooter. She asks the town mayor to make her marshal until the replacement marshal he sent for arrives because she wants to find out who was behind her husband's killing. The mayor agrees. There is a woman in town who runs the saloon, the film's villain, who insists that she will keep it running beyond the 3 AM curfew. Garland goes to the saloon at 3 AM and closes it after a fist fight with the villain. The villain sends for a gunslinger (John Ireland) to come and shoot Garland and to help her gobble up as many local properties as possible because she thinks that the railroad will be coming through the town. Garland happens to meet Ireland while he is on his way to town and Ireland helps her capture an outlaw. Ireland and Garland are attracted to each other, although he has accepted $3,000 to kill her. Ireland discovers that the town mayor is his former captain in the southern forces in the Civil War. He ran away from a battle, which caused his forces to desert, and resulted in the death of Ireland's brothers. Ireland says he will kill the mayor, but Garland is determined to protect him. Will Ireland try to kill Garland and the mayor? Will the saloon owner be able to kill Garland? Will the railroad come through the town? Who will be alive at the film's end?

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