Alcoholic former cavalryman Hack Williams is arrested for killing an Indian, something he did not do. The townspeople, fearful of Apache reprisals, plan to hang Williams in hopes of heading off an attack. But the attack comes and Hack, locked in his jail cell, is the only survivor as a massacre occurs. Into the scene of carnage arrives schoolteacher Nora Haynes. Together she and Williams must find a way to reach safety before another Indian attack. But the pair are by no means well-matched, and their trip alone across the desert is not destined to be an easy one.