Dave has been searching for quite a while for his old flame, a girl named "Jeff", who he finds working in a saloon as a prostitute and singer under the thumb of ex-prizefighter Denny Lipp. Yet, when he finally offers to "rescue her" from the cruel ex-boxer, he finds she is reluctant to leave him.
Dave has been meeting evenings with the local schoolmarm, Miss Larson, to learn how to write his name. On this night, after he leaves, she is attacked by local no-count Frank Ritchie, who tries to rape her. Screaming for help, Ritchie kills her just as Dave returns and guns him down. Not yet dead, Frank is taken to the closest house by Dave, which happens to be the other two Ritchie brothers, Leth and Doug. They capture Dave and concoct a story that Dave killed the schoolmarm and Frank was murdered trying to stop him. However, Dave escapes before the law and the angry...
Dave, in Southfork for the local rodeo, meets up with Burgundy Smith for the first time, a conniving no-count con man. When Burgundy offers a hundred dollars for Dave's mongrel dog Brown, and Dave turns him down, the adventure in dog-napping and bar room fighting begins!
Dave finds himself in sexually charged hot water when he saves the life of Henry Hadley and his weighty saddle bags with untold gold coins. Escorting Hadley to the failing ranch of Marsh Kennedy, Dave meets the provocative and spoiled Mrs. Kennedy, Hadley's niece Margie Lee, who makes her desires known to Dave in no time flat.
In the town of Dos Pinos, Dave is pressed into service by the sheriff to care for the bushwhacked deputy. As the sheriff goes for the doctor, Dave hides the dying deputy in the back room of the saloon while the no count Pauk Loper, the man who shot him, parties out front.
Dave meets Libby and falls in love-- head over heels. Of course, things go terribly wrong when he runs head on with his old nemesis Burgundy Smith, the no count con man who has also laid claim to the beautiful Libby!
While crossing the desert, Dave ducks into a small cave during a wind storm and finds $30,000 in stolen government gold. Not a cowboy with a well defined moral compass, Dave decides to keep the gold and head for Mexico.
Dave and Brown find a dead man on the trail. They take him to a cattle camp, where he meets an old friend of his. But when Dave's friend gets drunk and picks a fight with Dave, Dave has no choice but to shoot his old friend.
When Dave is fired from the ranch, he is hired to track down a very rare and expensive painting. But when Daves friend finds out about it, he tries to snooker it from Dave for considerably less than it is worth.