While on the way back to Medicine Bow, Sheriff Ryker is on a stage coach with four other passengers, the driver and the shotgun. They are trapped by a group of Mexicans at a prospector's cabin on a detour. Their leader knows Ryker and they want one of the passengers Wiley for the rape and murder of a girl from their village in Mexico. Wiley claims to be innocent and Ryker wants the Mexicans to allow Wiley to be taken back to town for a trial. The group lead by Ryker refuses to turn Wiley over to the Mexicans. Tensions increase as the Mexicans put pressure on the group first by running off their horses resulting in the death of the man riding shotgun followed by the cutoff of their water supply. The old drunk who led them to the cabin agrees to try to reach help. He marks a trail but ends up dead with Ryker's pistol which The Virginian and Trampas recognize when the body is found. They follow the trail to force the release of the group after they kidnap the Mexican leader's son but ...