Colonel MacKenzie is seriously injured in an accident by Tate's horse when MacKenzie saves Tate after his horse is scared by a rattlesnake. Tate brings him into the nearest town, Concho, in a wagon looking for a doctor. He finds that the only doctor in town is in jail, scheduled to be hanged the next morning. Feeling personally reasonable for the Colonel, Tate must contend with the deputy, Lonnie, Sheriff Tolliver, and finally Judge John Markham to get access to Dr. Benjamin Kinkaid. Though Tate finally persuades the sentencing judge to let the doctor out under guard to treat the Colonel, after the surgery starts against the Judge's wishes, Tate learns there are two costs before the doctor will complete the operation. He wants $10,000 for his wife and Tate to prove the witness against him, Tracy, lied. When Tate investigates he learns that the judge may have been motivated more by a desire for vengeance than for justice.