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His days of glory as a legendary lawman have passed, and aging Steve Judd accepts the job of transporting gold from a remote mining camp in the Sierras to a smalltown bank. Assisting him are Gil Westrum, another forgotten lawman reduced to earning his living as a carnival sharpshooter, and Heck Longtree, an adventurous young drifter. Secretly, Gil and Heck plan to steal the gold deposits, with or without Steve's help. En route to the mining camp the three men are joined by Elsa Knudsen, the rebellious daughter of a religious zealot. Elsa is running away to join her boyfriend, Billy Hammond, at the mining camp. When they arrive, she marries Billy; but a brawl starts immediately after the ceremony, and Elsa refuses to stay with her husband and his drunken brothers. Instead, she leaves the camp with Steve, Gil, and Heck, who have collected the gold for transport. On the way back to the lowlands, Gil and Heck attempt to steal the gold, but Steve outwits them. Later, Gil slips away but returns when his comrades are attacked by the Hammond brothers. In a blazing shootout, the Hammonds are slain, but Steve also is mortally wounded. Before Steve dies, Gil promises him that he will deliver the gold and do what he can for Elsa and Heck, who have become attracted to each other.