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Joaquin Murrieta, son of Ferdinand, a Spanish land baron of California, falls in love with Ruth Ainsworth, daughter of the U. S. Land Commissioner. Bart Hamby is caught by Chombo, Joaquin's faithful servant, stealing gold from the Murrieta property, but the carefree Joaquin has him released. Jake, the villain's brother, decides to engage in a duel with Joaquin and steal the gold, but their meeting ends in a deadlock. Jake tries to persuade Ainsworth to aid him in illegal confiscation of gold lands; when he refuses, Jake shoots him with Joaquin's pistol. Joaquin seeks Ainsworth for consent to marry Ruth; set up through congratulatory drinks, he is framed for the murder, but he escapes and becomes a fugitive. The Hamby gang burns the hacienda and doubles the taxes, and Joaquin becomes a defender of the people, rescues Ruth from the villains, and takes revenge on Jake, the murderer of his father.