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Warner deserts the Confederate Army when he learns that Rosa, the Mexican woman he loves, is ill with cholera and about to give birth to his child. Recaptured by the Confederates and placed on a burial detail, he escapes with his friends Lucky Boy and Sam and travels to Rosa's hometown near the Mexican border, where a cholera epidemic now rages. Don Pedro Sandoval, Rosa's father, who had forbidden her to marry Warner because he was a "gringo," informs him of her death and drives him away with his newborn son. Joined by an ex-monk, Warner and his friends are unable to obtain food. A farmer, fearful of exposure to cholera, spills a pail of milk rather than give it to the baby. The infant dies, and Warner swears revenge, drowning the farmer in a trough filled with milk and raiding the countryside with a desperado band. Sandoval's oldest son is killed, and his body dumped on Sandoval's doorstep. As Warner and his men flee to Mexico, Sandoval pursues the outlaw, and during a religious festival the two men confront each other. Fighting with knives on a catwalk over a bullpen, both men fall into the ring, and Sandoval is gored to death. Warner and his band find themselves trapped in the arena, surrounded by a troop of Mexican soldiers. The outlaws begin to fire against hopeless odds and are gunned down.