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In the 1870s, widowed rancher T. C. Jeffords returns from San Francisco to his ranch home "The Furies" in the New Mexico Territory. With him is bank appraiser Reynolds, whom he hopes will approve a loan request. Although T. C., who rules the territory like a king, disdains his son Clay, he admires his willful daughter Vance, who has followed in his footsteps. On behalf of the Anaheim Bank, Reynolds grants T. C. a $100,000 loan on condition that he will evict the squatters on his land. However, Vance insists that T. C. allow the Mexican-American Herrera family to remain, as Juan Herrera has been her best friend since childhood. T. C. then assures Vance that she will run the ranch after he returns to San Francisco, and offers to give her a $50,000 dowry if she marries someone of whom he approves. Instead, Vance falls in love with Rip Darrow, a mercenary saloon owner whose father was killed by T. C., and who is determined to regain the fertile land known as the "Darrow Strip," which T. C. won in a legal battle. Although Vance believes that she has seduced Rip, he accepts T. C.'s offer of her $50,000 dowry in exchange for leaving her. Rip then founds the Darrow Bank, and one year later, legally conducts Anaheim Bank's local business. When Anaheim and Darrow refuse to renew T. C.'s loan unless Vance finally drives off the squatters, she orders her ruthless ranch boss, El Tigre, to burn out everyone except the Herreras. Vance, however, still refuses to evict Juan, her only friend. T. C. then returns to The Furies with his fiancée, Flo Burnett, and Vance's jealousy of Flo erupts into rage when Flo announces that she has hired a manager to run the ranch and drive off the Herreras. Vance angrily hurls a pair of scissors at Flo, permanently disfiguring her, then rides to warn the Herreras. Vance stands by Juan as her father and his men attack the Herrera outpost. However, Juan, who is in love with Vance, surrenders when he realizes that she fears for T. C.'s life. Although T. C. agrees to let them leave peaceably, he insists on hanging Juan for stealing a Furies horse. Vance vows revenge and later travels throughout the Southwest to purchase all of T. C.'s IOUs, which he used more frequently than cash. When she returns to New Mexico, she and Rip ally themselves--Vance agrees to return the Darrow Strip to Rip, and in exchange, he lends her $50,000 and helps her retake the ranch. By now, T. C. is completely broke, and Flo, who has become an alcoholic, refuses to lend him money for fear that he will leave her because she is ugly. Vance convinces the Anaheims to extend T. C.'s loan, and then secretly buys 20,000 head of his cattle. When T. C. completes the cattle drive and arrives to collect his money, Vance pays him with his bought-out IOUs. Impressed by his daughter's acumen, T. C. accepts his defeat without a fight. Father and daughter reunite, and Rip makes his peace with T. C. and expresses his intention to marry Vance. As the three walk into town to celebrate, Juan's mother shoots T. C. in the back. As he dies, T. C. asks Rip and Vance to bury his name with him, as his powerful reputation would be a burden for an heir. However, after bringing T. C.'s body home to The Furies, Vance and Rip plan to name their son T. C.