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Frank Madden arrives in the prairie town of Kendall, Oklahoma, to take possession of a ranch he has purchased. Meanwhile, in the town saloon, which has been temporarily converted into a courthouse, brothers Neil, Bert and Tom Shipley, are on trial for murder, for the lynching deaths of an Indian man and woman. Ignoring the judge's instruction to disregard the race of the victims, the all-white jury promptly acquits the brothers. Later, sheriff Jim Dixon directs Frank to the land agent, Jeb Cantrell, whose daughter Catherine feels compassion for the Indians and is distraught over the unfair verdict. Frank is unwilling to express an opinion on the issue, telling Catherine that he prefers not to take sides, but in truth Frank is part Indian himself, a fact that he conceals. Later, Catherine accompanies Frank to his property, which is bordered by the Shipley brothers' land. Frank angers the brothers when he fences his land to keep their cattle from grazing on it, and he is beaten up when he defends Kileni, an Indian boy who has been injured by Bert. The Shipley brothers now look for opportunities to provoke Frank into a fight, and the hostility between them grows when Taini, an Indian girl who has been the object of Bert's unwanted desires, comes to thank Frank for helping her brother Kileni. Soon, Frank's grandfather Matara shows up at the ranch hoping to convince Frank to come back to his own people. When Frank refuses, on the grounds that Indians are unable to own land, Matara stays on at the ranch in the guise of a servant. Meanwhile, the young Indians in the town are beginning to rebel against their persecution. Takola, the husband of the woman lynched by the Shipley brothers, comes back for revenge, and he ambushes and kills Tom. Neil immediately blames Frank, and he and Bert are about to shoot Frank when the sheriff puts Frank in jail for his own safety. Neil and Bert organize a mob and abduct Frank from the jail, causing Catherine to castigate the crowd and publicly proclaim her love for Frank. Just as they and are about to lynch Frank, Taini comes forth and announces that Frank could not have killed Tom because he had spent the night with her. Frank is released, but Catherine is humiliated and outraged that Frank would have an affair with an Indian girl. He tries to explain that Taini was only lying to save him, but Catherine refuses to listen to him. Bert also believes the lie, and he jealously sets out to kill Frank and Taini. He comes across them when Matara arrives in town to pick up Frank and they stop stop to talk with Taini on their way back to the ranch. Bert opens fire, killing Matara and wounding Taini. After shooting and killing both Bert and Neil, Frank tells the townspeople that he is an Indian, bitterly denouncing his own attempts to pass for white. Later, after Frank buries his grandfather, the sheriff tries to persuade him to stay in town. Frank refuses, choosing instead to start over in a new place, this time living as an Indian. As he rides out of town, Catherine, who now knows that Frank was telling the truth about Taini, joins him.