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In an accident caused by a buried pipeline, Scott Swenson, who operates a crop dusting service based in El Paso, crashes his plane into the water tower of a Mexican village. In town he sees a friend, Frank Bryant, accompanied by a woman, Sylvia, driving in a sports car. At the police station, Scott discovers that $50,000 has been offered for Bryant's capture, dead or alive, on the charge of kidnaping and murdering a boy in the United States. To avoid paying for repairs to the water tower, Swenson offers to help the police chief, Captain Carbajal, find Bryant and Sylvia in return for half the bounty. Accompanying them are Police Sergeant Lopez, a young Indian, Joaquin, and Luis, who dreams of becoming a bullfighter. In the desert 2 days later, the posse captures Bryant and Sylvia, but he insists that he is innocent. Then Lopez finds out about the $50,000 reward and demands that the bounty be shared. Joaquin tries to escape with the prisoners, but Lopez kills both him and Bryant. The horses are lost in the gunplay, and Luis dies attempting to recover one of them. Scott confronts Lopez as he tries to carry Bryant's body away, and the sergeant's horse bolts. Lopez runs into the desert after his mount, leaving behind Carbajal, delirious from an attack of malaria. Scott and Sylvia set off together for help.