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After a wagon train traveling through Oklahoma is attacked by Comanche Indians, a young Cherokee named Willie Whitewater surveys the remains of the devastated train and finds a fair-skinned baby girl hidden in a trunk. He takes the infant to his parents, who name her "Rose of Cimarron" and rear her as they would their own Indian child. Years later, Rose's foster parents are murdered while trying to stop outlaws George Newcomb, Clem Dawley and Mike Finch from stealing their horses. When Rose discovers this, she vows revenge and goes in search of the three missing horses--a skewbald, a palomino and a sorrel. Rose's search takes her to Dodge City, where she seeks the aid of Marshal Hollister, known as one of the best lawmen in the West. Despite Hollister's attempt to persuade Rose that she must abide by the white man's law, which requires a fair trial before punishment can be meted out, she demands that the three outlaws be hanged immediately upon capture. Hollister and Rose soon fall in love, and Hollister promises repeatedly that he will bring the outlaws to justice. However, when Rose finds Dawley and Finch, she takes matters into her own hands and kills them in a gun battle. Hollister imprisons Rose and places her in a jail cell adjacent to Deacon, one of Newcomb's men. Soon after, Newcomb and one of his gunslingers, Rio, break Deacon out of jail, and Newcomb, who is attracted to Rose, frees her also. Newcomb realizes that he will have to murder Rose, however, due to her vendetta against her parents' killers, and arranges to have Dawley's younger brother, Jeb, ambush her. Jeb's attempts to shoot Rose fail, although Newcomb manages to convince her that Jeb, whom he shoots in the back, was the third man involved in the murders of Red Fawn and Lone Eagle. Meanwhile, back at Dodge City, Hollister realizes that his only hope of tracking down the outlaws is through Rose, and he attempts to lure her back by placing Willie under arrest on trumped-up charges. When Rose returns to Dodge City, she discovers that a $1,000 bounty has been placed on her head, and that Hollister is planning to transport Willie to a federal prison on the same eastbound train that the Newcomb gang is planning to rob. As the train speeds along, nearing a stretch of track that has been destroyed by the Newcomb gang, Rose, on horseback, manages to overtake it and climb on board. Once on the train, Rose pulls the emergency cord, thus preventing a train wreck. No sooner does the train come to a halt, however, than the outlaws begin looting the train's gold cargo. A blistering gun battle ensues, during which Deacon is seriously wounded, and Rose and Willie escape. As the outlaws flee, they bury the gold near a group of trees, then split up, with Rose and Willie taking Deacon. Newcomb circles around to get the gold and is confronted by Rio, who was also attempting to claim the loot. Newcomb shoots Rio, then joins Rose and Willie at a ranch hideout. There, Rose discovers, through Deacon's deathbed confession, that Newcomb is one of the men who killed her Indian foster parents. Hollister arrives, and although Newcomb makes an attempt to flee, Rose and Hollister catch up with him, and Hollister kills him. Satisfied with the demise of the Newcomb gang, Rose and Hollister ride off together to begin life anew.