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In northern Mexico in 1911, American Irish Gallagher and his Mexican partner, Marco, strike gold at their mine. Their celebration is interrupted by corrupt province leader Colonel Paco Ruiz and his federale soldiers, who demand half of the gold in exchange for "protection." Irish refuses and, when the soldiers begin to take the mine by force, beats up Ruiz. He and Marco flee on horseback, but the soldiers shoot and kill Marco and chase Irish into the hills. There, they have him hopelessly surrounded when a band of Mexican rebels appear and drive the soldiers away. One of the insurrectionaries, Raquel Noriega, is shot in the arm, but covers the wound and fights on. Irish is grateful to the rebels until they tie him up and take him to their secret hideaway. There, leader Arturo Torres, mistrusting the disrespectful Irish, punches him. Just then, Raquel collapses from her wound, and Irish agrees to remove the bullet in exchange for his freedom. During the operation, Raquel endures the pain without a sound. Two days later, rebels Carlos and Tomas explain to Irish how Ruiz killed Raquel's parents and kidnapped her sister Elena. Inside, Raquel, who is engaged to Arturo, informs him she must seek Elena in the town of Avila, regardless of the danger. Later, Irish criticizes Raquel for her lack of femininity, and she coldly informs him that she will escort him out of the camp the next day. Moments after they leave the camp, Pasquel Orozco, the leader of a ragtag band of Mexican rebels, arrives and asks Arturo to obtain a shipment of American rifles and attack Ruiz's men, which will allow Orozco's army to defeat the other federales . Although Arturo refuses, Tomas and Carlos secretly scheme to raise the money needed to buy the rifles. Meanwhile, on the trail to Avila, Raquel scorns Irish's plan to ask the Mexican government to help him reclaim his mine, explaining that President Diaz is corrupt. She leaves him outside of town and visits rebel sympathizer Father Perez, who informs her that Elena believes Ruiz is innocent and plans to marry him. Irish then arrives in town and is immediately spotted by federales , and when Raquel sees him outside and tries to help him escape, both are captured. In the prison, they kiss, and soon after Arturo's band shows up to break them out. They all hide at a rebel saloon, where Raquel learns about Orozco's request and convinces Irish to help them finance the rifles by raiding his own gold mine. A jealous Arturo tries to stop them, and when Irish beats him up, the rest of the rebels back Irish. Arturo leaves in shame but heads straight to Ruiz's headquarters to offer up the location of the rebel camp in return for a promise of safety for him and Raquel. The next day, he leads the federales to the camp, and almost everyone is killed. Tomas, Raquel and Irish bring a wounded Carlos to Father Perez's, and there, Tomas watches in horror from his hiding place as his mother is executed as part of Ruiz's scheme to punish the relatives of rebels. Holding a despondent Raquel, Irish insists that their small group carry on the planned mine raid. At the mine, they set a fire to distract the soldiers, and collect enough gold to travel to America and buy the rifles. They are spotted on their way back into Mexico, however, and when Raquel diverts the soldiers away from the wagons, she is captured and brought to Ruiz. She refuses to talk, so Ruiz takes her and Elena with him to join the other federale forces in the town of Juarez. Arturo, seeing them leaving, tries to rescue Raquel but is shot. He struggles onto his horse and races to the rebels, where he reveals Ruiz's plan just before dying. The townspeople, now armed, rush via a shortcut to the mine, which lies on the trail to Juarez. Irish scatters dynamite throughout the mine shafts, and just as Ruiz's army marches by, he blows up the mine. In the ensuing confusion, the rebels easily defeat the army. Irish spots Ruiz trying to escape with Elena and chases them, pulling the colonel from his horse. Ruiz runs, only to be shot by Tomas in retaliation for his mother's death. The army demolished, Raquel approaches Irish and asks him why he destroyed his beloved mine. When he replies that there was something he loved even more, she embraces him.