Once an outlaw‚ John Campbell now leads an honest life as a rancher in the Pondera area of Montana. He and his wife and daughter live on a ranch that is on government land but soon will be given an ownership patent. Sheriff Tom Lane knows of Campbell’s past and is his ally. They both worry that men from Campbell’s past may seek him out at any time and cause trouble‚ especially now that Campbell is about to be appointed range agent for the Cattlemen’s Association. Just such a man from Campbell’s past‚ an outlaw named Pearlman‚ arrives on the scene and trouble does begin when he has a run-in with Ricky Odell and Slim Olsen‚ two strangers to Pondera. Why have Odell and Olsen come to Pondera? Pearlman is convinced that are part of a gang being put together by Campbell‚ whose past seems to be catching up with him.
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