Jess Harper finds that gold is at root of all evil while paying a visit to Stede Rhodes and his wife, Ann. The Rhodes are on a homestead Stede is about to lose because he is unwilling to work the farm. Jess offers a loan they turn down but they are willing to take a loan of used equipment and gear at the Sherman Ranch. On the way there they come across a loose pack mule that, on closer inspection, is carrying sacks upon sacks of gold. This causes Stede to turn on Jess when he disagrees with Stede over what to do with the gold. He sends Jess off with no gun or horse while he and Ann head out across the badlands. Jess meets up with Roger Canby, real owner of the gold and they chase down Ann and Stede, but Canby is not the jolly person he appears. He buried his two partners alive in their mine because of the gold and he'll do anything to keep it, including kill again. The tug of war over the gold could cost Jess a friend and his own life.