Fresh out of the territorial prison, Tucker Ashley meets up with his old friend Jack, who staked a claim along Deadwood Gulch at the beginning of the Black Hills gold rush. But they arrive at the claim to find it has been jumped by two men. Jack and Tucker kick them off, only to be confronted by rule enforcers for the mining district—Zell McGinty and his son, Trait, gunmen known for their ruthlessness. Tucker’s long prison sentence—away from the daily practice of gun handling—has deadened his skills, so he and Jack are powerless to resist them and are forced off their claim.
They learn that miners all along the gulch have been killed. Indians are being blamed—until Jack and Tucker uncover that most of them were murdered by the McGintys, who’d filed with the mining district for the dead men’s claims. The dead include the son of Ramona Hazelton of Hazelton Oil, who was killed and scalped, a Lakota arrow in his back. She offers a reward for the Indian who killed her son, sending a swarm of greedy miners into the hills to find him, but few of them return.
When the McGintys find out Tucker has uncovered their murderous scheme, Trait goes on the hunt for Tucker. But Tucker’s legendary skills with a pistol still have to be relearned, and all the while, he’s looking over his shoulder, waiting to be confronted by the deadly gunman.