In Oklahoma in 1889 rancher Jed Cooper is hanged and left for dead by a nine-man lynch mob who believe him guilty of murder and cattle-rustling. After being saved by a passerby, Jed is exonerated and then appointed deputy marshal by Judge Adam Fenton. Jed rounds up many of the territory's toughest outlaws, but he refrains from tracking down his nine hangmen because of the judge's admonitions about taking the law into his own hands. Eventually, however, Captain Wilson, leader of the lynch mob, shoots Jed to protect his own life. Only wounded, however, Jed is nursed back to health by Rachel, a young widow who is seeking revenge against the same men who raped her after shooting down her husband. Once Jed has recovered, he pursues and kills part of Wilson's gang; the others desert Wilson, who hangs himself rather than face Jed's wrath. Aware that his vengeance has offered him no solace, Jed attempts to turn in his badge. Judge Fenton salves his conscience by releasing a prisoner who gave himself up, and Jed consents to stay on as marshal.