It's 1917, and the Mexican Revolution has the Big Bend of Texas aflame. Disillusioned, newspaper reporter Jack Landon flees down the road to nowhere and finds himself in Esperanza. Jack befriends a teenaged boy and his adult sister, Mary, who teaches in the Esperanza school. Smitten by her, Jack accepts a position as teacher of the older students. As Jack assimilates to life in Esperanza, the threat of Rangers looms, manifesting itself in extortion and physical assault. When bandits raid nearby Brite Ranch, it sets in motion retaliation by bigoted Rangers and their accomplices. Soon, a day of reckoning descends, and it envelops Jack and Mary and the entire village.