Set in New Mexico around the turn of the 20th century and told in flashback, the film tells the story of Jeb (Mitchum) whose entire family was slaughtered when he was a child. In the aftermath of the massacre, Jeb is found by Mrs. Callum, a widow, that will raise him in her family. Traumatized by the killings, Jeb doesn’t recall anything of that night, except for vague images that he see in a frequent nightmare. Mrs. Callum raise him as her own son, together with her daughter Thorley and her son Adam. Years later, Jeb, now a young boy, is shot while riding a colt, but the shooter miss him; although Mrs. Callum blames the incident on deer hunters, she know that it was an attempted murder of her brother-in-law Grant, who, for vague reasons, is determined to kill Jeb.
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