Cora Culver is a social-climbing wife of a wealthy land owner and judge.
Cora has a deep and abiding love for her husband, Dana, who credits her with reforming him from a ruthless rancher to a peace-loving judge. She hopes to help her husband reach new political heights, even possibly the governorship of the territory.
Despite her lady-like manner, Cora has a hidden past that she desperately wants to keep secret, especially from her husband.
That past caught up with her only two years into her marriage. A man named MacDonald appeared at the Culver ranch and threatened to reveal that Cora’s real name was Kate and that the two had known each other when she worked as a prostitute in a Montana saloon known as the Golden Horseshoe. Knowing this secret would bring shame to her husband and potentially threaten his political career, Cora paid to keep MacDonald quiet. Unfortunately, he was hired on as foreman of the Culver ranch, and remained a close, persistent threat to her happiness.
Six years later, while leaving a shop in the town of Prairie Springs, Cora sees a tall cowboy with dark hair ride past and recognizes him as Cheyenne Bodie, whom she had met back in her former life. She returns to the ranch and presumably tells MacDonald of this new threat to her secret. Unbeknownst to Cora, MacDonald immediately acts on this information, beating up Bodie severely and running him out of town. This rash act leads to MacDonald's arrest and he sends a note to Cora to help him escape. Desperate, Cora convinces her husband to take her to the jail to visit MacDonald where she slips him an unloaded gun. MacDonald uses the weapon to escape.
That night, Cora meets with MacDonald secretly. Knowing his blackmailing scheme is over, he demands a final payoff. Cora starts back to the house but is confronted by Cheyenne, who saw MacDonald leave. He demands answers, but she refuses to tell him anything. Cora returns to the house, finds a gun and leaves intending to kill MacDonald. However, she loses her nerve and returns home to find her husband and Bodie waiting for her. It is at this point that she reveals her past to her husband, and Bodie remembers her as well.
Cheyenne leaves to find MacDonald and Cora tells her husband that she will leave, but Dana isn't willing to let her to go. As they embrace, MacDonald enters the room and demands the contents of Culver's safe. When Culver fights him, MacDonald knocks him out and demands that Cora open the safe instead. At this point, Bodie returns and fights with MacDonald, while Cora tries to wake her unconscious husband. The fighting escalates when MacDonald fires a gun at Bodie, who shoots back and kills him.
Back in the arms of her husband and the threat of blackmail finally over, Cora and Dana see Cheyenne to the door. Cheyenne tells the Culvers he is moving on from their ranch and affirms that Cora's secret is safe with him.