Pat Keogh is a golden-throated, piano-playing crack shot who loves spending time with a lady on his arm and a smoking six-shooter in his hand. He's one of the most notorious criminal masterminds in the territory, and law-abiding men would like to get him behind bars...or six feet under the ground.
Pat Keogh has been perpetrating well-planned crimes across the territory, but the law hasn't been able to catch up to him yet. At the start of another of his plans, he is waiting along the side of the road when a group of riders go by with a dead man slung across a horse and another man riding with his hands tied. Keogh fires a warning shot and demands they drop their guns and let the man go and they comply. Keogh rides off with the tall, dark-haired cowboy named Cheyenne, saying he didn't want him to pay for Keogh's crime. After camping out, Keogh tests Bodie's skill with a gun, and is impressed with his sharpshooting abilities. Keogh proposes a partnership and Bodie agrees.
The pair ride into town and while Bodie stays at the hotel to take a bath, Pat goes out to find some female companionship. He finds a pretty, naive young woman to spend some time with. As they're walking down the street he sees Bodie leaving the hotel in the company of three men. Suspicious but distracted, Pat takes her to the local saloon and serenades her and the other patrons.Bodie enters the place later that evening and Pat pulls a gun under the table. They chat and Bodie explains that he had been questioned by the men about Keogh, a subject that Bodie knew little about. Pat forgives him and continues his serenade. When his date's real boyfriend shows up, Pat mocks him into a gunfight which he wins easily. He doesn't notice that Cheyenne strongly disapproves of his actions.
Later that evening, Pat returns to the hotel room to find Bodie packed up and ready to leave. Pat convinces him to stay with a vague promise of a plan to get money. The next day, Pat leads Bodie to the Grayson ranch outside town where his two other partners are waiting. Inside the ranch house, Keogh finally reveals to Bodie that he is holding the local bank president's wife for $50,000 ransom, or she'll be killed at 5 o'clock. Grayson leaves to get the money.
Pat and Bodie wait with Grayson's daughter until he returns with the cash. The pair leave, but not before trading bullets with a lawman named Pritchard. (Unbeknownst to Keogh, Bodie is working with Pritchard to bring Keogh to justice.) Keogh shoots and kills the lawman and the pair ride off.
At a watering hole a safe distance away, Bodie confronts Keogh about the fate of Mrs. Grayson. Keogh lies to test Cheyenne's loyalty and says that she will likely be killed at 5 p.m. Cheyenne demands to know where she is and threatens Pat at gunpoint. Keogh refuses to tell, so Bodie shots a hole in his hat and then in his ear. Bleeding from his new wound, Keogh still refuses to tell. When Cheyenne puts his gun away, Keogh finally tells him the truth: Mrs. Grayson was returned home safe and sound.
The two of them stand up for a showdown. Keogh draws first, but Bodie is faster. Keogh falls to the ground, laments that he and Bodie could have been friends, and dies.