Ruthless outlaw Ben Wade and his gang rob a stagecoach and in the process kill everyone except a Pinkerton guard, who gets shot in the belly. Impoverished rancher Dan Evans, who is traveling with his two sons, finds the guard and take him into town for medical help.
In the same town, Ben Wade is hiding out in the saloon. When the sheriff gets wind of this, he surrounds the place and arrests Wade with the help of Dan Evans who distracts Wade, allowing for the arrest to take place without shots being fired.
A railroad rep offers a reward for any men willing to form a posse and take Wade to the train station in the town of Contention in order that he be transported to Yuma for trial and execution. Wade volunteers, desperate for the money and sends his two sons back to the ranch. Some other men join the posse, and along with railroad representative Grayson Butterfield they take the prisoner to Contention.
Along the way the posse is reduced by several deaths along the way, but later joined by Evan's eldest son, William who has followed his father.
In Contention they now just have to stay alive for a few hours and keep the prisoner secure until the train is due. This proves difficult, since Wade's gang is still trying to free him. The gang arrives in town, immediately kill the sheriff and his deputies, and then offer $200 dollars to anyone who kills one of the men guarding Wade. The terrified Butterfield decides it isn't worth it and tries to convince Evans to give up, but Evans doesn't want to disappoint his son and the stage is set for a final confrontation as the train's arrival becomes imminent.
Best part of story, including ending:
The desperation that makes Evans into a hero is heartbreaking.
Best scene in story:
The scene where Wade is arrested is tense and very well done.
Opinion about the main character:
Evans is one of those noble guys that gets himself into trouble, you want him to succeed but also just go home and relax instead of risking dying on a principle.