After being forced to shoot a rebellious cowboy friend in the line
of duty, Jeff McLeod turns in his badge as U.S. Marshal. With his
close friend, Windy Day, he starts for the famed Cherokee Strip in
Oklahoma to join in the great land rush. Arriving at a small cow
town where hundreds of settlers are swarming in a race for claims
in the newly opened territory, Jeff meets Tom Rankin and his
sister Janet (Anne Gwynne), whom he has known since childhood.
Jeff learns that
their father has lost his ranch and agrees to help Tom and Janet
stake out a new claim in section two, which their father has told
them controls water rights to a large section of the plain. At a
saloon that night, Jeff meets George Frazier and his henchman, J.
W. Saunders, a pair of claim jumpers seeking the same tract of
land as Tom and Janet. After Jeff refuses Frazier's bribe to
reveal the location of the land, Frazier's men corner him and
force him to draw the shortest route to the claim, but the map is
fake and Jeff escapes.
Visiting Tom at his wagon camp that
evening, Jeff draws a real map and gives it to Tom. As Jeff
prepares to leave the camp, Saunders kills Tom, steals the map and
accuses Jeff of Tom's murder. On the strength of Saunders'
accusation, Jeff is jailed and sentenced to hang for murder. With
her brother dead, Janet is determined to file on the land.
Learning that she must be married in order to file a claim, she
brazenly marries Jeff in jail, but when he learns her motives, he
pushes her away in disgust.
Afterward, Windy convinces Janet of
Jeff's innocence and together they plan his escape. On the morning
of the land rush, Windy shouts that the rush is already under way,
and as Janet races her wagon down the street, Jeff breaks away
from his captors and leaps into the wagon. Jeff and Windy make the
claim, and after staking it out in Janet's name, they capture
Saunders' henchmen, who have followed them. They then return to
town where Frazier is about to file his phony claim when Jeff
retrieves his map and proves that Saunders killed Tom. After
Frazier and Saunders are taken in to custody, Janet and Jeff
prepare to file their claim together.