After a couple of weeks of literally crawling through the desert, sustained only by his hatred for the wife Geraldine (Rhonda Fleming) and her lover Joe (William Lundigan) who left him to die with a broken leg, Donald Carson (Robert Ryan), finally starts to approach civilization just as Geraldine and Joe realize that he has survived. They go to search for him (Joe brings a gun), but the old prospector Elbee (Henry Hull) rescues him first. Their plan to flee to Mexico is foiled when Geraldine cracks the crankcase of their getaway car. On foot, Joe stumbles upon Elbee’s shack, and attempts to kill Carson, but Carson gets the upper hand and knocks him out. Elbee pulls carson out of the flaming shack, but Joe dies in the fire he started. On their way into town the next morning, Elbee and Carson find Geraldine, and offer her the choice of walking through the desert all day or accepting a lift to the Sheriff’s office. She hops in the back of the truck.