Sheriff Luke Atwell, a religious man, doubts his occupation after accidently shooting a bystander during a gunfight. The violent deaths of lawmen and criminals that follow heighten his questioning and he joins the priesthood to counter evil as a man of peace. His lawman instincts remain, however, and he deals with crime in his inner-city parish by unplanned force. Temporarily relieved of his priestly obligations, Atwell returns as sheriff to the changed, now crime-ridden Kansas town to rethink his calling, joined by unlikely reinforcements—an experienced but alcoholic deputy and a youthful banjo player. This team, often outnumbered, confronts thieves and killers in a series of gun battles. As Atwell fights lawlessness, he struggles with his feelings toward a recent widow. Eventually he must decide: keep the badge or again wear the clerical collar.