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Georgette Thomas and her daughter, Margaret Rose, travel by bus to a small Texas town to meet her husband, Henry, when he is released from prison after serving time for stabbing a man during a drunken brawl. Slim, the local sheriff and boyhood friend of Henry, takes Georgette to her husband, a guitar-playing singer still dominated by Miss Kate Dawson, the aging spinster who reared him following the death of his parents. Henry tries to make a home for his wife and daughter, but Miss Kate forbids his singing in local nightclubs, threatening to have him returned to prison if he does not obey her. When Miss Kate finally dies, with a curse for him on her lips, the frustrated Henry drunkenly destroys her possessions and desecrates her grave. Henry is returned to prison, and Georgette and Margaret Rose leave town with Slim.