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While John Clayton is asleep in his wagon in the desert, Brent threatens John's wife Mary that he will kill John if she does not leave with him. She reluctantly leaves a note for her sleeping husband and goes with Brent. Her baby son Dan falls out the back of Brent's wagon, and they are unable to find him. Brent returns to the Claytons' wagon and cold-bloodedly shoots John and leaves him for dead. Dan is found unharmed by Manuel Verdugo, who, with his wife and daughter Anita, rears him as if he were his son. Years later, Dan plans to marry Anita, and in accordance with Verdugo's wishes, intends to take ownership of their hidden gold mine. Having long since parted from Mary, Brent returns to her at the saloon that she owns. Having developed a reputation for being tough, she is now known as "Shotgun" Mary. Brent is determined to find the Verdugos' gold mine, and he promises Mary to help find her son if she will lure Dan to his mine so that Brent can follow him. When Dan finds Mary, apparently lost and faint, he takes her to a cave to recuperate, but not to the mine. Mary realizes that he is her real son when he shows her the note that he has kept since infancy, which she originally left for her husband. Mary lies and tells him that she knew his parents and that they have long since been dead. When the stagecoach in which Anita is riding is robbed by Brent's gang, Dan rescues her, but Brent later tries to frame Dan for the robbery. Mary helps Dan escape from an angry mob and then gives up her saloon to her bartender, so that she can regain her former identity. When Mary runs into the new sheriff, she discovers that he is her longlost husband John, and together they ride to save Dan, who has been captured by Brent. In a shootout between Dan and Brent, Brent is mortally wounded, but he survives long enough to shoot Mary. Hers is not a mortal wound, however, and Dan discovers that he has finally found his parents.