Bill Carter, working for a smelting company, rides into a town near the desert to find out who supplied the smelter with the last batch of ore. Although there was not much gold in it, the batch evidenced a rich vein of tungsten. After he learns that the ore belongs to Cash Horton, a miner living with his daughter Lizabeth on the edge of the desert, Bill sees Duke Neill harass an Indian woman, Squaw Mary, by putting a cigarette ash in her tomato juice tin.
After Bill bests Duke in a fight, Duke sends his cohort, Pete Quimby, to get Bill lost in the desert. Pete succeeds and Bill is almost dead from thirst when Lizabeth finds him. In a daze, he thinks that she is an angel. After Lizabeth brings Bill home and feeds him soup, Duke, who has learned that she owns the deed, proposes, but she slaps him when he tries to kiss her. To get control of the ore, Duke orders Pete to find and destroy the buried location notices and file new ones in his name.
As Lizabeth surveys the vein, she finds Pete tearing up a notice and they struggle. Bill, not fully recovered, hears them and knocks Pete down a hill, while Cash kicks Duke down the hill after Duke fires at Bill. Duke and his men coerce an easily intimidated professor, who is trying to capture bugs, to put dynamite in the entrance to the Horton mine. After Bill tosses the barrel of explosives just before it explodes, he rides after Duke and his men and subdues two of them, while Cash struggles with Pete, who is trying again to destroy the claim notices. Although Cash is shot, he throws Pete down a hill.
Alerted by Mary, Bill rides to rescue Cash, who has received only a flesh wound. Duke hides Pete and tells the sheriff that Cash murdered him. Bill takes responsibility for Pete's "murder," and he is arrested. After Lizabeth and Mary see Pete through a window holed-up in a room behind the saloon, Duke finds them snooping. Lizabeth's screams reach Bill, who fights Duke. When the sheriff arrives, Duke escapes and rides off, but Bill pursues him and after a fight, turns him over to the sheriff. Although Lizabeth thinks that Bill will now leave, he reassures her that he likes her soup and they kiss.