Plain preacher's daughter Mercy Goodacre needs a hero. Mercy is resigned to her life as a spinster and helpmate for her widowed father and spoiled married sisters.
Then Pace Lansing returns to town. Five years before, Pace killed a man for assaulting Mercy. Rather than implicate her in the trial, Pace kept silent and went to prison.
The narrow minded town people are against Pace, and her banker brother-in-law is out to get revenge on his brother's killer and cover up his transgressions at the same time.
When Pace is refused credit at the general store, Mercy takes her own money to buy him supplies. To save his pride, Marcy makes a business arrangement with Pace. He is to return her loan, plus interest, when his cattle go to market.
When Pace finds a dying Indian woman in labor, he calls on Mercy for help. Working to save the child compromises Mercy's reputation and with the town ready to blame all their woes on Pace, Mercy announces they are betrothed.