Sheriff Luke Atwell, an educated, religious man, cleans up a Kansas town but in a gun battle accidently kills a bystander and begins to doubt his occupation. After a series of shootouts resulting in more deaths, he joins the priesthood, completes seminary and is assigned to an East parish. However, his lawman instincts remain and he confronts thieves and bullies to the dismay of the bishop. Granted temporary dispensation from Holy Orders, Atwell pins on the badge again while rethinking his calling, and arrives back in the Kansas town which has changed in the several years he’s been gone. Outlaws have taken over the area and intimidate the local residents. With three flawed deputies, Atwell removes the threats but only after several incidents involving gunplay. While dealing with criminals, Atwell is also wrestling with feelings toward a pretty widow, and with lawlessness eventually curtailed must decide: keep the badge or return to the priesthood.