In a Texas border town saloon, Marshal Matt Dillion announces Sheriff Mark Handlin at his retirement party and presents him with a gold badge. Outlaw Mel Deevers and his gang ride in and shoots Mark Handlin down as he makes his speech. Matt emerges and shoots one of the ambushers dead and wings another but 4 of them including Deevers get away and head down to Mexico. Before Mark dies he identifies his killer as Deevers and then Mark tells Matt that he's the closest to a kinfolk that he ever had and to be proud. As Matt rides into Mexico after Sheriff Handlin's killer, he meets Corporal Antonio Fuentes. Matt asks him if he has seen or heard any men riding through last night. Antonio tells him no, but his wife tells him that she did hear men riding through the hills last night. Matt thanks them for the info and rides on. Meanwhile up ahead, Deevers, Emilio, Bates, and Poorly who Matt winged, are camping out on a prarie. Mel gloats about how he "retired the sheriff good". Poorly is wounded from Matt's bullet. They suddenly see the marshal following them. Mel says "let's ride on." Poorly is too weak to keep up with the gang and suggests that they lay low and ambush the marshal. Mel says no. "One dead badge means having rurales questioning every American that comes down this way. " They ride off. A little later, Poorly stops and asks Deevers for a 5 minute rest. Deevers tells Bates and Emilio to go on ahead. Then he turns around and stabs Poorly to death and rides on. Later Matt finds Poorly's body and buries him. Later in Los Intende, Deevers and his gang gather up supplies. They come up with a plan to stop the marshal's pursuit. They decide to spread a rumor among the town that Matt, as this "big bandito" killed the sheriff in Texas and then killed a Mexican family of farmers on the border. As the Deevers gang leaves Los Intende, Matt arrives and asks to have his horse fed and watered. Suddenly Matt is ambushed by a crowd of townsfolk there, throwing rocks at him and beating him up. The local priest comes and stops the angry mob and saves the marshal from further harm. Padre has Matt resting in his office and as he wakes up, the priest tells Matt that a woman came running to him to tell him that an American was being attacked by their people and he ran as quick as he could to stop it. Matt thanks the priest and asks him why they were attacking him. Padre says someone told them that he was an evil man who killed the sheriff in the U.S. and murdered a family of farmers. Padre asks Matt, who could say such things about him, and Matt tells the priest the man that he's after would. "He'd say anything to save his skin." Matt shows Padre the wanted poster on Mel Deevers. Padre recognizes his face and tells Matt that a few years ago, Mel used to come though there often. Matt tells the priest that he killed the sheriff for revenge because he sent him to prison. Then Matt asks the Padre if he has any idea where they might be headed, and the priest tells him that there's a girl at the Mission San Pablo a few days south from there and maybe she might still be there. Matt thanks Padre and proceeds to ride on Deevers' trail. Padre doesn't think it's a good idea for Matt to ride on in his current condition, but Matt tells Padre that he learned everything about the law from his late friend Sheriff Handlin and he's determined to get the man who killed him. Later Matt finds the Deever gang's camp. Mel sees Matt coming and as Bates and Emilio are asleep, he makes a dummy body in his sleeping place. sneaks off, and prepares to ambush Matt from behind the rocks. As Matt gets closer to the camp he tosses a rock at the camp and spooks Emilio, he gets up, tries to wake Deevers, not knowing that he deserted them. Emilio wakes up Bates, suddenly Matt has them both covered, they attempt to resist and shoot the marshal, but Matt winds up plugging both Bates and Emilio. Deevers tries ambushing Matt from behind but to no avail yet escapes alone. Matt walks over to dying Emilio. Matt asks him "where were you headed for, San Pablo?" Emilo tells Matt, "He used us." Matt asks "where were you headed for, can you tell me?" Emilo says, "Anywhere! Anywhere to lose you. You kill him! You find him and you kill him, ... Amigo." Emilo dies. Deevers meets up with Jose Santillo. Mel tries to make a deal with Santillo and his bandito gang to kill the marshal that's been chasing him. He offers $50, but Santillo negotiates and raises the price up to $300. Mel reluctantly goes along with it and tells Santillo he'll meet them in San Pablo with a bottle of mescal. Santillo's gang prepares to ambush Matt. As the marshall gets off his horse and scouts around the prarie, suddenly 2 of the banditos grab Matt's horse and Santillo tells him that his friend thinks maybe he made a mistake and thought that this was his horse. Santillo asks Matt if he has any papers proving that Buck is his horse. Matt remains silent. Santillo tells Matt that the horse has a name and to call the horse by his name. Matt still says nothing. While Santillo keeps Matt distracted and the other banditos work their way around to ambush Matt, Santillo says "Well, maybe it is your horse. It could be. We just want to be sure it isn't nobody else's. We want to be fair and do the right thing. All right. We'll say this is your horse. It is done." Suddenly a gunfight ensues and Matt kills 3 of Santillo's banditos. Santillo calls one of his remaining men and plans out another way to trap and kill the marshal. He hollers, "Amigo! Don't shoot! We mean no harm. It's a big mistake!" Matt says "All right, throw your gun down." Santillo complies and tells Matt, he's thankful that they didn't hurt him and it was a big mistake, and that he thought Matt was someone else and the place is full of banditos. Matt replies, "Is that a fact?" Santillo replies "Si, Señor, full with bandidos. You can go now. We didn't know you wore the badge. We say adios." Matt tells him, "Not quite so fast, you come over here first." Santillo says, "As you wish, Señor." Matt makes Santillo order his men to come out from behind the rocks and mount up and ride out of here right now. Then Matt has Santillo ride a few miles out with him so his friends don't dry-gulch him. Later in San Pablo, Mel Deevers walks alongside his girlfriend Juanita who plans to cook a dinner for him like he hasn't eaten since he was last in San Pablo. Suddenly Mel's date is interrupted when he sees Marshal Matt Dillon riding into town. They spot eachother and Deevers dashes across the street into the nearby church for sanctuary. Matt follows him and tells him to hold it right there. The Padre of the church says, "No violence, please." Matt tells the Padre that Deevers is a murderer. Padre tells Mel to give him his gun, but Mel refuses, the Padre tells them both "There'll be no violence here, no one man against another, no guns." Deevers says, "you'd better tell him that." The priest tells Deevers that the church provides sanctuary, "if you seek that sanctuary, you'll give me the gun." Mel gives his gun to the priest. Matt introduces himself to the priest as the U.S. Marshal and that he's been tracking this man for days. "I want you to give him to me." The Padre tells Matt "This man has sanctuary. You cannot take him." Matt asks Deevers, "How long do you think you can keep this up?" Deevers replies, "Just long enough so I don't hang." Matt says, "Don't count on it. I'll be waiting." Matt apologizes to the priest. A moment later Santillo and his bandito gang ride into town. Santillo shouts to Matt, "Hey, Amigo. I forgot to tell you that we were coming to San Pablo too! We come on a little business with a friend." Mel Deevers walks out of the church excited about Santillo's arrival. Mel says that Santillo forgot to kill Matt. Santillo explains, "He does not kill so easy. We do our best, believe me. You can ask no more than a man's best". "Well, kill him now!" Mel says. Santillo asks, "Here in San Pablo? In front of the church? Oh! That would be a bad thing. Never again would I have the good luck!" Then Santillo demands the money that Deevers contracted to pay him. Mel tells Santillo, "Kill him!" Santillo replies, "I think if you keep your money you will no longer be my friend." Deevers gives Santillo the $300. Mel says "That's going to buy me a ticket out of here, I'm leaving with you." Santillo asks Matt, "What do you say to that, Amigo?" Matt replies, "I'll be after him and you too." Santillo responds, "I am happy not to have to fight with you again!" Angrily Deevers grabs Santillo by his shirt asking him, "What are you saying?!" Santillo burns Deevers' hand with his cigar, the banditos laugh, and then Santillo tells Deevers that 3 of his men were killed fighting for him and that the money would help dry the tears of those who mourn them. Mel pleads with Santillo, that he's got more money and will get him more if he takes him away with them. Santillo says to Deevers "This man will follow you forever. I am glad I am not you." then Santillo pushes Mel away and he and his gang ride off. Mel tries making a run back into the church but Matt stops him before he reaches the door and a fight ensues between the two, Matt wins, and tells Mel Deevers, "It's a long way back, but you're going all the way."moreless
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