Under the pretence he is in town to purchase some livestock, the Virginian is charmed by Leona and begins romancing her. Martha Clain, who is quite protective of her sister, tries to dissuade the Virginian from becoming involved with Leona, thinking he is after her money. Meanwhile, in town, Trampas attempts to learn about the murder and from a friend Cary (Nancy Sinatra), who works as a singer at the saloon, he learns Leona was in town the day Lawrence was killed and suspects she may have stolen Kyle's gun and note. The Sheriff (Gene Lyons) realizes what the Virginian and Trampas are up to and agrees to give them some time to find evidence of Kyle's innocence as he is not convinced the man is guilty.
Leona learns of the Virginian's deception from the deputy (John Milford) and, much to Virginian's chagrin since he has begun to fall for her, she tells him to get out of her life. He visits Kyle Lawson and asks him to give himself up as he feels the truth will shake out if the fugitive returns. The Virginian goes to Leona to tell her of Kyle's surrender and innocence and also to recount how Kyle had saved his life in Cuba during the Spanish-American war so he felt compelled to deceive her to repay his friend. Leona visits Kyle at the jail and he tells her is innocent and believes she framed him. Leona then confesses to the Sheriff that she killed her husband.
The Virginian does not believe Leona's confession and he and Leona both suspect her brother Simon of the murder. However, Martha Clain reveals she knew th contents of the note which lured Lawrence Kelland to his death Realizing her sister will die because she will have no sympathy with a jury due to her relationship with Kyle, Martha breaks down and confesses that she had killed Lawrence because of the way he abused her sister. Later, the Virginian meets Leona and leaves open the possibility of future romance. Leona drives off and Trampas and the Virginian head off in the opposite direction for Shiloh.