In the town of Stockton, two women arrive at the church. They join the Sunday Bible class inside and the teacher, Beth Warslip, hears a noise from a closet. Beth opens the door and finds the Marple brothers--Thad, Rand, Cece, and Davey--waiting with guns drawn. One of them, Davey, is wounded. When one of the men, George Webster, tries to jump them, Rand shoots him and tells everyone to stay where they are.
Texas Ranger Hoby Gilman rides into Stockton, trailing the Marple brothers. Hoby and his partner Sam Talbot had tracked them across Texas, and when they caught up to them, Sam was fatally wounded and Davey was shot. The Ranger figures that the Marples headed to Stockton to find a doctor for Davey. He tries to the marshal's office but finds the place closed up. Hoby goes to the saloon and finds the townspeople gathered. John says that they're hands are tied as long as the Marples have hostages. The marshal recognizes his friend Hoby and tells him that the Marples have their families locked up in the church. The Marples told John that they'd let him know his demands. One man, Tom Sladen, says that if the Marples need a doctor then they should send Dr. Lang in.
Thad walks over to the saloon and Hoby tells the townspeople to put their guns away. He talks to Rand, who says that he wants a drink. They enter the saloon and Rand says that they're going to get a doctor for Davey. The townspeople will give them their best horses and they'll ride out. If they don't then they'll kill their hostages. Hoby demands to make sure the people are safe, and Rand says that George is dead but the rest are all right. He warns that Thad told him to stay there and make sure the townspeople don't do something stupid, and John assures Hoby that nothing will happen.
Hoby approaches the church unarmed and Thad trains a gun on him. The Ranger says that he's going to need to check inside before he sends for a doctor, and Thad lets him inside. Beth confirms that everyone is all right except for George, and Cece blames Hoby and slaps the Ranger. Thad tells Cece to calm down tells Hoby to get the doctor, and lets him go.
Back at the saloon, John and the townspeople go out. Hoby tells them what he saw and goes to get Lang.
Beth figures that Cece is scared that Davey will die, and Cece insists that Davey is their luck. Thad tells her to get back with the others, and Beth asks him to let the others go. Unimpressed, Thad figures that they're their ticket out of Stockton and refuses. As she goes back to the others, Beth pricks her finger on her hatpin and hides it before the Marples see it.
Hoby gets Lang and brings him to the church. Rand sees them go and Tom asks him to let the hostages go. He says that his wife Janey is expecting and offers himself for his wife. Tom refuses to let them take any of their people with him. When he grabs Rand, Rand knocks him down. John whispers to Tom that they'll stop the Marples if they try to ride out. When Rand mocks Tom, Tom starts to go for his gun.
Lang is fixing up Davey when they hear a gunshot from the saloon. Thad and Hoby go to find out what's going on. Outside, Hoby calls to Rand. John finally comes out and says that it's all right. Rand comes out and says that John saved his life. As Hoby and Thad go into the church, John warns that Rand better take it easy because he might not be quick enough to save him next time. Inside, a townsman looks at Tom and then grabs his rifle and goes out. Meanwhile, John gives Tom his gun back and tells him to move slow until they can figure a way out of their predicament.
Lang tells Thad that he has to take Davey to his office to operate. Thad agrees and tells Cece to go with them, while he handles the hostages. Hoby accompanies Lang and Cece to the doctor's office, and the sharpshooter climbs up on a roof to get a clear shot. Inside the church, Beth continues working at Thad, saying that he feels nervous without his brothers. He insists that Davey will be all right, but Beth asks how Cece will take it if his brother dies. She suggests that Rand is getting drunk and asks if his brothers might abandon him. Thad tells her to shut up and goes back to watching the street.
Lang starts to operate on Davey but discovers that he's dead. They don't tell Cece, who tells Hoby to go to the saloon and tell Rand to go to the church. As Hoby walks across the street past his gunbelt, he hesitates and Cece tells him to keep moving.
In the church, Janey passes out and Beth goes to the window and sees the sharpshooter. She tells Thad that she was going to open the window, and he agrees to open it. Before the sharpshooter can fire, Reed comes in and tells Thad that Cece sent him. Thad moves away from the window and sits down with his brother.
in the saloon, John warns Hoby that Cece will soon find out that Davey is dead and won't take it well. Hoby figures that he has to draw Cece out of Lang's office.
Beth sees the reflection of the light off the sharpshooter's rifle barrel on the wall. Rand and Thad argue about sticking around, and Rand sees the light. The two Marples take cover and spot the sharpshooter.
Cece realizes that Davey is dead and pistol-whips Lang.
Thad steps out to draw the sharpshooter's fire so that Rand can shoot him.
Hoby comes in the back door of Lang's office and shoots Cece. When Thad hears the shot, he turns and the sharpshooter kills him. Rand shoots the townsman and Hoby hears the gunshots. He runs to investigate and Rand sees him coming. Beth grabs the hatpin and Rand grabs her as a shield. When Hoby breaks in, Rand orders him to drop his gun. he does so but Beth stabs Rand in the hand. Hoby knocks him out and Hoby leads Rand out while the townsmen run in to kiss their wives and children.