Matt Wilson is sixteen years old and living on a ranch in Texas when his mother dies. Overcome with grief, Matt's father, Ben, rides away. With his father gone, Matt buys a gun and becomes the best there is. One day Matt is forced into a gunfight and kills a man. Matt's reluctance to draw had almost cost him his life, so Matt decides to never let that happen again. After two years, Ben comes home. Ben plans to strip his range and make a cattle drive to Abilene and then buy a ranch in Kansas. During the drive some herd cutters want part of Ben's cattle. When Matt kills their gunman the boss of the herd cutters threatens to spread the word about how fast Matt is with a gun so there will always be someone to challenge Matt. Not liking the sounds of that, Matt stays at the new ranch all winter hoping he will be forgotten. Matt finds that he has not been forgotten when he is forced to go to Abilene for a showdown. Matt figures the only way to eliminate all of the killing that lies ahead of him is to change his name and go away. While in Bixby, Nebraska, Matt breaks up a bank robbery. Since the town marshal was killed during the robbery the town council offers the marshal's job to Matt. While in Bixby, Matt buys a .38 and has the holster for it mounted on the front of his gun belt. Later, having the .38 on the front of his gun belt keeps Matt from being killed. Leaving Bixby, Matt ends up in Wyoming and falls in love with Kathy Mayberry. Then Matt realizes that it will take all of his skill with a gun to save Kathy's ranch from the gun slick range hog who wants to own the entire valley.
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