In this western, which combines Old West authenticity with a modern outlook and neo-feminist perspective, Sarah O'Rourke (Linda Fiorentino) is a tough-minded woman who made the mistake of marrying a violent, abusive man. Sarah decides that she can take no more and kills her husband. It's Sarah's poor fortune that her late spouse's father is Marshall Bill Speakes (Sam Elliott), a bitter, no-nonsense lawman who will see to it that Sarah pays for her crime with her life. Sarah is being transported by stagecoach to another town; riding with Sarah and Speakes is Jack Cooper (Craig Sheffer), who is carrying $2,500 with him. En route, bandits attempt to hold up the stage; in the confusion, Sarah escapes with the money. Jack gives chase to get the money back, and while he catches up with her, they soon find they're both being pursued by Speakes, who is not about to let the niceties of the law prevent him from taking his revenge.