In the Kentucky hills, Jason Honeycutt, lives with his harsh stepfather, Steve, not far from where his friend, Mavis Hawn, lives with her widowed mother. Mavis spends much of her time preparing for the day when she can discover who murdered her father, and can exact revenge. Steve Honeycutt is romancing the widow Hawn, hoping to marry her and take control of her land, because he knows that visiting businessman, Morton Sanders, is planning to exploit the area for its coal. When Sanders's plan becomes known, a group of vigilantes confronts him by night, and soon shots are fired. Sanders is killed, and circumstantial evidence leads to Mavis being charged with the crime.