A wounded gunfighter, Quiet Evans (John Wayne), is cared for and cured by a Quaker family. In gratitude, he restores water to their farm which has been shut off by a feisty neighbour, attends the Sunday meeting of Friends and then saves a cattle drive attacked by the Laredo gang. He weakens and tries to return to his old drinking, gambling and womanising ways and 'friends' in town but realises his mistake and returns to the farm and to the love of Penelope the Quaker girl (Gail Russell). While they are returning from blackberry-picking they are ambushed by the Laredo gang but escape when their cart crashes into the river. Quiet returns to town for a showdown with the gang but is saved from hanging by the Marshal. Quiet and Penelope leave the scene and drive home to settle down as farmers.