In the middle of the night in the U.S. desert southwest, ABEL (20s), a current day deputy sheriff, rides his horse over to the cabin of his lifelong rival, TUNGSTEN (a year older). Hunting guide Tungsten is more muscular and a coarser character. Their rivalry has been natured until the new waitress, Jenna (21), shows up at the Bleached Bones Saloon. It's a bar that was once a stagecoach stop, far from civilization. When Abel mentions Jenna's name, the drunken Tungsten throws a punch. Abel pummels him unconscious. Tungsten wakes hog-tied across the saddle of his own horse. Abel informs him that the owner of the Bleached Bones, Poppa, was murdered, and Jenna has been kidnapped. Abel gives Tungsten the hair of the dog, then smashes the rest of the bottle. On horseback they begin tracking the kidnappers of Jenna. Their only clue: hoof prints leading out into the desert. Tungsten accuses the oilmen. They are outsiders. Jenna didn't get along with the oilmen, thought they were the cause of the local bridge being condemned, killing the bar's business. Abel and Tungsten recall more details about Jenna, and turn up clues along the way. Tungsten whittles a bow for a weapon, since Abel has the only rifle. Tungsten finds and attacks the oilmen. Abel rules them out as suspects. Abel needles him, but Tungsten has run out of suspects. Tungsten leads on, especially after Abel is nearly blinded by a dust devil. When they reach the mountains, Tungsten loses the trail. Abel points it out to him. Tungsten finds a hidden canyon, and rides on, leaving Abel to take the wrong fork to a dangerous, disappearing trail. The trail takes its toll. Next morning the mood is as black as the gathering clouds. Abel looks ahead, sees the canyon’s looming box end. Tungsten ends the charade. His alcohol fogged memory has cleared. Tungsten is the one they have been tracking. He pulls out a pistol he had stashed in the canyon. A battle ensues on foot, and then on horseback. They are interrupted by the storm, which sends a rush of rocks and water over the box end, burying Abel and his horse. The storm’s over. Tungsten holds all the cards, but Abel has one more deal, using a trick Tungsten taught him to win the life and death struggle. Abel finds Jenna's flood-exposed rock grave. He renews his promise, to bring her home.