Dakota Wilson escapes from the Deer Lodge Penitentiary, and, after a period of quietness, secures a position on the Diamond S ranch, owned by Buffalo Watson. Ruth, the daughter of the ranch owner, one day sees Dakota's display of horsemanship, and the admiration thus aroused soon ripens into love, much against the protest of the family. Ruth's love for Dakota is increased by his heroic deed when he rescues her from the malignant attentions of a rushing steer whose anger is aroused by the flowing red handkerchief about her neck. Dakota, who is riding ahead of the cowboys on a round-up expedition, catches sight of the steer heading for Ruth, and, spurring his broncho into a break-neck speed, reaches the side of the steer, leaps upon its hack, and, fastening his muscular arms on the frenzied beast's horns, brings him to the ground. In the midst of the ovation given him by the cowboys, Dakota is nabbed by Sheriff Mathers, who begins to march him back to the Deer Lodge Penitentiary. As the sheriff, his deputies and his captive are riding along a narrow mountain roadway, Dakota makes a daring leap down the precipitous incline, rolling down until he reaches the bottom, where he hides behind a projecting rock. The sheriff, in the meantime, has taken the long way down and follows for a distance, until he discovers the still form of Dakota behind the sheltering rock, and, thinking him dead, rides away. Though free, Dakota is handicapped by the manacles. He manages to steal the gun and horse belonging to a sleeping shepherd, and by holding the gun between his knees, and placing the connecting chain of the manacles in front of the gun, he pulls with his teeth the strap which he has fastened to the trigger of the gun, thereby severing the connecting links. As he starts to ride away he is observed by a distant rifleman, who, by the aid of binoculars, sees the dangling steel wristlets, proving that he is an outlaw. He fires and Dakota tails from his horse with a head wound. But his left foot gets caught in the stirrup and he is dragged for a long distance with bullets flying around him. His foot eventually gets loose and he is left unconscious on the ground. When he regains consciousness, he finds himself again in the hands of the law, and just before he is about to be incarcerated he marries Ruth Watson, who bravely sobs as he is led away: "Good bye, my man, when you come back, I'll be waiting."
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