Based on Dorothy Scarborough's novel, a young woman moves to the west and has to leave relatives and so marries a man in the windy desert.
On a train Letty Mason (Lillian Gish) meets cattleman Wirt Roddy (Montagu Love). Lige Hightower (Lars Hanson) and Sourdough (William Orlamond) pick her up in a buckboard and take her to her new home. They see wild horses that run during norther winds.
Beverly (Edward Earle) welcomes Letty and introduces her to his wife Cora (Dorothy Cumming) and their children. Letty does not like the food but gets along with the children.
At a dance Sourdough and Lige want to propose to Letty. A cyclone is coming, and people go into the cellar. Wirt advises Letty to leave that area because of the wind. Letty asks Sourdough and Lige how she should decide. They toss a coin, but she does not think they are serious. Cora is jealous because Beverly likes Letty. Cora tells Letty to leave their house or she will kill her. Letty says that she will go.
Wirt tells Letty that he already has a wife, but he offers to take her away. Letty goes back to Cora, who tells her to accept one of the two marriage offers.
Letty chooses to marry Lige. In his house he kisses her without much response. He gives her coffee. She does not like his passionate kissing. He says he will not touch her and will get money to send her away.
Letty asks to go with Lige to a meeting. She has trouble with her horse and has to ride with Lige; but the horse throws her off. Sourdough takes her back to the ranch. Lige and others decide to round up the wild horses to sell them to the government for $3 each.
Lige brings injured Wirt back to his house and leaves him alone with Letty. She cleans dishes with sand. When Lige comes in, she embraces him. Wirt goes to help Lige with the roundup during the norther. The wind breaks a window, overturns a lamp, and starts a fire. Letty uses a blanket to put out the fire. The wind is driving her crazy. Wirt comes back, and she runs outside. Wirt carries her back inside.
After the windstorm Wirt tells Letty to pack, but she refuses to go with him. He says that Lige may kill them and grabs her. Letty gets free and picks up a gun. Wirt tries to take it from her and is shot dead. Letty buries his body in the sand, but the wind uncovers his face.
Lige returns, and Letty says that she killed Wirt. Because the wind has covered him, he assumes it was self-defense. Letty declares that she loves Lige and wants to stay and work with him. She is no longer afraid of the wind.
This drama features a powerful force of nature that can
disrupt people's lives when it is extreme. A young woman isolated
in this predicament has to face her fear of sexuality. She comes
to learn that the man who loves her is the one who did not try
to use force against her.