In a Dixie small-town, the late Sheriff was quite content to preside over a truly segregated community. There the rich brothers, Harlan and Mason Davis, are lords. His successor, World War II veteran Frank Richards, has a more modern view on justice and equality, which doesn't help his social acceptance anywhere. He also has doubts about the mysterious masked 'peg-leg' to whom all murders where ascribed. Harlan is shot after an African-American boy threatens him with a gun to stop his old-fashioned 'liberalities'. Frank and the prosecutor's retired dad, agree to act as defense council, investigate, cued by the boy's Caucasian playmate, Luke Winter, and turn both case and town around.