Jack Potter, the town marshal of Yellow Sky, is returning home with a surprise for the rest of the townspeople: He has gotten married and is being accompanied by his new bride. They are a bit overwhelmed by the train's opulence, to which neither of them are accustomed. Meanwhile, in Yellow Sky, the men drinking at the Weary Gentlemen Saloon get the word that Scratchy Wilson is near. The bartender immediately closes the bar, for Wilson is known to be quick with a gun when drunk. When Wilson cannot get inside, he decides to head to Potter's home, because Potter is the only man who will face him when he is in this dangerous mood. When Potter and his new bride arrive, Wilson faces off with Potter. Potter tells Scratchy that he has no gun, and Wilson demands that the marshal draw down. Finally, Potter tells Scratchy that the reason he has no gun is because he has just gotten married. When Wilson sees the new bride, he walks away, declaring in disgust,
"I s'pose it's all off now."
The plot consists of three parts, setting in a single day. Part one is Jack Potter's coming back from San Antonio after married his new bride in the morning of the day. Part two sets in the "Weary Gentleman Saloon" in Yellow Sky where Jack Potter, as the town Marshal, is said to be the only one who will engage in a gunfight with the town drunken, Scratchy Wilson. Part three is Scratchy Wilson's wandering in the main street of Yellow Sky, seeking for some fun--gunfights--but in vain. This is the turning point as Scratchy finally remembers Jack, his old rival, and walks up to his house. In part four, Scratchy stops Jack and his bride and points his gun to Jack's face just before they arrive at their house. The situation's deadlocked until Jack tells Scratchy that he is married. This news makes Scratchy compeletely at a loss and walks off. This climax captives the readers breathelessed, and the resolution is aslo unexpected.