One of Lillian Gish's greatest achievements in a powerfully dramatic silent film, the last of her silent films. It is the story of a poor young Virginia woman Letty Mason (Lillian Gish), a naive and sheltered girl, who travels to the wind-blown Texas prairie and lives in a dust-bowl town on her cousin's ranch. She takes care of the children, but is disliked by her cousin's wife Cora (Dorothy Cumming) who is jealous of her closeness with her husband and three children. With nowhere to go, she is forced to marry Lige (Lars Hanson), an uncouth, rough cowboy she doesn't love. During a terrific windstorm one night and with her husband absent, she is pursued and nearly raped by a married acquaintance Roddy Wirt (Montagu Love). Letty shoots and kills the attacking rapist in self defense, and attempts to bury his body in the sand, but the constantly shifting sand exposes his hand and body. She becomes hallucinatory, fearful, and half crazed. In the film's climax, her husband returns and brings her strength to face the wind.