The story of a relationship between a teacher and his troubled pupil. Justin McLeod is a former teacher who lives as a recluse on the edge of town. His face is disfigured from an automobile accident and fire ten years before in which a boy was incinerated and for which he was convicted of involuntary manslaughter. He is also suspected of being a pedophile. He is befriended by Chuck, igniting the town's suspicion and hostility. McLeod instills in his protégé a love of justice and freedom from prejudice which sustains Chuck beyond the end of the film.