Augusto Matraga is a violent agressive farmer who after being betrayed by his wife and trapped by several enemies is bitten up and left for dead. He is rescued by a couple of humble small farmers who nurse him for a long time until he is well again. Influenced by the couple Augusto Matraga turns to a religiosity a long time neglected, believing he is atoning for past sins. Then he starts a long penitent life while waiting for his hour and chance. As time goes on he comes strong again but he only realize this after meeting Joaozinho Bem Bem, a famous chief of "jaguncos" who sees in him the violent man he was. Augusto Matraga starts a fight between his violent nature, his hidden desire of vengeance and the mysticism and goodness which is also part of him. This conflict lasts until the moment when his hour and his chance comes, the hour and chance to fight, to struggle an to use his strength and courage in the name of faith and humanity.