A man looking for a job is recognized by Rowdy and Clay. Rowdy knows him as a fellow Confederate soldier while Clay knows him as a bounty hunter. When he admits it, everyone begins to think he is after them causing the men to revolt.
After unintentionally killing a blind girl's father, a man signs on as a drover with Favor. When Favor is asked to escort the girl to another town. Favor unwittingly assigns the man as her driver where he comes to cherish her company.
Forrester notices a man trailing the herd for a few days but he's elusive. After one of the men stampedes the herd, the man drives in a few strays and asks for a job. The men are suspicious of his actions and they soon learn he has a past.
They find a young man half baked at a water hole. His attitude gets him off to a bad start with the men except for old horse wrangler Sam Hargis. The kid Ben Whitney is a rich kid but he does his job and develops a relationship with Sam.
The herd is caught in a possible range war over land and a woman. Favor needs additional drovers to push the herd out of the area but unknown to him the four men he is able to hire are pushing him into the war and want his herd as well.
Favor finds a passed out woman and her baby in the wilderness. The lady recovers and tells Favor her husband is dead and she is headed to California. She neglects to tell him the grandfather and uncles of the baby are after the baby.
The drovers rescue soldiers under Indian attack. Chief Broken Bow surrounds the herd. Favor finds Sgt. Duclos was involved with the death of the Chief's son and wife. The Chief takes a settler's wife and son hostage forcing the Sgt's hand.
With Favor gone, Rowdy has a problem when a pack of wolves start causing bothering the herd. A wolfer and his family offer Rowdy a deal to handle the wolves. At first bypassing the offer, Rowdy later agrees but runs into complications.
As the herd nears Sugar Creek Sam Garrett is seriously hurt and they learn the herd is facing tick fever ahead. When the people of Sugar Creek learn Sam is with the herd, the town turns on the drovers except for Marcie who runs the saloon.
Wishbone and Rowdy go to town for supplies. Rowdy decides to get a bath and spend the evening on the town. At the saloon the bartenders spike the drinks he and a lady have hoping to break them up. Instead Rowdy wakes up with a bride.
Gil stops to see an old friend only to find he broke except for 30 head of cattle. He asks Gil to let him add his cattle to the herd and go to Colorado with Gil. Gil relents and does it but his men suffer for it when Lije breaks the rules.
Monty Fox wanders into camp dehydrated and starved. Once revived he has Mushy believing his story about Quivira which is a pot of gold and Fountain of Youth all in one. They steal supplies to search for Quivira forcing Rowdy to find them.
On the way to meet Favor Rowdy, Quince, and Hey Soos buy some cattle of their own from Harvey Calvin. Calvin's son with a crippled leg has learned to doctor animals but wants to be a drover. Rowdy resists but he tries facing new problems.
The drive first encounters "The Buryin' Man" with his fancy wagon and then a banker and school teacher in Cheyenne territory. The number of Cheyenne keeps increasing while they learn the newcomers are not who they appear to be.
Harry Maxton is told he is going blind and only has a year or two. Broke he runs into Favor who started with Maxton. Favor offers Maxton a job riding drag. Maxton has a rough reputation and one of the drovers, Frank Slade wants revenge.
The drovers go to town for supplies and some relaxation. When they see that the saloon and storekeepers are ripping them off with crooked games and bad supplies, they take the saloon apart and get new supplies - plus a saloon singer.
Rowdy and men stop a lynching of mountain man Josh Green by a wagon train. Rowdy agrees to take him, his daughter and the Father of the victim to a town for a proper trial. When Green escapes with his daughter, Rowdy goes after him.
A rider comes in and picks a gunfight with a man he believes to be gunfighter. When he is shot, Favor and the shooter take him to the doctor trapping themselves in town waiting for the Sheriff. A renewed relationship adds fuel to the fire.
During Rowdy's birthday party, two ex-Confederate POW's arrive to take Rowdy to settle an old issue. Expecting to discuss the old conflict, Rowdy finds himself on trial for his life in front of a drunk judge in a ghost town.
Quince wakes up in the livery stable drunk after a night on the town with some of the drovers. After he leaves, the body of the leading citizen is found behind the stable door shot. Quince is arrested the next day but remembers nothing.
While in town the men stop at the "salon" owned by enchanting Abigail Fletcher. A picture hangs on the wall of her late husband Gil Favor. Favor comes in to see for himself. He finds a friend needing help with Gil as her husband.
Rowdy, Hey Soos, and Calhoun go to town for supplies and money at Wells Fargo. After collecting the money, Rowdy is held up but when Calhoun interrupts the robbery, he is wounded while Rowdy kills the robber. Or does he?
The drovers find two stranded nuns who rescued a Comanchero near death from a torture apparatus. As the man slowly heals, the new Comanchero leader tells the drovers he wants the man back. Rowdy has to decide whether to protect him.
A clumsy philologist (and former circus clown) stumbles into the trail camp. The man is hoping to compile a dictionary of the Comanche language so that they and the whites can better understand each other. It's a critical time for understanding, as the local Comanche chief is threatening war against the whites if his young son, who became ill while studying under a government education plan, fails to recover.
A gypsy convinces Wishbone that he is going to die, so Wishbone becomes very kind to the drovers so he can have mourners at his funeral. Meanwhile, a wealthy man has paid $500 for the gypsy's daughter, and comes to collect his bride.
Taking in three White children kidnapped by passing Arapahos puts the fatherly drovers in peril. Longing to return to the Apaches who raised them after white men killed their settler parents, Yellow Sky and her younger siblings resist the drovers' every step toward turning them over to authorities in the next town. Arapahos seized the children from the Apaches during tribal warfare. Widower Gil, who misses his two daughters, expects gratitude for a noble act, but the Apache chief, Ulzana, wants the children back and will fight the drovers for them, if necessary.
Favor and Hey Soos stop a runaway stagecoach with a dying driver and several passengers after an Indian attack. Favor leads the coach to the next station. Apaches are waiting and Favor soon learns why along with the other passengers.
Rowdy and Wishbone are warned the herd is crossing private land but Rowdy neglects to give Favor the details. When the locals try to stampede the herd, their leader is killed by the cattle but Favor and Rowdy are sentenced to die for it.
Rowdy, running the drive, returns to camp to find it in the midst of a wedding between Burt Harvey and Lorraine Stanton. After the wedding, Lorraine's father Cliff arrives calling Burt a coward and trying to break up the couple.