Gil is allowed to continue the cattle drive, despite being accused of murder by the victim's wife and son, after Rowdy is deputized to guard him. Meanwhile, the real killers, three outlaws, scheme to steal church funds from a priest befriended by Gil and Rowdy.
The drovers find a painter from back East on their way, whose paintings help the men of a former Army Major map the town in attempt to bust him out of jail. Mr. Favor gets in the way to help justice be served and stop future bloodshed.
Wishbone buries his brother "alive" to keep Kiowas from killing him for romancing the stony chief's wife. T.J. turns out to be a comical embarrassment: a pot fixer whose customers fight to scalp him for his shoddy tinking, which is his ploy for woman chasing. For years, trail cook Wishy's fellow drovers heard the cook laud his misplaced little brother's prowess as a warrior, politician, you name it. But angering the Kiowa at the moment is deadly serious, because the tribe is divided over signing a treaty. Young braves oppose old Chief Wankawa inking the doc.
An embittered mustanger known by Gil Favor in his younger days blocks the pass that the herd needs to use to reach a river ford where they can cross safely. The mustanger is haunted by a fierce stallion who killed his son, once a friend of Favor.
An outlaw usurps a dead man's identity and he is heading for the next town along with the drovers. When Rowdy gets in the middle of his business he finds himself in serious trouble and it is up to Mr. Favor to figure out a way of saving him.
The drovers rescue an injured traveler and his grown daughter, who is sensitive about her unmarried status. The woman flees, but scout Pete Nolan locates her. Upon learning that she can't face patronizing relatives in the town she's moving to, Pete decides to accompany her there and pose as her fiancé.
Horse thieves who have victimized Comanches also strike the drive's ramuda. Gil sends a group headed by Pete and Rowdy out to purchase replacement mounts. They encounter a preacher on his way to officiate a christening at the Lacey ranch, where he says horses are for sale. The drovers find their own stolen horses corralled there. So do the Comanches, who put the ranch under siege.
It looks like the drovers are moving smoothly until they find a very slow moving wagon on their way, allegedly carrying champagne. As it turns out it was not only champagne and everyone could be in danger.
A woman gets off the stage expecting to meet her husband. But she was let off in the middle of nowhere, a good 30 miles from her home. Pete decides to help her get there but when they arrive, she recognizes everyone except her husband.
When the son of a gypsy queen is murdered, she insists one of the drovers did it and demands the killer be found and turned over. Gil rebuffs her, prompting the old woman to predict trouble for the drive, which does start to happen.
While taking a mountain short cut, Wishbone is injured in a fall caused by a bullying ore freighter. He seeks aid in a small mining town, where he becomes attached to a widow, who is the freighter's fiancée.
Rowdy leaves to buy cattle to replenish the herd. He comes to a town of an eccentric English patriarch living with his beautiful daughter. Rowdy doesn't understand why he seems so afraid to sell the cattle without his foreman's permission.
Not knowing the Civil War is long over, a Confederate battalion defends an isolated canyon, as Gil's drive approaches. Following the cattle drive is a U.S. cavalry squadron, dispatched to stop mysterious raids on local farms. The green, young cavalry don't know the raiders are CSA veterans who are well dug in and itchy for serious battle. The much older U.S. cavalry sergeant looks suspiciously familiar to drover Jim Quince, who fought under flamboyant rebel General Jeb Stuart.
Aztec Mitla saves Gil's life from a dust storm, in the last steps of his 1500 mile walk to find a legendary princess to save his village in Mexico. Gil accompanies Mitla to the nearest town, and both seem to discover what they desperately need: water for Gil's dying cattle, and a gorgeous raven-tressed b-girl wearing a necklace of Mexican coins. But the saloon dancer's married lover, the town's mayor, stands defiantly in the way of both quests.
Favor is taking a short but very tough route which the men question. Another trail boss John Cord tells Favor he is wrong. When Favor becomes sick, he asks Cord to take over but the men question Cord's motives.
Following the death of his mother, 12 year-old Joey Gardner sets out in search of the father who left him at birth. The only clues he has to his identity are that he is a drover, has a scar below his left ear and his initials are G.F.
Confederate prison commandant is shot by a wife whose Union soldier husband disappeared after the War Between the States. She tracked the ex-warden down because she believes her spouse is still alive, so he tries to soothe her, saying he released all his POWs. Trail boss Gil, who fought for the South, intervenes between the livid woman and the reptilian jailer turned wealthy cotton planter, but then Gil's drovers find the woman dead.
Reformed thief Ralph Bartlett is determined to repay all his victims. Gil Favor is the second last name on the list. The last victim lives in a nearby town where unknown to Bartlett, he is wanted for murder.
Wishbone finds an old Indian who has been left in a cave to die by his tribe. Against the advice of others on the drive, he takes the man out and tries to bring him back to his tribe. But the tribe feels that their custom has been insulted and won't take him back, putting the blame on the entire cattle drive.
Rowdy and Jim, approached by a makeshift posse, are asked a lot of questions but not given many answers. Taken to the town they were headed anyway it is mostly burnt; the bank robbed, a local priest killed and they look good for all of it.
Mushy's no-nonsense mom foils a stage robbery on her way to see him. Martha Mushgrove pulled down one highwayman's mask to slap him, so the robbers track her to eliminate a witness. Meanwhile her son, all-thumbs Harkness Mushgrove III begs Gil to train him to be a drover, to impress Mom.