Favor and another trail boss are taken by force to a remote cabin where they are held by some of the West's most wanted outlaws, who have been summoned there by a man who plans to use them, and the trail bosses, in a grandiose scheme involving the nation's beef industry.
Smooth-talking Pop Starke tries to talk Rowdy and another drover into working with him participating in traveling "shooting contests". What Starke is actually looking for is his next gunfighter to place bets on when he squares him off against a legendary veteran gunman who is getting weary of killing.
At the end of a drive, Favor fed up with bad luck takes it out on old Josh. When a potential inheritance turns out to be a dream, Josh's pride gets in the way of realizing he must bend sometimes when others want to help him.
Rowdy had given testimony against his friend Capt. Ballinger, resulting in a death sentence. Now Ballinger has called on Rowdy to witness the possible execution unless a way can be found to escape that punishment.
Marshal Shaw arrests Reed McCuller known by locals as a type of Robin Hood but in fact he is a murderer and thief. He tries to use Favor's herd as cover to get out of the area but the locals lead by his brother are on to Shaw's plans.
Pete Nolan (Sheb Wooley), who'd been out scouting for the Army for the last couple of years, is back working for Favor starting in this episode, only to find himself falsely accused of rustling and murder. The local sheriff and some cattlemen, who've been victimized by the rustlers, are too willing to hang him quickly without any real trial. Favor and Rowdy try to find the real rustlers and save Pete from the gallows, though the trail may lead too close to a friendly rancher Favor respects.
Clete Bonner and his grandson Will are taken in by Favor and his men. Bonner is actually checking up on Cable, one of the drovers, who is really Bonner's son and Will's father, though the boy doesn't know it and Cable doesn't recognize his own father anymore. Unfortunately Cable is plotting with two other drovers to steal some horses Favor intends to purchase.
In Apache land Rowdy is sent to recover cattle taken by them. The Chief agrees to return them but the agreement is messed up by some of the drovers. A wounded Rowdy discovers the Apache have white captives increasing the tension.
An Army deserter has left stolen Army property at Favor's camp (leading to Favor's arrest by an Army detail), and the deserter is intent on stealing money from a father and daughter who have recently left the drovers' camp alone.
Wishbone is supposed to be bringing a dead friend's herd to join the drive while Favor is faced with a raging prairie fire that threatens the herd. However, Wishbone learns his friend's ranch hands have a different plan for the herd.
Army Major, commander of his post, feeling denigrated by the Army, steals the Army's cash on his last day and packages it for Favor to mail to the Major who plans to abscond, but new information causes him to try returning it to Army.
When the herd refuses to drink or cross a river, Favor sends for a vet and a one-armed man shows up wanting a drover job. Rowdy learns the cattle need salt and the new hand knows where to find it nearby. However, he doesn't want to go there.
A wounded man wanders into camp with the strong box from a stagecoach robbery. Favor decides to hold the money till the next town but when two of the robbers enter camp and one gets away, the drive is hit with dangers from the robbers.
Wishbone quits the cattle drive because he falls in love with a family of three boys and an abused wife. The wife shoots her drunken husband when he starts beating Wishbone, who takes responsibility for the shooting to protect her.
Two calf women picking up calves drives don't want join the drovers. Rowdy comes to like the older dowdy sister but when a member of a buffalo hunt is killed by her for attacking her younger sister, Rowdy is threatened by his brother.
A group of men searching for old Spanish treasure stubbornly refuses to let the cattle drive come through the area of their diggings, even though the herd desperately needs the water in the area. When Wishbone is injured, Favor needs to rely on the leader of the group, a former doctor, to save him.
A group of Mexican federales meet Favor on the trail and tell him they are looking for a revolutionary known as El Hombre Bravo. Later, Favor and Mushy meet a schoolteacher leading a group of children across the border---who admits that he is the man the federales are looking for.
Several of Favor's men are sick with a mysterious illness. Favor and the sick men make it to the abandoned Gray Rock Hotel where they are protected from the cold and wind. They find a beautiful but strange woman with dangerous past.
One of Rowdy's drovers is killed and another wounded trying to stop a lynching. Looking for justice for his men, Rowdy runs into a town run by a power hungry sheriff and deputy, who are protecting the father and son who did the shooting.
Jed convinces Rowdy against his better judgment to hire Danny Hawks who is riding an expensive stallion. Danny proves to be a capable drover but when Nat Benson wants Danny and the stallion handed over, Rowdy finds himself in a bind.
Rowdy is a week late to start a drive with a tight deadline. If they make the it, a big bonus awaits. However, Rowdy has to take Lash Whitcomb as his Segundo. Lash drives the men hard but near the end Rowdy learns why Lash is on the drive.
While checking a mine, it caves in on Quince and Blake trapping them. One of the drovers noticed old explosives nearby. He and his friend offer to blow the mine open for $500. However, the two men prove to be as unstable as the explosive.
Short on men Rowdy encounters Chiricahua Indians led by a white chief. Against the advice of his men, Rowdy hires them to help drive the herd to the river for a few cattle. Unsure of his new hands a band of Pawnee add to the intrigue.
Rowdy makes a deal to buy horses from the Gufflers. When he finds the horses are poor quality and wants his money back, Ma Guffler wants her money. She takes Rowdy hostage threatening to hang him at sundown if she doesn't receive $3,000.
The men buy 200 cattle to take north so the drovers can make some cash for themselves. However, Col. Vasquez takes the cattle giving them 40,000 pesos from a rogue government. Jud tries to recover their money but ends up with Mrs. Vasquez.
The herd needs cover from a potential storm but the only cover is owned by a widow who is a suffragette. She is in a battle with the bar owner and mayor of Broken Bluff. They want the drovers to vote against the women in return for help.
After he is shot at, Jed returns to camp to find a US Marshal wants him for murder but he was cleared. Jed decides to run so the Marshal arrests Rowdy for helping him. Jed turns himself in to clear Rowdy but his fate is less certain.
The sadistic top hand of the rancher Rowdy is delivering cattle to bullies and humiliates one of the drovers when the young man shows interest in the rancher's daughter. Despite Rowdy and Jed's attempts to talk him out of it, the young drover is determined to avenge his honor with a duel.
Rowdy fights to drive his steers across the Red River without getting into a range war between ruthless carpetbagger Duke Aberdeen, and Southern gentleman Major Buford. A raid into Pennsylvania ravaged the Duke's town. Most of Rowdy's crew fought for the Confederacy - but they don't want to chomp on the past. So when Buford's son Court ground-drags one of the Duke's hired guns, Rowdy cuts the rope. Because Court's mother died after their Virginia plantation was torched, the young hothead wants revenge. Rowdy's agreed to take Buford's beef into his herd. Duke controls ...
When a detachment of army cavalry requisitions a hundred head of cattle from the drovers, Rowdy attempts to get reimbursed by the army. To his chagrin, he discovers the cavalry officers are really cattle rustlers.
Rowdy hires a drunk to lead the herd across a dangerous river. The man is afraid, fakes an injury, and tries to sell a third of Rowdy's herd to a conman. Rowdy helps the young son to cope with his father by talking about his own father.