A woman dies. Her husband is in prison, and the sheriff needs someone to look after the boy until the boy's uncle can come to claim him. The Cartwrights begin to take care of the boy at the Ponderosa. When the boy arrives at the ranch, he does not know that his father is in prison. The boy learns the truth about his dad, and news reaches the Ponderosa that the convict has escaped from prison. The Cartwrights deal with the possibility that the boy's father may be coming their way.