Judge Clay along with his family is being transferred - again - to a new frontier town. Known for his strict and usually harsh interpretation of the law his send off is less than friendly when the locals hang a scarecrow on his wagon. His wife and teenage son are affected by the bullying more than the Judge. Charlie prepares a lavish meal of his stew to welcome them but afterwards the Judge is confronted by members of the train led by John Cole about the harsh sentences given in some of his trials. The Judge's son, Ethan, has been reading the law with his father but begins to neglect it when John Cole's sister, Frances. shows an interest in him and he in her. John and Frances have already raised questions about being siblings as they don't look alike or act like siblings. Chris sees a problem developing between Cole and Clay but has no success in preventing Judge Clay from having to face trying his own son.