Jess is on his way to Shelbyville on the hunt for Scott Carroll when he encounters a raging windstorm. He changes direction to the abandoned town of Worley to seek shelter for himself and his horses.
After getting into the deserted livery in Worley, he discovers he’s actually not alone. A young woman and her son are hiding inside. They have been traveling on foot and have no food left. He finds out that woman and her son have been abused by the boy’s father.
He takes them to the town of Shelbyville, where the town marshal helps her and her son settle there. However, Scott Carroll isn’t in Shelbyville and Jess has to travel to Linden in search of him.
On another hunt, Jess discovers a second bounty hunter is after the same man. A deal is made, but things don’t go as planned, forcing Jess to make things right.
He returns to Shelbyville, only to find the marshal has been wounded and the woman he helped was beaten and robbed. He discovers that the boy’s father and his two cohorts are the ones who did it.
Jess is on the hunt for the next man on his list, Sean Aker. He heads for the town of Lonsdale, Texas, but before he gets there, he ends up meeting a rancher, Olaf Martin, who has hired four top guns.
While visiting the rancher, he finds out that Aker has killed two of Martin’s cowpunchers. Martin tries to pay Jess to go after Aker, but Jess won’t take his money, telling him he’s going after him anyway.
Martin talks Jess into letting his best hired gun, Eddie Pitman, go along with him.
Then Jess is contacted by United States Marshal Frank Reedy. Someone is killing lawmen using a Sharps buffalo rifle, but no one knows who the shooter is.
Jess is tasked with finding out who’s committing these murders of lawmen. Few clues emerge until finally Jess puts two and two together and discovers the killer’s identity.
Strangely enough, a harmonica is the key to solving the murders.
To make matters worse, this is one time Jess finds himself conflicted about killing a killer.
With a conflicted heart, Jess leaves Harrison and Martha Heller to begin his hunt for Herman Conway. The chase takes him to Lake Lillian, Texas, where he meets a young woman by the name of Bonnie, along with her young brother Fred.
When Conway discovers that Jess is in Lake Lillian, he kidnaps Fred as a bargaining chip in case Jess is on his trail. Feeling somewhat responsible, Jess goes after Conway and finds him, but has to let him escape in order to get Fred back alive.
After securing Fred’s release, Jess resumes the hunt for Conway. Along the way though, trouble seems to get in his way at every turn.
Then he meets Sam Smith.
Jess finds himself in Liberty, Texas, in a running gunfight between himself and the crazed killer, Sully Hurst. Hurst gets lucky and escapes on his horse. Jess has a bit more trouble in Liberty before leaving town and going after Hurst again.
While searching for his next hunt, he arrives in Segundo, Texas, where he gets into a wild shootout in the saloon.
While in Bream, Texas, he learns that Ansel Maclin has escaped from the state penitentiary, killing one of the prison guards in the process. He decides to hunt Maclin down, but he soon finds out that this quest will have to wait.
He gets a message from the schoolmarm, Martha Heller, in Harrison. He drops everything and heads her way.
Jess leaves Donger, Texas, and his good friend, John Bodine, to hunt for the ruthless and vicious killer, George Meyer, who was last seen in the town of Chastain.
While there, Jess sees a man bullying a young boy by the man of Johnny, but before Jess reaches them, the 150-pound timber wolf, Shadow, shows up out of nowhere to help.
When Jess continues the hunt for Meyer, Shadow joins in and accompanies him.
Jess wonders if Shadow is just along for the company…or if he knows something that Jess doesn’t.
He soon discovers that to be the case, when he is asked to hunt down three ruthless killers.