Jess is on the hunt for Lon Winter after leaving the town of Terrance, Texas. He rides into the town of Millbury, Texas, and accidentally runs into the Madsen brothers. One of them takes a hostage and bullets fly.
He tracks Winter to Gilead, where he meets a down-and-out young bounty hunter by the name of Vernon Garrison. Jess agrees to help him out temporarily. They team up to hunt Winter, which takes them to the town of Eldon, Texas.
While there, Jess receives a telegraph message from another bounty hunter he had worked with before, Ethan Stone. He has gotten himself locked up and charged with murder. Jess splits from Garrison to travel to Victorville to help Stone prove his innocence.
Then, Jess receives a message from United States Marshal Frank Reedy, informing him of a wanted man who hadn’t been seen in a long time. Reedy has a clue and Jess follows it, only to be led down another dangerous path.
Jess finally catches the next man on his hunt list, Andrew Poppet. In exchange for his life, Poppet reveals the location of the Boone gang, one of the most notorious gangs in the West. Lawmen and bounty hungers have been searching for them for months, but no one has been able to find them.
Jess makes a deal with Poppet and locks him up in the jail in Waterville, Texas, with a promise that if Poppet is lying, he’ll come back and send him straight to hell with a bullet. He heads to Summerlin, where the gang is hiding out in a very secret location west of town.
Surprisingly, when Jess arrives in Summerlin, he finds Wildcat, who is on the hunt for Laban Eastwood’s partner. If that isn’t enough of a surprise, he finds the huge timber wolf, Shadow, with Wildcat. The fact that Shadow is with her is an omen of some tough times ahead, but neither of them realizes just how tough things are going to get.
Jess leaves Frank Reedy behind and heads to the town of Lockton, Texas, on the hunt for his next man, Lar Clemson. After bringing Clemson into Lockton to collect the bounty, he learns that a young woman, Crissy, has been kidnapped by four outlaws.
Jess decides to track the men and find Crissy. Her freckled and red-haired brother, Red, goes along with him. They quickly find Crissy, but she has been brutalized by the four men. The terrible scene brings back Jess’s memories of his family’s murders, especially the ruthless torture and killing of his little sister, Samantha.
After tempering his rage, Jess goes on the hunt for the four men, who are now all wanted dead or alive. Crissy’s brother is hell-bent on going with him. They start tracking down the men, but they prove to be elusive prey. Jess promised Red’s mother that he would do his best to protect him, but Red gets shot after freezing up during a gunfight with the four outlaws. Worried Red might be a liability, Jess has to decide whether the young man should continue the hunt or be sent home.
In this 80th installment of the exploits of bounty hunter Jess Williams, he takes on some of his most evil foes yet. Sid Norton is a tough one. The notorious killer ambushes Jess, wounds him and heads in to finish him off. Just then a young woman living in the woods with her son fires at Norton and he rides away.
The woman is named Mandy and her boy is Davey. Together they get Jess to their tent. Mandy cleans and stitches his wound and they wait for him to come around, hoping they’ve done enough to keep him alive. When Jess wakes up he’s grateful, of course, but also concerned about the two living alone in the woods. Although Mandy has spunk, the pair might not be as lucky the next time evil men arrive. He convinces them to go with him as he follows Norton’s trail to the next town.
They find that Norton has continued his murderous ways, killing off the mayor and new town marshal of Deerfield, leaving the mayor’s wife to manage the general store they owned. Elsie, however, is in a wheelchair. Jess sets up Mandy and Davey to live with her and help run the store.
Jess is anxious to end Norton’s reign of terror before the killer takes the lives of any others, but Norton has already acted. After killing two more people in Temperance, Texas, one the barkeep, Norton holes up in the saloon in a battle to the death. Jess wins that battle and then heads to California, Texas, to turn in the body.
As soon as this task is finished a wagon arrives with a woman doctor clinging to life. She had earlier tended to Jess’s wounds, but after she treated one of the Coker brothers the ungrateful killer shot her and left her for dead.
As Jess heads off to seek vengeance on the Coker brothers, he comes across an old friend, but not under happy circumstances. John Booth has been chasing a bad guy but now he’s lying in the dirt barely alive. They head to the town of Mulberry to get him treatment and go after the Cokers.
Jess is on the hunt for Cliff Radish, and after he puts him down, he ends up taking the body to the town of Duston, Texas. The town marshal there happens to be Cliff’s older brother, Ernie. While there, two men gun down the marshal and he’s unable to perform his duties.
Ernie Radish calls on Jess to protect the town until he can get out of bed and to make matters worse, a huge cattle drive will arrive in a few days. Jess finds himself dealing with hired guns, whores, drunken cowpunchers and drifters coming to town. He pins his United States Marshal’s badge on and takes over the law in Duston.
The cattle drive leaves and the working girls try to hire Jess to escort them safely to Oklahoma City, but instead, he recommends they hire Rick Muller, a gambler and gunslinger from California, who happens to be hanging around Duston. Before Jess leaves town, he realizes that three outlaws are trailing the wagon of women.
He quickly finds himself helping Muller transport the women, but trouble seems to show up at every turn. He has to deal with ambushers, gunslingers, and men with a grudge against him.