After leaving Jackson, Texas, Jess and Bodine head to Stratton, Texas, where Jess has agreed to take some time off and fish in the lake he and Henry Stratton built. Along the way, they stop off at the town of Berkshire.
They quickly learn that the town’s officials, including the marshal, have turned the town into a haven for outlaws, charging them a daily fee to stay there without being bothered. At first, it seems to be harmless, as none of the outlaws bothers or harms the local townsfolk and the businesses in town charges the outlaws double for whatever they buy or consume.
That quickly changes when a cold-blooded killer by the name of Jake Rickman rides into town and stays at the hotel. Bodine is awaiting a wire back from United States Marshal Frank Reedy, asking if they should interfere with the town’s operation. The answer from Frank Reedy is what Bodine expected: Pin their federal badges on and clean up the town.
Jess kills a hired gun working for a cattle baron who has a huge ranch outside of Berkshire. The rancher tries to bribe Jess and Bodine with money, but when that doesn’t work, he tries to run them off with hired killers. Jess finds himself ducking bullets and facing the best gunslingers the cattle baron can buy…and he has no shortage of money.
Just when they think things can’t get any worse, Frank Reedy is wounded by two outlaws passing through Stratton, Texas. Jess and Bodine want to leave Berkshire and hunt down the two attackers, but they still have to deal with the cattle baron until their replacements arrive.