Before Jess leaves Wildcat in Summerlin, Texas, he receives a wire from United States Marshal Frank Reedy. He is assigned to hunt down the vicious outlaw, Pearly Bullock, and deliver him to Stratton, Texas…alive. The fact that Shadow stays with him when he leaves Summerlin is a clue as to how hard the assignment is going to be.
As unhappy as he is with the idea of bringing Bullock in alive, things become worse when every bounty hunter finds out the reward is twenty-five thousand dollars. Every gunslinger and bounty hunter worth his salt begins hunting for Bullock, getting in Jess’s way at every turn.
His job of getting Pearly back to Stratton alive becomes a difficult task, but he finds help in another gunslinger turned bounty hunter. They team up, but as things get worse, Jess begins to wonder if he should just shoot Pearly himself and be done with it.
As they make their way to Stratton, they run into one problem after another, leaving a trail of dead bodies behind them. Jess begins to worry more about whether or not he’ll get to Stratton alive, much less get Pearly there.