Jess is on the hunt for Lyle Dailey, which takes him to the town of Raleigh. When he gets there, Dailey is already gone.
He heads out after him and comes across a widowed woman by the name of Violet living alone in a small cabin and barn. She informs him that Dailey had tried to approach her, but that she ran him off with her rifle.
When Jess heads back out on the trail, Dailey sees him coming and ambushes him. Violet finds him on the trail not far from her cabin. He’s been shot in the shoulder, but still alive.
She tends to his wound at her cabin, joined by the town nurse. Once he’s well enough to travel, they take him to the hotel in Raleigh.
Meanwhile, a cattle baron by the name of Felton Vanover has been attempting to buy her land to get access to the river running through it. Frustrated, he goes out to make another offer, but when he finds her missing, he orders two of his hired guns to burn her place to the ground.
When Jess finds out that the woman who saved his life has lost everything, he vows to make things right one way or another, as soon as he’s well enough.
United States Marshal Frank Reedy travels to Raleigh to watch over Jess and sends John Bodine to the town of Newell, where they think Lyle Dailey is heading. Bodine kills Dailey and then travels to Raleigh to be with Jess.
Problems mount when other gunslingers find out Jess is staying in Raleigh and they start coming for him. If that wasn’t enough, he ends up in a war with Vanover and his hired killers.