Sandy investigates Ricky's wild tale of a medicine show operator who he saw stuff a small boy into a box. The Norths learn that Doc Terwilliger, the show's owner, is a ventriloquist who uses his dummy, Wilbur, to draw in crowds. A trio of jewel thieves find Wilbur fascinating as well, since their leader hid the gems from his latest heist in the dummy's stomach.
The worst drought in 20 years has struck the valley where the Norths have their ranch. While Champion searches for a waterhole for his herd of wild horses, a unscrupulous foreman tries to force and elderly woman to sell her ranch for a pittance.
An elderly prospector searching for gold finally strikes paydirt, but before he can file a claim, he is killed by a pair of drifters who stampede a wild horse herd over the man's body to hide evidence of their crime. The sheriff believes that Champion is a wild killer and tries to have him shot. Meanwhile Ricky and Sandy try to find the real killers.
A crooked horse trader tries to get Sandy North and the other ranchers to sign a petition to allow him to round up all the wild horses in the valley. When the ranchers prove reluctant, the crooks break down the ranchers fences and accuse the herd of the destruction. While riding the range, Ricky and Lorna stumble onto the truth but are captured and held prisoner by the owlhoots.
When a crooked ranch foreman discovers oil on a neighboring spread, he plots with a businessman to grab the property by killing one rancher and framing the other for the crime. When Ricky stumbles upon a pair of oil-soaked boots near the murder scene, he becomes the target for the real killers.
Ricky tries to rescue a fawn from a snare and incurs the trappers' wrath. The men are trying to provide meat for a railroad construction crew but are wiping out the native game in the process. Ricky, Sandy and an Eastern conservationist try to convince the railroad construction boss to find a new source of meat for his men.
Ricky and Sandy persuade a railroad line to bypass the range where Champion and his remuda live, but removing prospectors who try to claim the same valley after stumbling onto what they think is gold-bearing rock proves a tougher nut to crack.
Mary Jane, Ricky's young neighbor, is upset when she learns that Uncle Andrew, her newly appointed guardian, plans to sell the ranch she lives on and force her to move East with him. While Ricky and Sandy try to convince the Easterner of the virtues of ranch life, Mary Jane learns that the man is an impostor and is taken captive by a crooked land-grabbing lawyer.
An ex-convict trying to go straight and his pretty wife buy the ranch next to the North's. He has a chance meeting with his former gang members who threaten his wife if he doesn't cooperate with their bank robbing scheme. Ricky, Champ and Rebel help the young man bring his former confederates to justice.
An outlaw who has escaped from custody joins his old gang and plans his next robbery - a rich bank that's not too far away. With a posse pursuing them, the gang leader decides to pick up a grubstake from his law-abiding sister by blackmailing her.
Rebel is hurt by a porcupine and Ricky gets help for him from a new southern doctor who just arrived in town. However, persistent prejudices for Southerners that linger long after the civil war engender hatred and turmoil for the doctor and his wife to endure until the prejudiced perpetrator's gunshot wound is treated by the doctor.