Josh is determined to debunk the dire menace posed by a marauding monster that has smashed mining camps, decimated an Indian village and that has the residents of nearby Nugget City hiding behind locked doors.
Jason brings in "Doc" Phillips hoping he can lure Clell Fanning out as he has an old score to settle with Clell. He is shot by one of Clell's henchman and he must rely on the deputy, Nichols, who takes over after the Sheriff is killed.
To net a thousand-dollar reward, Josh saves Tolliver Bend from a hanging so he can testify in a nearby trial. Double-crosses are immediately hatched by those who want Tolliver dead and by those who want the money.
Josh performs an intervention on the most eligible drunk in town, so the care-free alcoholic will appear respectable to his wealthy brother Al Simmons, when he arrives from staid Philadelphia. After 15 years apart, Harry Simmons couldn't care less, but homely store-owner Emily hopes to trick Harry into marriage, as part of his makeover. So she pays Josh a hefty bounty on Harry: Wanted Dead or Sober.
When Randall has a sheriff bed a prisoner, the man's gang kidnaps the sheriff and two others and threatens to kill one per day until the man is freed as the deputy's girl pressures him to let the sheriff die as condition for marriage.