Joe and Hoss are out when they are attacked by Indians, Joe hit with an arrow. With Joe needing medical attention, they come across a small wagon train of misfits, heading East. Their only doctor, dying and wanting to see his grandchildren before he dies, helps Little Joe.
Ben militia troop is reactivated when the Paiute Indian Wabuska is captured and needs to be transported to the nearest fort. The Indians consider him to be a god which makes him very important to their people. When several of the soldiers are killed, the tribal chief sees for himself what they have been dying for.
Donnie Buckler has been shot getting away from a holdup. He buries a portion and then is found by Little Joe. They go to the Ponderosa and fetch the doc but by the time he arrives the Cartwrights have been seized by the rest of the gang. When Donnie doesn't give up the loot's location, the boss decides to use some different leverage - an old girlfriend he hadn't seen in about a year.
Joe, Hoss and Candy drive a herd to Sand Dust. When they go into town to collect their wages, the buyer is robbed and killed with four witnesses to both crimes. When they are put up in the hotel under protective custody, the Slater gang makes several attempts to finish them all off so they can't testify against the one brother they managed to capture.
When their parents died, Mark's older brother raised him at times like he was breaking a horse. Part because he was just a kid himself and others because he didn't know any better. But Mark never doubted his brother's love but he has to show a new girl in town or die trying.
Ben Cartwright (Lorne Greene) buys a teen-age girl's stallion from her father, Burt Loughlin (Tom Tully), with the intention of letting the girl, Trudy Loughlin (Kim Darby),ride the horse in a high-stakes race, but his plans are upset when the father falls in with Harper (William Bryant), a crooked gambler.
The Cartwrights become unwitting pawns in a battle between wealthy rancher Gabriel Bingham and his penniless nephew Jayce Fredericks over the ownership of the valuable black horse Jayce needs to restart his herd and reclaim his ranch.
Not long after bad-tempered Frank Scott is hanged for murdering a young woman in a dark Virginia City alley, witness for the prosecution, Hoss Cartwright, sees a man in a Carson City saloon who looks just like Frank, hears him whistling the same strange tune the killer whistled that fateful night, and begins to fear that his testimony has sent the wrong man to the gallows.
Wally Cox is the inventor of a "Willy Wonka like" machine, which he sells to Hoss claiming it has the ability to detect gold. However, all it can really detect is the lie behind the 'gold detection' theory.
The Virginia City bank is robbed and a clerk killed. Cully Maco, just released from prison, is the only suspect. When the posse catches up to him, he claims he didn't know about the latest incident anymore than he knew who sent him away to prison for 5 years. So who did kill and steal $161,000?
Attorney Cato Troxell's is defending his brother against a murder charge. When he's found guilty, Cato threatens the judge in front of witnesses. When the judge is killed in his own barn, Cato is naturally brought up on charges. But several days before, a photographer was hired to take a group photo of the Ponderosa and some hands from several surrounding ranches. But how did Cato get in the picture? Everyone swears he wasn't there!
The Cattlemen's Association hire a range detective to put an end to the cattle rustling affecting all in their area. What they soon learn is that he has a shady past which includes killings with never any witnesses.
The Cartwrights hire a new bronc buster who brings along a new bride -- an Indian woman who a few locals just don't feel comfortable around. One neighbor in particular takes a dislike to her and she uncovers a secret he has been ashamed to reveal.
The salt bed is now exhausted and the only supply left is in a warehouse and controlled by its new owner. Since everyone needs the salt and they need it now or their cattle will die, the biggest buyer tries to set the price. When a price is reached, they are all up in arms. But the monetary price is nothing to what is finally paid.
Ben Cartwright finds himself in a fight for his life when he acts too late on his suspicion that there is more than meets the eye to an amiable, young drifter that Little Joe brought home to the Ponderosa.
With Hoss being the lone hold-out during the murder trail of Johnny Mule, he will only have a short time to gather evidence before a new trail is set. But when Johnny breaks out of jail, things look bad.
Candy falls in love with a new arrival but she is being pursued by a blackmailer. When the blackmail plot is revealed, Candy seeks help from the Cartwrights but he returns lodging house of his future bride to find her murdered.
Candy finally leaves the Ponderosa and the Cartwright family to marry his longtime fiancé, Lila, in River Bend. His life changes radically, however, when he arrives in the town and finds himself arrested and thrown in jail for something he didn't do. Getting word of his plight, the Cartwrights travel to River Bend, only to discover that the town is controlled by a murderous, corrupt sheriff and his equally crooked deputy.
While in the nearby town of Angeles to treat Candy's injured hand, Little Joe offers horse wrangling work to an out-of-work miner friend, Steve Regan. But, when a rearing horse accidentally kills Steve, Little Joe and Candy stay to help the grieving widow and instead find themselves embroiled in a dangerous mine strike, resented by the angry Angeles miners, and discovering that there may be real cause to doubt the mine's safety...and their own.