Trail boss Rance Hollister has scrimped and saved for ten years to buy a spread of land. When he learns the bank is closed and his hard-earned $4,000 gone, Rance snaps and joins with his three trusty trail hands in pulling a train robbery.
Chad Burns leads an outlaw gang that has been robbing numerous banks and trains, but he has charmed the people of his town so much into seeing him as a Robin Hood figure that they refuse to help the law by testifying against him.
Gabe Cutter's brother is hanged without trial by the town of Red Sky, just before they learn he was innocent. In revenge, Gabe vows to destroy the town, and works with a recently released outlaw and his recruits to rob it dry.
Angered by a court order that he must allow other ranchers to take their cattle on a trail through land he claims, rancher Jack Duane decides to prove that no one pushes him around---by killing a neighboring rancher. He then threatens to kill the only witness to the murder as well.
Four men long on the run together have been offered amnesty for participating against rancher Clay Fisher in the Johnson County Range War. But Fisher has no intention of letting them receive it, and tries to maneuver them into violating it before it takes affect.
Fifteen years after robbing the Topeka bank, five people involved, each with only part of the information as to its location, plan to get together and find the money and divide it between them. The marshals are counting on the daughter of another robber who was killed to help them trap the others. Greed takes over and complicates things for both the robbers and the marshals.
Drifter Culley Scott kills a man in self-defense after the man has just shot his own father. He finds a satchel of money on the dead man's horse, and finds the father still alive. When caught by Caine and Foreman, Culley tells them that he is the old man's son, and then decides to help him when he learns the man is now blind.
When ranch foreman Bill Doolin is told that his boss has given in and sold his land to the railroad, he and the other ranch workers are out of a job. A ruthless railroad agent offers Doolin money to capture an old friend who has taken to robbing the trains, but Doolin refuses, and soon he and the other men consider riding with the train robber themselves.
Foreman is transporting sadistic killer Neil Gwinner to prison when they are joined by Jim Houston, a man just released after serving his time. A blizzard strikes, and Gwinner escapes after the horses are spooked. Foreman finds shelter in a church and tells the people inside about the killer, but passes out before he can say more. When Houston comes to the church, the people assume him to be Gwinner.
Frustrated by his inability to get their financial support, a mild-mannered schoolteacher tricks the three members of the town council into a cave and leaves them there. He then claims that a wanted local outlaw is holding them for ransom, which the teacher plans to use to improve his school.
After Davy Morgan's father is murdered in cold blood by an outlaw nicknamed the Weasel, the 13-year old vows vengeance. Frank Denton, a noted gunslinger, gives the young boy instructions in shooting so he can get revenge.
Impoverished farmer Gregor Zacod has been making extra money by hiding people who are on the run. When three men offer him more money to take them to where he hid one of their confederates in a robbery who kept the money for himself, Zacod refuses, so they force him to cooperate by kidnapping his wife.
After young Sam Bass inadvertently causes an outlaw to gun down the sheriff, everyone in town turns against him, so he decides to join up with the outlaw. Before long, he decides to form his own outlaw gang.
Caine and Foreman cross the border into Mexico trailing a trio of outlaws. But when they stop at the first town to get permission to enter and trail them further, they are instead jailed by the colonel who runs the town, who hopes to use them as a bargaining chip to get concessions from higher-ups in the government.
The railroad is planning to bypass the town of New March, where Foreman grew up, and build its own town in its place---an act which would destroy the economy of New March. Foreman is treated coldly by the residents as he is sent back there to investigate the murder of a railroad employee. More violence soon erupts, as the railroad has hired a ruthless paid killer to strike back at the town and its leaders.