Ben and Tony capture Cato Richards, an ex-slave, trying to steal food from the circus and offer him a job as a roustabout. After a running gunfight with a band of Comanche Indians where Cato demonstrates his shooting skills, Cato tells Tony the real reason he joined the troupe - so he could get transportation to a town he knows an ex-Union officer lives. He plans to avenge himself on the man who gave the order to burn the plantation and kill its elderly owner where he lived during the Civil War.
When a hot-air balloonist crashes into a building near the Thompson and Travis Circus is located and draws a huge crowd, Ben and Tony immediately try to hire the pretty blonde to perform in their show. Ben's attraction isn't just monetary, though - he has romance on his mind.
Casey tries to reform Will Grady, an old friend, inveterate liar and ex-convict who spent fifteen years in the territorial prison for bigamy. Grady isn't out of jail long finds himself behind bars awaiting trial for the murder of the woman whose testimony sent him to prison. Casey is convinced that Grady's former cellmates who believed one of Casey's wilder tales, actually committed the crime and sends Ben and Tony to capture the villains before Grady is falsely convicted.
Due to a lack of communication between Casey and Ben, the circus has two new prime attractions and no money to pay their creditors. Ben tries to make up for the shortfall by entering a high-stakes poker game, but winds up deeper in debt and framed for murder to boot.
Tony Gentry, the T & T Circus' advance man, arrives in New Atlanta, a town settled by ex-Southerners like himself, but discovers there's little Southern hospitality in the small burg. In fact, there's a town ordinance against circuses or shows of any kind. Not willing to take "no" for an answer Casey Thompson manages to get a waiver to allow a performance but fails to read the find print stating that the circus must remain within the town limits while he courts one of the town matriarchs.
Advance man Tony Gentry reports that the next town the circus will visit, Paradise, will live up to its name. It has everything a circus needs - plenty of paying customers, good water, a good campsite - everything except fresh meat. The only ranch with sufficient quantity to meet the circus' needs refuses to strike a deal with Tony, so co-owner Ben Travis decides to take over the negotiations and discovers that the cantankerous ranch owner is a lovely, love-starved woman.
Luke Sanders, a member of a non violent religious group, the Duncanites, which his Uncle is the head of, leaves home, no longer able to be non violent in the face of men employed by a local rancher who is trying to force the group from their land. Luke joins the "Frontier Circus" unaware that he is wanted for the murder of that local rancher, the widow of whom also happens to be an "old friend" of Ben Travis.