Holly finds two cowboys who are looking for work. The younger hand Jim looks up to Ben as the only father he has ever known as the two roam around looking for a place to settle. Ben isn't ready to settle down but Jim may have found a home.
The Virginian straying off on a horse drive after a couple of horses is hurt when his horse stumbles in a creek bed. Blinded by the accident, The Virginian stumbles his way into the home of three men he fired who are horse thieves.
In Arizona Trampas is forced to work as foreman on a ranch staffed by men on probation from prison. The locals want them removed and the US Marshal in charge of the area is less than enthusiastic about them being there as well.
The territorial representative resigns so Clay is drafted to run against a local man. Once in the race Clay learns the dirty side of politics including being lied to about who drafted him. He runs an honest contest but will the other side.
When the husband of a couple younger than Jim goes on the lam, Jim decides to take over as the breadwinner for the young wife and her new baby he delivers. However, the toil of doing two jobs leads to Jim deciding to quit as emotions grow.
A runaway boy is found on Shiloh who won't talk. They wonder about his parents becoming gravely concerned when they discover he has been severely beaten. No one realizes how close his dad is as the orphanage manager wants him back.
Reporter/artist Julie Oakes arrives in Medicine Bow from Boston to do a story on the west. She falls in love with The Virginian but her interest in another man upsets him and results in problems due to her complicated past in Boston.
Trampas leaves on vacation but his plans go astray when he is picked up by a bounty hunter for murdering a popular doctor. He has to contend with a hostile town, planted evidence, and a saloon girl who swears she saw him commit the murder.
An Army deserter is found and injured on Shiloh after he was whipped by the commanding officer - his father. Being a bugler he gives Elizabeth lessons on a coronet she has found until the Graingers learn the truth about him from the Army.
An old lawman friend of The Virginian comes to Shiloh to see him and ask him to go on a hunting trip. However, he doesn't say the prey is two outlaws. Once The Virginian learns the truth, he decides to help but is surprised by the target.
A pig tailed brat returns home from finishing school for a two week vacation as a beautiful woman catching Trampas' eyes again. They fall in love as she remembers the good times but her father wants her to return to school in the east.
An emergency recalls The Virginian so he allows Jim Horn to go alone with $4000 to complete a purchase of horses. Everyone takes Jim for a wet behind the ears youngster including the woman and her partner who steal the money he carries.
A white woman and her son are forced to leave the Shoshone reservation when her Shoshone husband dies. She is found sick on Shiloh. Unknown to everyone her white husband and now engaged daughter live in Medicine Bow thinking she is dead.
Trampas decides to track down where Cobey Jade obtained a silver watch that belonged to a friend. While with Jade who lives in an abandoned mining town, they are taken captive by a band of roving outlaws who believes Jade found gold there.
Trampas asked to deliver a friendly prisoner to Clearwater by stage finds himself with a stuffy southern belle. When the stage is held up, she forces Trampas and his prisoner to go after the robbers which becomes a lesson in life to her.
The Virginian helps the widow of a local businessman prove her innocence when first her husband is killed in a fire followed by his right hand man who names her as he dies. She has a history of mental illness after her first husband died.
An eastern combine wants to take over the Wyoming cattle market with Shiloh in the middle of their sights. A burned Shiloh and delayed cattle drive leads to a loss on the sale of cattle resulting in all the Shiloh hands being laid off.
Clay, Elizabeth, and Jim along with a small number of other passengers ride the train from Cheyenne to Medicine Bow. During the trip they get to know each other only to learn one is hiding a past that causes the train to be stopped.
The Graingers are taken hostage by two brothers and their sister to get access to a friend of Clay who is a Judge running for the legislature. They blame him for killing their father and stealing their family farm for a railroad.
The Virginian picks up a hand John on the trail who becomes friends with Jim but is half Kiowa running from the Army for killing four soldiers. He wants to go to Canada to live free but Jim faces a lynching for a man John killed.
Clay is kidnapped by three gang members for a $20,000 ransom or the threat of his death and the burning of Medicine Bow. Adding to the situation is the wife of the gang leader staying at Shiloh in order to escape him but he wants her back.
The Virginian and Shiloh money are rescued by a lone man who he rewards with a job at Shiloh. He rubs the other men the wrong way, works hard, but is obviously a gunman. Clay Grainger soon realizes who he is but won't let him be fired.
Poor Harve Yost turns into rich Harve when he finds a dying man with a saddle bag full of money and gets a $10000 reward. Never a man to manage money or time The Virginian advises him to buy a ranch but Harve tries to rival Shiloh.
Jim Horn becomes involved with a roving saloon singer who had a similar involvement with Trampas three years earlier. A train payroll robber dying in her room complicates their lives when she is assumed to hold the missing money.