Gunman Frank Hammel's arrival on the stage upsets people in Medicine Bow who believe he may be after them. Having saved The Virginian's life ten years earlier, The Virginian takes an active role in calming fears and stopping any killing.
David kills a man in self-defense on Shiloh who stole his girlfriend. He is forced to stay at Shiloh as the man's father and brother wait for him in Medicine Bow as Trampas who is in charge encounters unusual problems on the ranch.
The Virginian sees Bill Burden with two other men who are returning money from selling ranchers' herds. The two leave together but the money is stolen and Bill is lynched. The Virginian wants revenge when he is too late to clear Bill.
After a fight with Trampas, David leaves. He finds himself not only robbed of his clothes and horse by bank robbers but arrested for the robbery himself. Trampas who followed to get him to return, finds himself in the same jail cell.
An orphan who lived with the Graingers in Texas 15 years earlier comes through Medicine Bow. He decides to stay and work for them and is very protective of the Graingers but his years away from them have changed him - in a bad way.
Easterner Scott Austin is sent to Shiloh for the summer as a favor to his wealthy father who is a friend of Clay. The hope is that Scott will develop character. With Clay gone the job falls to The Virginian who has his hands full.
A dispute ends with one man dead, the Sheriff unconscious, and the shooter on the run. The Virginian, Trampas, and David catch the shooter with his family. The softhearted David wants to let the shooter go but The Virginian won't go along.
Eileen Linden is visiting for six weeks with her father's friend Clay Grainger. In an agreement with her father, she is to spend the time away from a man she wants to marry. The man shows up at Shiloh with a hidden purpose.
Tramps takes a stage on a trip. During the trip they hear Arapaho may be loose plus two soldiers with a payroll join it. They find the ferryman dead and a man by the body at a water stop. At the ferry crossing there is more trouble.
When Elizabeth is late returning from a ride for dinner and her horse returns alone, the Graingers, The Virginian, and Trampas go looking for her. A storm impedes them until a clue takes them to an abandoned mine that has caved in.
Claire Garson and Nathaniel E. 'Doc' Watson have an act in which Claire appears to read minds. They receive an offer which involves them in going to Medicine Bow. Claire is to "meet" the Graingers and reveal she might be Clay's niece.
Luke Nichols arrives at Shiloh looking for Trampas tracked by bounty hunter Bracken. Luke helped Trampas break out of prison when he was about to hang. Trampas tries to hide him with the widow McCloud who has a heart of stone - at first.
The Virginian meets the loner, Garrison, on the trail and decides to hire him even though he doesn't socialize well with others. When Sam Marish who had a run in with Garrison is killed during a robbery, Garrison is arrested and tried.
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.