When Sheriff Val Crawford is injured, newcomer to Green River, Clay Crisswell takes over temporarily. His civilized ways and the ability to subdue the rougher element of Green River without a gun make him popular with the businessmen, but things may not be what they seem.
After being stranded in the desert, Scott is found and taken in to an abandoned mine by an inquisitive young boy. But the boy's family includes an outlaw uncle who plans to kill Scott and pass the body off as his own.
A schoolteacher encounters hostility and harassment when he arrives to start a school in a ranching community that has had no teacher before. When the teacher disappears after being taken out of town by night riders, his wife decides to continue in his place, and Johnny assists her despite continued resistance from children's parents.
Murdoch leaves on a stage for Yuma in hope of disproving assumptions that he's getting too old to take care of himself. But on the way, he and the stage driver are held up and left for dead. They walk to the town of Blessing, which they find is run by a crooked town boss who has the stage robbers in his employ.
Scott catches one of the robbers who was trying to rob a store in a nearby town. The robber turns out to be a young woman, and Scott is deputized to keep an eye on her. It's not so easy, as the girl is a wild young hellion who does whatever she can to cause trouble.
A boy found wandering on the Lancer ranch wants to hire Johnny to kill the ranchers he says murdered his homesteader father. The boy's sister tells a much different story about how their father died, but after learning that the boy's story is closer to the truth, Johnny decides to stay on with them, if only to prevent the kid from following the path he did when young.
Jelly buys a white Brahma bull at an auction, and becomes the butt of jokes around town because of it, as most ranchers in the area are unfamiliar with the breed. One rancher, however, is determined to either get the bull for himself or make sure it is killed.
When Jelly is seriously mauled by a cougar, the closest thing to a doctor Murdoch can find to treat him is a man in jail for practicing without a license. The man is brought out to treat Jelly, but a local town boss wants him back in jail for leaving his son crippled after an operation.
A friend of Johnny's is killed in a bar by Tom Nevill, the son of the powerful rancher who runs the town. Johnny is wounded while fighting with Tom, and flees town as he is accused of the killing. He finds shelter at a farm, but the girl who finds him is engaged to Tom, whose father has ordered his men to kill Johnny when they find him. The girl still helps Johnny, but her mother is most concerned with how she can benefit financially.
A dying man, believing his land to be cursed, wills it back to the Devil, even though he has a young son. Surprisingly, a claimant shows up: a strange man who seems to know everyone's name and around whom strange things occur.
Murdoch promises an old friend before he dies that he will watch after his daughter, a child entertainer at a mining camp, and the fortune he says he has left for her, if it can be found before three men intent on taking it do. The girl's prim aunt, who accompanies them, objects to her upbringing.