This is mainly a movie with several stories weaved in it: 1 - Cowhands slowly being sifted out as the times change and they are no longer needed; 2 - traitors among the main group, men who go to a competing gang of rustlers; 3 - a story of a lonely widow who has to take care of two kids after he husband disappears (killed).
Katharine Ross is the mother ("Evie Teale") who turns cook at a lonely stagecoach stop that also is being eliminated. She is a good woman, and it's nice to see the female star of "Butch Cassidy And the Sundance Kid" still looking good out there is the prairie over 20 years later. Also refreshing to see was her young boy "Laban," one of the nicest, most respectful kids I've ever seen on film: the exact opposite of the many brats I've seen on film in the last quarter of the 20th century. Cody Braun was excellent as the son, and, that's the only movie role he ever played.
The man "Evie" eventually falls for is the hero of the film, "Conagher," played by Sam Elliott. If anyone in the modern era of films ever looked like he was born to play a cowboy, it has to be Elliott. He has the weathered looks and the voice that go perfectly with westerns.
Overall, this is another beautifully-photographed, nice story and a real "keeper" for those who love a good fim of this genre.