Bat receives half of a cane he gave to Jane Taylor and rides to her ranch to investigate. He is forced to choose sides between her family and other ranchers and his old friend, a cattle baron intent on returning to the days of open range.
In 1886 Bat arrives in Abilene, Kansas to learn why he received part of the cane he gave to Jane Taylor long ago when he left her when she became too serious. While asking directions to her ranch in Abilene, Bat is confronted by a man named Colby who Bat handles handily. Upon arrival at the Taylor ranch he is told by Jane's father Ben that he sent the cane to bring Bat there hoping for his help. He and several other ranchers are having trouble with Dallas Agate a cattle dealer who has been driving his herds onto their property on the way to market letting his cattle feed on their grass leaving nothing for the rancher's own cattle. They have put up barbwire fence to stop him but he is threatening to cut through anyway. As Dallas is an old friend of Bat's, at first Bat refuses to help but does talk to Dallas who he finds has changed. Dallas still believes in free grass and refuses to accept the end of free range. Not liking what he hears, Bat agrees to help the ranchers but on his own ... Written by