Colonel Ransom and his men fought for the South during the 'Civil War' and subsequent to the end of the war, they are treated by many as deserters and are suspected of being thieves and of running across the border to Mexico. Ransom's wife and little girl seek out help because he wants to stop being on the run as an 'outlaw' and surrender formerly so that people will stop regarding him as still at war with the government. When the women Ransom loves meet the Cartwrights, they find people who are willing to investigate and seek to help by contacting politicians, seeking out the truth and evidence that Ransom is not what some say he is. One man in particular is bent on seeing Ransom brought to justice and takes to spying on the Cartwrights, believing they are harboring fugatives and figuring that since his wife and girl are at the ranch, Ransom and his men can't be far behind. Ben submits a list of the food stuffs Ransom's men needed on his way back from Mexico in an itemized account because they intend to pay for all the stuff they took once they get straightened out in the law's eyes. A military leader comes at the directive of Washington to accept their surrender and allow Ransom and his men to finally go back to the life that all those that surrendered were allowed....with even recognisition for their service. They were not deserters, but soldiers on orders, simply in Mexico at the time of their commander's surrender, receiving word of it later than their commander's surrender.