A rattler spooks trail-guide Jonas who falls over a cliff as does Rowdy trying to rescue him. Jonas' son Aaron throws a rope to save Rowdy, not his father, because Jonas has become an embarrassing slacker. Jonas fakes injuries from the fall to weasel out of leading the herd across a dangerous river, which Rowdy dares to cross, rather than venture a pothole-ridden mountain pass urged by Jonas. When Rowdy finds a blotto Jonas malingering with liquor stashed under his bedroll, he fires both father and son. Back home Aaron eloquently prophesies that Rowdy will need them to forge the river quicksand. Jonas bolts onto a bender, proving he's neither saint, nor Nephite, selling a third of Rowdy's herd to a conman. Childless Rowdy's Oedipal abandonment issues surface via his brotherly concern over Jonas' motherless son when Rowdy describes his own history to Aaron which is similar. Aaron tries to find a crossing but has to be rescued from quicksand while the Sheriff arrives wanting one third ...