An honest cowhand decides he must follow his conscience when he discovers that his boss has expanded his cattle ranch through crooked activity.
Del Rowland, working for Bill Overlin at the Spoke ranch, begins to doubt the boss's integrity when Overlin and others bully a homesteader named Holt Warren and goad him into a fatal gunfight. Del's curiosity increases as he gets to know Overlin's stepdaughter, Lawna, and hears stories from saloon patrons. One of them is shot in the street at night. Meanwhile, the cattlemen step up their aggression by burning Holt Warren's buildings and running their cattle on his pasture.
Del quits his job at the Spoke and goes to work among the homesteaders. He also has conversations in town and gains further knowledge about Holt Warren, his adoration of Lawna's mother, and old suspicions about the death of Lawna's father and the death of Overlin's first wife. As the cattlemen terrorize the homesteaders, Del develops an interest in Tess, a nester girl, and takes a job salvaging lumber, but the marauders shoot down one of the workers and set the barn afire. Del has to defend himself if he hopes to see Tess again.
“This is typical Nesbitt literature: strong characterizations and vivid landscapes, with a realistic plot and an original cowboy song.” -Roundup Magazine
“Plenty of period detail and dialogue are paced like a lonely cowboy’s deliberate drawl to the
final, gritty showdown. The author is a prolific writer of western novels with a clear love for the landscapes and hard-working, principled protagonists.” -Historical Novel Society