A young man of seventeen, on his own, runs up against a wealthy landowner when a penniless traveler meets an unexpected death.
Seventeen-year-old Wilsey Grant is on his own when he meets a traveler on foot. They arrive in Silver Grass, where Wilsey meets an indentured servant girl. The fellow traveler turns up dead. Wilsey goes to work at the Emerald Peaks Ranch, where he hears of ranch hands terrorizing the settlers, and he witnesses the shooting of a homesteader boy. The deputy sheriff arrests a ranch hand. The owner of the ranch leads his gunmen into town. They kidnap a girl and offer to trade her for the prisoner, then shoot the deputy and spring the prisoner. The marauders return to town and set some buildings on fire. Two of the attackers are killed, but the main antagonists are still on the loose. Back on his feet, the deputy puts together a posse and goes to the ranch, where they have a series of gunfights. Wilsey meets again with the indentured girl and tells her that when she has fulfilled the terms of her service, he will help her look for her sister.