As a slave, Isaac Jefford went to war and saved the life of his master, Major Lytton. As a free man, Isaac became one of the major’s top cowhands, respected – but never totally accepted – by fellow cowboys: when they gathered around the fire to eat their dinner, Isaac took his food and sat on the wagontongue alone. When Pete Runyan, a bitter southerner, joins the crew, Isaac has to swallow his rage more than once.
But then Pete and Isaac are assigned the task of getting cash – profits from the sale of the herd – safely to the Fort Worth bank before a foreclosure deadline. Time and three gunmen on their trail are against them, and their journey becomes a race to prove who is the better man.