Luke has taken a liking for the lifestyle of the Simonites and especially for the young and beautiful Erika who has looked after him.
He therefore contemplates the option of becoming a Simonite.
Luke's attempt to foil the Flint gang's gold robbery scheme doesn't go as planned.
Zeb rescues a woman from two hide-cutters and is surprised to find a love from his past.
Zeb and Luke embark on a cattle-herding journey across harsh flatlands, joined by contentious Indian drovers - and trailed by a young runaway.
On the journey home, the stagecoach carrying Molly and Jessie is wrecked - and a dazed Jessie wanders into the desert, where she meets the young Navajo Teel-O.
Zeb and Josh purchase a cattle herd to bring back to the reservation, and Zeb hires old friend Tap Henry to serve as cook on the drive Deek Peasley is reluctantly hired to lead the search party for Jessie, who tries to bridge the language gap with Teel-O.
The cattle drive gets underway, shadowed by Tap's rustler cronies.
With the sheriff's son held hostage by Flint, the robbery moves forward, leaving two men dead.
Jessie's condition worsens as the doctor can't help her.
The civil war is about to begin and the family wants to go west to Oregon to make sure that the sons Seth (later called Luke) and Jed (later called Josh) are not drafted.