Eight years ago, forty-year-old Caulfield Blake was run out of the West Texas town of Simpson by a lynch mob. As sheriff, he'd been called on to carry out justice. But the War was ending and upholding the law was a tough kind of business. And when it meant hanging 'Colonel' Henry Simpson's son for killing an unpopular federal judge, the community-including Blake's own wife and children-wanted no part of him. Now Colonel Simpson wants to expand his spread and force out his neighbors, so he blocks up Carpenter Creek and dries up the already barren soil. There's only one man who will stand up to the powerful Colonel Simpson and he's been making a good living for himself rounding up mustangs by the Brazos River. But when Caulfield Blake gets an urgent letter from his remarried ex-wife, he listens to his heart, and not to his sense, and heads back home.