Durango, Colorado, and Farmington, New Mexico square off against each other in a fight to control the general area in this tale, based upon actual facts. Each side is busy rustling cows and horses from each other's herds and blaming the other. But, Ike and Port Stockton of the Colorado faction are a little more liberal and sometimes grab available Colorado ranchers' stock for the butcher shop.
Ike is a good PR man and influences several Colorado newspapers to root for them, and for a time Ike is unbelievably described as a defender of justice against the New Mexico bad guys. But soon the axe falls; everybody gets their comeuppance. George Woods of the Colorado group and his story is played out against the backdrop of the frontier west, and his confused heart gets him into darker trouble than he can ever imagine.