Ward Bowden is pressing his father Arnold to fight for total ownership of the Ogallala Strip between their ranch and Shiloh that has been shared. A drifter, Jim, comes to the aid of Trampas when Ward leaves him knocked out on a runaway wagon. One of the Bowden hands recognizes him as the gunfighter Ned Mullens from Virginia City leading the Bowdens to believe Shiloh has upped the ante in the conflict. Since Jim needs a job, Trampas convinces The Virginian to hire him to do chores even though he may be Mullens as it will help keep the Bowdens quiet until the land commissioner makes a decision about the land in ten days. As the Shiloh handyman, Jim continues to come to the aid of Trampas including backing him up with an empty shotgun when Trampas goes to the Bowden ranch to finish the fight with Ward. When their attorney tells the Bowdens their case is weak, Ward initiates activities to sway public opinion in their favor especially after a drifter in the saloon tells him he saw Ned ...