A lawman arrives in North Fork with the intent to kill an outlaw for the reward money but seeing opportunity, he instead murders an innocent man. After collecting the bounty he blackmails the true criminal, and Lucas must step in.
When a gang rides into town and take marshal Micah and Hattie Denton prisoner in Hattie's store, Lucas is forced to become acting marshal. Things take a turn for the worse when the gang leader, an escaped convict, challenges Lucas to a gunfight.
Mark is saved from a rattlesnake while out in the woods by a man named Walt Hake, and he invites him to the ranch for dinner. Lucas is pleased with Walt and takes him on as a ranch hand, but soon discovers he is lying about his identity.
Johnny Clover is a student and chief troublemaker at North Fork school. After Johnny wrecks the classroom, Lucas offers to take him in when he realizes Johnny's abusive uncle may be the root of his problems.
Lucas and Mark meet their new neighbors, Abel MacDonald and his son Carey, but are off-put by Abel's rudeness. When Carey gets seriously injured and Abel refuses medical assistance, Lucas takes matters into his own hands.
Lucas is shocked to discover that North Folk's well-liked schoolteacher Adele Adams is leaving town. After learning she was pressured to by locals who disliked her suffragette movement, Lucas wonders if more is going on than it seems.