Doc Hollister, gambler and bounty hunter, leads a group of ex-Confederates escorting wagon trains across the border protecting them from the Apaches. It all goes well until the Mayor of the Mexican town does a deal to ship guns.
Doctor Edward Hollister comes from a good background. After setting up a comfortable and respectable practice in Baltimore, the Civil War breaks out and he unwillingly enlists in the Union Army despite his disinterest in the political struggle. The trauma of war makes a cynical and disillusioned man of him and he gradually loses his medical practice.
Doc heads west to avoid the ignominy of failure and makes his living playing cards and hunting wanted men. Sanchez, the Mayor and Banker of a small Mexican town, wants Doc to find some men to escort wagons to the border. The only men willing to take on the work are a bunch of exiled Confederate ex-soldiers Doc finds over the border in Mexico. Together they take over a disused ranch in the middle of Apache territory and despite the dangers manage to establish a thriving business. Along the way they help a wagonload of bargirls, who promptly move in to the ranch and set up for business.
Sanchez, the Mayor, secures a contract to escort a government shipment to the border, but only when they’re deep in the Apache hills do they find out what they’re carrying - guns! The Apaches know what the shipment contains from their Mexican allies so Doc and his men have to defend both the wagon train and themselves.
‘Doc! Didn’t think you were coming back.’
‘Got your man outside. He’s a bit ripe ‘cos I got caught up in a few other things. His horse is out there as well, and I’ve got his papers.’
‘Man?’ the Mayor asked, feigning ignorance. ‘What man?’
‘The man who murdered Silas over at the livery stable. The man who you sent me after to bring to justice, Mister Mayor. That man.’
‘Ah, yes, that man. Well, since you were away so long we figured that you hadn’t caught up with him, or maybe he’d caught up with you. So...!’ The Mayor looked over at the sheriff, who immediately looked the other way.
‘What you’re saying is, you’re going to renege on the reward you offered,’ said Doc.
‘We-l-l-l.’ The mayor looked harassed and was mutely appealing to the sheriff, who clearly didn’t want to know.