After Fred Vance’s father died‚ his mother married Milt Hurd. When his mother died‚ the Stirrup Ranch was left to Fred but with the provision that Milt Hurd be supported.
Rather than stay on Stirrup‚ Vance left and sought his fortune in New Mexico Territory. After an absence of eight years‚ Vance returns to Lodgepole‚ Wyoming‚ summoned by Milt Hurd. Hurd wants Vance to sign a lease with Kirby‚ his father’s enemy and owner of the Box Ranch. Hurd has already agreed to the lease‚ but Fred decides not to do it. Kirby‚ now a U.S. Senator‚ has become a very powerful man and he will not accept Fred’s refusal.
When Hurd is suddenly murdered‚ Kirby swears out a warrant‚ accusing Fred of the crime. When Fred is jailed‚ Kirby informs him that the charge will stand‚ unless Fred agrees to lease Stirrup range to him. Fred escapes jail and becomes a fugitive.
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