Ned Rippon is left afoot when his horse is stolen in the desert. He tracks the thief and finds Tom Palding‚ a man who vaguely resembles Rippon. Palding offers Rippon $500 to impersonate him and visit Charles Barrett in the nearby Tyndal Valley. Barrett sent a letter inviting Palding to meet with him‚ and Palding wants to find out what Barrett wants. Twenty years before‚ Palding had killed Sam Barrett in what was believed to be murder.
The impersonation works. Charles Barrett wants to buy the Palding Ranch and offers $10‚000. Jeremy Barrett‚ a lion of a man‚ is sympathetic to Rippon as Palding and calls on Maisry‚ the kitchen girl‚ to help him decide whether or not Palding has been summoned by Charles Barrett under false circumstances. The tension increases when Jeremy accompanies Rippon to the Palding Ranch‚ since Rippon is unsure whether even the formidable Jeremy is actually to be trusted.
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