Trampas asked to deliver a friendly prisoner to Clearwater by stage finds himself with a stuffy southern belle. When the stage is held up, she forces Trampas and his prisoner to go after the robbers which becomes a lesson in life to her.
The Virginian helps the widow of a local businessman prove her innocence when first her husband is killed in a fire followed by his right hand man who names her as he dies. She has a history of mental illness after her first husband died.
An eastern combine wants to take over the Wyoming cattle market with Shiloh in the middle of their sights. A burned Shiloh and delayed cattle drive leads to a loss on the sale of cattle resulting in all the Shiloh hands being laid off.
Clay, Elizabeth, and Jim along with a small number of other passengers ride the train from Cheyenne to Medicine Bow. During the trip they get to know each other only to learn one is hiding a past that causes the train to be stopped.
The Graingers are taken hostage by two brothers and their sister to get access to a friend of Clay who is a Judge running for the legislature. They blame him for killing their father and stealing their family farm for a railroad.
The Virginian picks up a hand John on the trail who becomes friends with Jim but is half Kiowa running from the Army for killing four soldiers. He wants to go to Canada to live free but Jim faces a lynching for a man John killed.
Clay is kidnapped by three gang members for a $20,000 ransom or the threat of his death and the burning of Medicine Bow. Adding to the situation is the wife of the gang leader staying at Shiloh in order to escape him but he wants her back.
The Virginian and Shiloh money are rescued by a lone man who he rewards with a job at Shiloh. He rubs the other men the wrong way, works hard, but is obviously a gunman. Clay Grainger soon realizes who he is but won't let him be fired.
Poor Harve Yost turns into rich Harve when he finds a dying man with a saddle bag full of money and gets a $10000 reward. Never a man to manage money or time The Virginian advises him to buy a ranch but Harve tries to rival Shiloh.
Jim Horn becomes involved with a roving saloon singer who had a similar involvement with Trampas three years earlier. A train payroll robber dying in her room complicates their lives when she is assumed to hold the missing money.
Shiloh's new owner arrives on the same train as five men who The Virginian recognizes from wanted posters. He fears they are involved in a potential range war between the big and small ranges resulting in multiple lynchings.
Trampas and Pick Lexington visit old friends in Mexico. Trampas is caught between Pick and one of his Mexican friends as both men fall for the same girl. He hopes to stop them from dueling each other while the girl chooses between them.
The Virginian helps a woman being attacked in her hotel room only to learn she is an old girlfriend. They are on a stage together which loses a wheel in the desert stranding them while being chased by the men but she won't say why.
Trampas wins a steamboat in a poker game on a steamboat but the money is confiscated for being stolen. When he tries to collect on the steamboat he won, he finds himself involved with a outlaw gang and a crooked boat owner.
Col. MacKenzie rescues a man, Tate, from a lynching for a shooting he saw to be self-defense. MacKenzie is traveling on a train with the young daughter of a friend who believes she is in love with Tate who has an outlaw background.
The Virginian arrested by a posse while on a trip is accused of murder. He is taken in for a trial by a less than proper judge who is also the hangman. When no one listens to him, he escapes to find the real killer and prove his innocence.
A group of German immigrants is repeatedly threatened by night riders who want them out due to prejudice. Tate becomes involved after the daughter of the leader of the immigrants mistakes him for the gunman they hired to protect them.
Trampas is arrested for the murder of a man he argued with over a mine. The law seems primarily interested in wrapping up the trial as quickly as possible so they can go fishing. Trampas's hope lies with his attorney, Frances B. Finch.
MacKenzie is injured saving Tate on a cattle drive. Tate takes him to Concho for help only to find the doctor there is in jail and to hang the next day. Tate is able to secure his release but finds that it comes with some high costs.
The Virginian hunting for lost Shiloh cattle finds the trail leads to the New Life commune. Not only is one of the leaders holding his cattle, it becomes clear he is holding two women hostage as well complicating the work of The Virginian.
At the same time the Colonel's niece is visiting from England, Trampas is one of the suspects in the killing of a fellow ranch hand based on his custom gun. Trampas believes four brothers killed their cousin but how can he prove it.
MacKenzie is in New Mexico to buy cattle when he meets a female New York writer who takes an interest in the local Comancheros who are hated locally and especially by the Sheriff. Her story results in her kidnapping and trouble for all.
Trampas comes to the aid of a girl and her father who had a heart attack. At the father's request he helps them at their destination and then to try to find the girl's mother who is with outlaws. He finds the girl has her own mind on it.