The Virginian finds a man dead from a Kiowa arrow and an Army canteen by him. He runs into an Army patrol who identify the man as Lt. Ben Carver for whom they are looking. At Carver's funeral Private Toby Hamilton refuses to play taps. For that he is sentenced to 18 lashes for each year of his life by his commanding officer who does the whipping. Toby deserts from the army due to what he considers unfair treatment by the commanding officer who happens to be his father. He is found injured on Shiloh and the Graingers take him in to recover. He is a well-trained bugler and attracts Elizabeth's attention because she is trying to learn to play a coronet. Toby and Elizabeth become close friends as they keep an eye on her mare Patches ready to foal. Toby plans on taking an east bound train from Medicine Bow until Clay is told by an Army patrol lead by Lt. Mike Buehl that Toby deserted and that he is Mark Hamilton's son. Clay wants to determine the truth when he learns Toby is a deserter as ...
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Lt. Mike Buehl
Under Article 20 of the Articles of War, and by judgment of the Post Commander, the prisoner is hereby sentenced to receive one lash for each of the years of his life.