It is 1880 in the U.S. Territory of New Mexico. Chino Valdez (Cherles Bronson) owns a horse ranch in this vast country. His lonely life is interrupted by a 15 year old runaway, Jamie Wagner (Vincent Van Patten), who seeks food and shelter, and stays on. Chino faces many hardships of the West, and lands himself in jail on Christmas Eve, leaving Jamie alone to tend the ranch.