Two men rent a house from Mr. Hanson in Walnut Grove. They happen upon Walnut Grove just as the community receives news about a robbery that went wrong involving Frank and Jesse James. One of the men is ill with "swamp fever," so Charles offers them a ride to the house. The two men need someone to run errands for them and offer Mary the job for 10 cents a day. The brothers turn out to be Frank and Jesse James. Jesse tends to Frank's gun shot wound as they try to decide if their days as outlaws are over.
Caroline is concerned that Mary is working for two strangers, one of whom could be contagious. Charles reassures her by bringing Doc Baker out to see the men. Unfortunately, Jesse will not let Doc Baker in the house because Frank "does not trust doctors." Charles lets Mary run errands for the men anyway.
At school the children debate who was right in the civil war, which turns into a heated discussion between Mary and Bobby Ford. Bobby thinks that all the men that fought in the south are evil because they killed his brother. Worried that the kids are too emotional, Ms. Beadle decides to postpone the project and let the kids vote to on whether to continue.
Mary finds out the two men fought in the Civil War and sits down to find out more for her class project. Mary presents her project in front of the class where another heated discussion takes place between her and Bobby. Ms. Beadle is confronted by a Mr. Ford outside of school where they argue over hate and what she is trying to teach the children.
Bounty hunters show up in Walnut Grove looking for Frank and Jesse. They give Charles a poster of Frank and Jesse. After they leave Charles shows Doc Baker and Mr. Garvey. Charles did not tell the bounty hunters about the brothers because he knew they would be shot in cold blood which is not right. They decide to have a meeting later that day to discuss what to do and Charles tells Mary that she cannot run errands for the men anymore, but does not tell her why.
The bounty hunters come back when the man driving the stage coach recognizes dropping the men off in Maple Grove. The town will not tell the bounty hunters where the brothers are and say that it has to be discussed in a town meeting. The bounty hunters agree but only if the town is sealed off. This causes the kids to be let out of school early and they are told to go straight home.
Before going home Mary goes to the men's house to thank them. The men take Mary hostage. Jesse and Frank fight over whether or not they should hold Mary. Charles finds out and secretly slips away to go after Mary. Garvey tells the town that Mary is being held hostage and they cannot tell the bounty hunters where the brothers are or Mary will be killed. The men take Charles hostage along with Mary.
When a Mr. Ford tries to tell the men where the brothers are, Garvey punches them claiming that he wants the reward. He takes the men to an abandoned house, only after they promise nothing will happen to the girl. They go back on their words and open fire on the house. Meanwhile Garvey has gotten all of the horses and heads back to town. He tells the men to get the wagons and he takes two horses to the brothers so they can get away. Frank and Jesse leave and Charles and Mary are safe.