There is a little boy on the wagon train named Bobby who worships his father, John Darro. Darro was badly injured during the civil war and now walks with a limp. To his son, this is as good as a medal in regards to his father's bravery, and young Bobby makes sure everyone on the train knows how proud he is of his Pa. Then Major Adams sees an old man sitting out alone on the prairie. He seems the worse for drink but the Major won't leave him there to rot and takes him along. He too can tell a tale- of an Indian massacre of a wagon train and a coward who ran. He knew John Darro, but by another name. Suddenly Darro finds he must prove himself all over again. To the stranger, the Major, the people on the train, but most of all to his son.moreless
A writer travels to California to experience the West.
Two brothers return to their home after the civil war to find their home and family wiped out. Their family, the Cowans, had long been feuding with a neighboring family, the Beals, and so the Beal family are the prime suspects. The elder Beal son, Ruf, especially so. The Beals are nowhere to be found. The Cowan brothers discover that the Beals have joined up with a wagon train, heading west to start a new life. The Beals have joined Seth Adams train and when the Cowans catch up with it, Major Adams finds the wagon train becomes their new feuding ground.moreless
The Major finds a lone wagon on the trail. Inside is a man he recognizes as Bill Tawnee, once Indian Scout to General Sherman during the Civil War and much decorated for bravery. With him is his wife and baby. Bill is suffering from a beating he took at a trading post back on the trail. The Major takes them back to the wagons to resume their journey with them. On the train is another civil war hero, Mr. Barry. That is his version of events at least. It is not long before a few comments from Bill Tawnee show that Barry did not win the civil war single handed and the two men come to blows. Later, Bill Tawnee finds Barry's missing rifle. When Barry accuses Bill of stealing it, Bill decides to leave the train, leaving his wife and child behind. It seems there is no hope of him returning. Then events take a turn for the worse and Bill Tawney comes into his own.moreless
Hunter Malloy and his partner come up with a plan to rob a young couple of their life savings. But before they can carry out their plan, Malloy discovers gold along the wagon trail. Adams wards the people that they must move on or they will trapped by snow but no one is paying any attention.moreless
Before the Civil War Jean Le Bec was a young musician with a special talent for the violin. His family was too poor to pay for his musical studies so he was sponsored by a rich southern family. The daughter was called Mary. When her family lost everything in the war, Mary's father entrusted her well-being to Jean. Mary had relatives in San Francisco so they decided to go there and they were going to get there via the wagon train. Jean didn't tell Mary that he was having trouble raising the cash for the journey. While the train was forming at St. Joseph, Missouri, as a last resort to raise the money, Jean used his precious violin as a stake in a card game, which he won but was accused of cheating. The allegation was false but it cost him his violin to get out alive. When Mary realized what he had done she went to the saloon to try to buy the fiddle back, but things went badly wrong and Jean ended up by killing the son of the man who practically owned the town. Flint McCullough witnessed the shoot out and told the Major it was self defense; Jean was blameless. Nevertheless, the people on the train found the town closed to them in retaliation and Jean facing a hangman's noose. Without provisions and stock they couldn't move ahead so Flint and the Major put their heads together to help both Jean and the people on the train.moreless
Adams, Hawks, and Wooster learn that Flint is driving a stagecoach they plan to take from San Francisco to St. Louis.
Mary Halstead is an elderly woman stricken with a terminal illness and a guilty conscience. She cannot do anything about the illness but she believes she can salve her conscience if she can find the son she abandoned as a child. She has journeyed west with the train because she has received word from a lawyer in a town on the trail purporting to know the whereabouts of her son. When Major Adams finds a young man left for dead in the brush, he takes him in despite the rope burns around the boy's neck which causes alarm amongst the travelers. They think someone has tried to hang him and jump to the conclusion that he is a criminal. The young man so reminds her of her son that Mrs. Halstead begs to look after him until he is well. He seems nice enough, but he still has to explain those rope burns and why it appears someone tried to hang him. In his story lies the truth about Mrs. Halstead's son.moreless
The wagon train is moving west at last. Among the travelers are John Cameron and his wife, Julie. Cameron is a quiet, reserved man; an ex-banker from Philadelphia. Julie is younger and vivacious. Their marriage is not happy. She feels trapped and stifled by his love for her. John hopes that a new start in the west will save their union. From the start Julie sets out to get herself noticed, particularly by men and one man in particular. Flint McCullough. She makes her move on him one night while the train is camped when she goes to bathe in a nearby river where Flint is already washing. She soon realizes that she has picked on the wrong man when Flint refuses to play along. When her husband comes to find her and sees her alone with Flint, Cameron jumps to the wrong conclusion. Julie leaves them to argue it out. Their argument is interrupted by a small party of Indians raiding the stock. Cameron helps Flint to deal with them and at one point saves his life. When the men return to camp there is a hoe-down in full swing, with Julie in the middle. Some miners joined the train just for the night and when they saw Julie they decided to party. Come sun up, the miners have gone and so has Julie. Cameron is determined to find her, convinced that Julie has been taken against her will. The Major and Flint know differently, but when Cameron takes off, Flint follows. He owes the man his life and he knows that between the wilderness and the miners, Cameron doesn't stand a chance on his own.moreless
Gabe Carswell is a legendary scout who chooses to live with the Arapaho Indians for over twenty years. During that time he marries an Arapaho squaw. They have one son. Sadly, Carswell's wife dies when her son is still a baby and Carswell is left to bring up his son alone within the tribe. As the years go by Carswell realizes that the Indian way of life is waning as the white settlers progress westward and force the buffalo from the Indian lands. So, just before his son comes of age, Carswell takes him away from the tribe. Flint comes across their camp just in front of the wagon train. While Carswell's son, Little Elk, is examining Flint's new repeating rifle, Carswell explains to Flint his fears for his son. What neither of them realize is the lengths Little Elk will go to not to give up his Indian way of life and to prove he is more Indian than any Indian.moreless
Ruth Owens, her little girl and her second husband are journeying west with the train. Her husband is a teacher and they seem like any other average couple on the train.The weather has turned hot and the train has hit a dry patch. Water is rationed. Tempers are on a knife edge. One particularly hot night a young stranger rides into camp. He has had word that his older sister is on the train and he has come looking for her to tell her that their father is dead. The first family he comes across asks him about her. He explains that she was a waitress in a smart hotel. When one of the men hears the name of the "hotel" he laughs in the boy's face; the place is infamous for one type of woman in particular. Upset by the insinuation about his sister the boy lashes out and the man ends up dead. The men on the train form a lynching party but Major Adams intervenes. When Ruth Owens sees the boy she recognizes him as her brother, but to step forward and defend him would mean losing her new found respectability, maybe even her husband.moreless
A talented singer's fall down a flight of stairs disfigures her face.
When a rifle shot sounds ahead of the train Flint McCullough rides out to investigate. He expects to find trouble - and so he does, of a sort. He finds an old friend from his civil war days, Cliff Grundy. Now there isn't a lot that Cliff Grundy hasn't done in his lifetime and for everything he has done he has a story or several to tell about it. Over the campfire that night he weaves his tales of daring dos and don'ts and many of the travelers believe him. Especially about the goldmine he is on his way to lay claim to. The next day Major Adams sends out Flint and a party of men to hunt buffalo to bolster their meat rations. Cliff goes along and by his side rides a teenager who hangs on his every word. Flint splits the party up and the boy and Cliff go off together. When they spot the buffalo, Cliff lets the boy take first shot but the shot goes wide and the now frightened buffalo stampede towards them. Cliff saves the boy but is trampled himself. When the men get him back to camp he is unconscious and half dead. It is obvious he can't be moved but the train has to move on so the Major allows Flint and one other man to stay with him. Flint stays because he is Cliff's friend, but the other man has another, less savory, motive. He is after the location to Cliff's goldmine and determined to get it even if he has to beat it out of the sick man, as Flint soon discovers. Flint bars the man from seeing Cliff but won't let him leave the camp. Against the odds Cliff begins to recover. Then the rogue turns the tables, knocks Flint out, wrecks the camp and heads out. With no food or water and hostile Indians too close for comfort, it looks as if the end of the trail is close for the two friends.moreless
Flint finds himself in the middle of a family feud that threatens to spill over into a full scale Indian blood war. The trouble starts when Mark Hanford returns home to his father's ranch after receiving a privileged education in the East. He finds his real mother dead and his father about to take a younger bride who is coming out on Seth Adams' wagon train. When Mark discovers this, he realizes exactly what has happened to his mother, sister of the local Indian Chief. It is his father who pushed his mother back to her tribe in favor of the younger woman. Mark Hanford believes the shame his mother felt at having to return to the tribe broke her spirit and led to her death. Mark decides to take on his Indian heritage and disown his father and all he stands for and in so doing take revenge on his father for the death of his mother.moreless
Ben Harness kills Will Eckhart at the beginning after the two of them have an argument over Will's daughter Cathy (Susan Oliver). After being tried by the Wagon Train, Ben is hanged and the Train moves on. An Army patrol stops them and warns them not to use a particular pass because the Kiowa's are raiding there. The Lieutenant also warns that there may be a renegade on the Wagon Train who is warning the Kiowas in exchange for loot. Later Cathy is found dead on the trail. She had been hanged just like Ben Harness (John Larch). Major Adams and Bill Hawks then drive a wagon with four suspects away from the train to see what he can find. The four -- The Preacher (Martin Landau), Jeff Miller (Gregory Walcott), Mrs. Harness (Vivi Janiss) and Whitey (James Best) fill in the rest of the story and the truth finally comes out.moreless
Flint is in town at a saloon. He is standing by the bar when a man seated at a nearby table with a deck of cards in his hand, asks Flint if he wants to play a hand. Flint declines. The bartender remarks that he thought the gambler would be at the hanging. The man, O'Malley, doesn't wish to see his old friend hang, especially as Ramero blames him for his capture. Flint is told that Ramero, a notorious Mexican bandit leader, is to be hanged there that day. Later that day, a parson with his two small children, a girl and a boy, turn up at the wagon train. He claims to have been robbed by Ramero, who even took his bible. The Major allows them to join the train, although Flint thinks the man is too similar in looks to the gambler he met. The Major's suspicions are only aroused when the "parson" gives an unlikely off the cuff sermon, and his daughter gives Wooster a lesson in cardplay. When word is received that Ramero has escaped the noose and is on the run again Flint goes off to see if he is anywhere near the train but not before the parson has gone missing. Ramero captures them both but the saviors of the hour are an unlikely pair.moreless
Like the Major, Nelson Stack is an ex-army office from the Confederate army. Since the war, though, he has become a pacifist. That, together with the fact that he has more wagons and stock than most on the train, hasn't endeared him to many of his fellow travelers, especially a southerner named Jeff Claymore. When the wagon train runs into Indian trouble, Claymore believes Stack's pacifism is just another word for cowardice. Things really come to a head when it is discovered that Indians have raided the stock and taken some steers. They find one of the Indians, an old man left to die, but Stack won't leave him behind. So he takes him with them. It is the last straw for Claymore.moreless
Flint stops by Fort Bridges to visit some old friends and encounters an old enemy.
A member of the wagon train shoots a buffalo while passing through Indian hunting grounds. Seth and Flint argue about whether Seth's decision to put the man in chains is right. Flint quits and leaves the train. Later the train gets to Tent City, where Flint has become the town marshal.moreless
A woman heads west looking for her missing artist fiance.
A female ranch owner has control of the largest area in the territory and is attempting to take more from the smaller surrounding ranchers as well. She refuses to allow the wagon train to pass across her land.
Flint is out scouting with another member of the train, Zeke Thomas. They are looking for a watering place that the train used the previous year. What they find is that where a bare watering hole once was, now stood a town. They ride on in. Outside the saloon, they are met with an unwelcoming committee of townsfolk intent on making the wagon train pay for the use of the water. Flint goes on in to the saloon to try to reason with the town's Mayor, leaving Zeke to mind the horses. While Flint is talking to the Mayor, the Mayor's mistress is looking out of the saloon's window. She sees Zeke Thomas and leaves the saloon to talk to him. Flint tries hard but can't change the Mayor's mind so eventually he and Zeke return to the train. It looks as if there will be a confrontation - between the travelers and the townsfolk; between Zeke, his wife and the mistress. In coming across the town both the wagon train and Zeke Thomas find more trouble than they bargained for.moreless
A woman struggles to conceal 12 runaways from an orphan director.
A small group of cavalry men are on their way to their new post at a remote fort. At a small distance from the fort they tangle with two Indian Braves out hunting, unaware that their new commanding officer has worked out an agreement with the Chief of the local tribe about hunting rights around the fort and reservation. Not knowing that the Braves were not breaking any rules the troops give chase and shoot one brave dead. The Wagon Train becomes the target for the Chief's anger and he threatens to attack it. Helped by Flint, the Colonel tries to broker an agreement with the Chief and the deal is nearly closed when the Colonel's alcoholic wife appears on the scene. Conflict seems inevitable when she insults the Chief and the deal is off.moreless
During an Indian attack on the train, Adams spares the life of Swift Cloud, the crippled son of the chief. Adams then learns that Swift Cloud was crippled by a half-breed.
Vincent Eaglewood was hired as the schoolteacher for the children on the wagon train and he takes his job very seriously. He takes the children on nature hikes to teach them about the land and animals, however they are in hostile Indian territory.
Jasper Cato is looking for a thief and he thinks he may be on the wagon train so he joins the train to search for him.
A sheriff mistakenly thinks an orphaned black boy is a slave and tries to free him.
Charlie Wooster, cook to Major Adams, is badly injured when he becomes trapped under a wagon. The train doesn't have a doctor but Flint thinks there is a town a couple of days ride away which does. The Major duly sends him on his way. Riding hard Flint soon reaches Little Fork, a one horse town in the middle of nowhere where the few inhabitants live uneasily with neighboring Indians who occasionally try to trade with them. When Flint arrives he finds all the townsfolk in the saloon. To begin with they are not too friendly to the scout, although he does learn that the doctor is out of town and no-one knows when he will be back. Flint decides to wait it out. Then there is a sudden change for no apparent reason. The folk become friendly; offer Flint a bed for the night and food. Although he is puzzled by the change, he doesn't question it straight away, deciding to bide his time. Almost the moment Flint's head touches the pillow he is asleep. Next morning he awakes to a silent town. Everyone but him has left. He leaves the saloon and starts to wander around the deserted streets. Then he sees a lone stranger riding into town. Eventually Flint discovers that this man is also looking for the doctor - to kill him.moreless
An Italian duke charms all the wagon train women, but not their husbands.
It is still the early days on the wagon train trail. So when one morning the body of one of the men is discovered and money and a land deed stolen, and the evidence points to Indians, Flint won't believe it. He can't convince the travelers, though, that they are unlikely to run into Indian trouble this soon into their journey and that Indians would have no need of the items stolen. The travelers point to a tomahawk left behind by the raiders. Given the conflicting evidence, Major Adams asks Flint to stay behind and see what he can find out. As the train moves out, Flint follows the clues which lead him back to a small settlement the wagon train passed through a few days earlier. A chance encounter with a teenage girl and her overbearing stepfather make him suspect that there is more to this little outpost than first appears.moreless
Ricky Bell resents the attention his wife gives their infant son.
A woman joins the wagon train in hopes of finding husbands for her daughters.
A Quaker who is having trouble controlling his temper decides to leave the train.
A descendant of the Aztecs holds Flint and his companions captive in a hidden city.
Seth Adams comes across two Japanese on the trail, a Samurai warrior and his servant. They are carrying a large urn and are on their way to San Francisco. Three men steal the urn from them thinking that it is full of gold.
Ellen is convinced that a mysterious man is responsible for her fiance's death on an earlier expedition.
Flint sees an old friend, Millie Davis and her adopted daughter Penny, while passing through a town ahead of the wagon train. A woman arrives who claims that Penny is her granddaughter.
Barney is taken hostage by an outlaw, Sam Spicer, who, along with his partner, Reno Sutton, has just robbed the local bank. Chris is afraid Barney could be swayed to leave the train with Spicer since he is angry with Chris.
Flint is riding ahead of the train with Bill Hawkes when they hear gunshots. Heading in the direction the shots have come from they soon find the evidence of an Indian raid on a small camp site. While Flint is looking around the site, trying to get a clue as to who the victims and assailants were, Bill finds a spent bullet casing. It looks to the two men as if the Indians who attacked the camp have got hold of the newest type of army rifle. Flint sets out to find out if he can track down the gunrunner. He doesn't have to go far before he can see the smoke from a campfire. When he finds the camp his suspicions are aroused by the amount of smoke the campfire is stoked up to make, and during daylight at that; one man, one woman, one wagon, but with a team of horses strong enough to pull a heavier load than the blankets the man claims to be carrying to trade with Indians. In spite of hostility from the man (known as Doc) Flint invites himself into the camp. When he thinks Doc and the woman (Dora Gray) are asleep he goes to the wagon where his suspicions are proved right. The wagon is full of boxes of the new army rifle. Doc was obviously camped here, waiting for the Indians and that was why his fire was built to smoke. Flint is determined to take the wagon and Doc and Dora to Fort Spear, the nearest large fort where they can stand trial for gun running. Doc, however, manages to escape on Flint's horse leaving him with Dora. She gets on his nerves so much that he changes his plans and instead goes to the nearest army camp, the Old Grace Cavalry Post. Dora is even more reluctant to go there than to Fort Spear but won't tell Flint why, just that "you'll be sorry." When they reach the post her words come true- it is Flint who ends up behind bars, not Dora.moreless
A rancher tries to hide his five beautiful daughters from Flint.
The wagon train is making it's way steadily westward when the peace is disturbed by the sound of shooting. Seth Adams delegates scout Flint McCullough to find out what is wrong. When Seth catches up with the scout he finds him with a small company of troops and an Indian Chief's daughter, Mokai. She is on her way back from Washington with a peace treaty. The treaty will not come into force until she has delivered it to her father and she too is safe. The company came under attack from a renegade band of Indians. What worries Flint is that the arrow he finds is from Mokai's own tribe, but the braves were not. Added to that, the Lieutenant supposedly in charge is having trouble keeping his own men under control and is openly hostile to the Chief's daughter. Seth realizes that the only way to get the treaty safely to the Chief is to send Flint along to keep an eye on them. Flint soon finds that he has his work cut out.moreless
A group of three men tries to swindle the people on the wagon train.
Three nuns are traveling west in hopes of starting a mission school for Native Americans.
Francis Morgan is looking for his missing brother. He tells Seth Adams that a man by the name of Bije Wilcox wrote to him claiming he knows where he can find him. Wilcox is supposed to meet him at the end of the trail.
The second episode of Major Adams life story takes place after the Civil War when he has decided to earn his living taking wagon trains across America. On one trip, one of his passengers turns out to be his old girlfriend Raine. Love is no easier the second time around for him. He again asks her her to marry him and again she turns him down.moreless
Flint tries to take an escaped convict back to the law.
A rough-neck woman saves Flint's life and shows the train the trail westward.
Kitty Angel and her adopted child are abandoned by the wagon train.
Flint McCullough is scouting for an open pass through the mountains after an early snow blocks the trail for the wagon train. He meets up with Steve Campden and his son, and the three of them decide to work together. The storm gets worse and they are forced to take shelter in a cave.moreless
Major Adams is intrusted with getting socialite Julie Wharton safely to San Francisco. His plans nearly come to naught, however, when aging Lothario the Honorable Don Charlie (at least that is one of the names he uses) tries to sweet talk her into staying with him. Hot on his heels, though, is his girlfriend and a soldier. The girlfriend wants to win him; the soldier wants to win back the money he and his colleagues believe Don Charlie cheated them out of.moreless
Flint is led into a trap by a young Indian woman whose tribe wants to trade him for rifles from the wagon train.
A young girl who is suffering from consumption is on her way to Colorado in hopes of a recovery.
The first part of Major Adams own story begins just before the outbreak of the American Civil War and finishes at the war's end. By then the Major has met Charlie Wooster and Bill Hawkes, but there is some unfinished business with the girl he left behind him.
Vivian Carter decides to the leave the wagon train and marry her true love.
Dick Richardson and his wife head west in search of solace and a new life.
Orobio da Costa wants to know why Widow Brandt is bitter toward men.
Flint McCullough and a Sioux arrive at the fort and a woman accuses Flint of being a renegade. Later she asks for Flint's help in getting her fiance back from the Indians.
Coop finds an Indian girl, Alice Whitetree, running in the woods and brings her to the train after she falls and hits her head. When she wakes up she only feels safe with Coop. A sheriff comes into camp saying she killed an old couple. She talks Charlie into helping her escape so she can catch the real killer.
Jed was one of three brothers who robbed a train of $100,000. One brother was killed during the robbery, Harry went to prison and the other disappeared in the West. Now the one is out of prison and wants to find the other living brother, who has not surfaced while he was in prison. He joins the wagon train because he thinks Jed is the sheriff in a town along the way. Coop takes Harry to the townmoreless
Cassie takes care of a sick woman on the train and money is stolen from that wagon. An old bitter woman recognizes Cassie as an inmate in prison that she and her friends tried to help. She accuses Cassie of the theft and refuses to accept she’s innocent.
While scouting for water crossing the desert, Coop finds a prospector, John Cain, who is half dead from exposure and thirst. Coop takes him to the train and he is nursed back to health. He then tells everyone he has discovered gold and because everyone was so kind to him, he was going to let them buy shares in his claim. Coop later receives a letter from him informing them he felt they took advantage of him when he wasn’t in his right mind and to not contact him again.
Pearlie Garnet, a young, pretty girl comes west on the wagon train and is caught stealing. Instead of prosecuting her, she is exiled from the train. She ends up in a saloon and causes trouble.
Duke Shannon is out scouting when he hears a shot and finds a small group of wagons lost. Since they are going to the same destination, Duke takes them to the train, where Chris Hale allows them to join with them. The people on the train try to be friendly, but no one in the Bleecker party wants to associate with anyone from the train.
As the wagon train passes by a town, there is an influx of people from that town, where there have been several murders within the past few weeks. Shortly after their arrival, the same type of murders start happening on the train and the conclusion is that someone from town is the killer.
Fenton Canaby was a wagon master with a small train, who, as things got more and more difficult crossing the desert, imposed restrictions on the people without explaining the reasons for his decisions. As a result, the people mutinied and all perished, except Canaby. Now the widow of a man on Canaby’s train has come to find out what happened on Chris Hales’ trainmoreless
A recent widow, Melanie Craig, is courted by four young men, including Duke Shannon. She meets a widower with three unruly sons as she returns his youngest to him after catching him terrorizing a girl.
Ben Engel befriends a young thief, Harry Deal, and takes he and his wife, who is pregnant, under his wing. After the war they all head west. Coop had heard of Harry Deal from the war..
Geneva, who is pregnant, and her husband are moving west so he won’t be dependent on her rich father. She finds the travel hard and wants to go back but her husband insists on continuing west. In one rash move, which she thinks will make the train turn around, she endangers everyone’s lives, but her husband tries to take the blame for her.
Kate runs a freight line and is on her way to deliver gunpowder when she learns a wagon train led by her old friend, Chris Hale, will be passing within twenty-five miles of where her wagons are located. She decides to join the wagon train so she can spend time with Chris. Charlie Wooster is certain the two will marry and Chris will leave the train and he and the others will be out of a job!
Guest stars – Dick York and Joyce Bulifant
Michael Malone is hired by Cooper Smith to drive two women to California, a grandmother and her granddaughter. The granddaughter falls in love with Michael and can’t understand why he can’t return her love.
An old clock-maker, Grover is fired by his tyrant boss after 40 years on the job. He is afraid the rest of the “old” crew are about to be fired also, so he takes revenge on the boss and then moves his family west for a new start.
Duke Shannon had scouted Andrew Elliott’s expedition to find a pass on the other side of the badlands in which Duke was the lone survivor. Six months later, Andrew’s father, Senator Elliott, insists Duke take his party over the same route because he believes his son is still alive or that Duke is responsible for his son’s death.moreless
Bill Hawks and Duke Shannon encounter Duncan McIvor when returning to the wagon train from a scouting trip. A couple of men with goods to sell show up at the train and begin to sell their wares to the people of the train, supposedly saving money from buying the same items at Fort Chaccon. Unfortunately, the goods have been stolen from the Army and McIvor turns out to be in the Army and en route to the Fort to report for duty.
Sandra was a Union spy being held in a Rebel prison when she coaxes a young soldier, Jefferson Smith, to let her escape along with her partner, who is badly wounded during the escape. After the war, Sandra is a singer and travels with her daughter. She is performing in a town where the wagon train stops and her show is caught by both Duke Shannon and Cooper Smith. Duke has become acquainted with her and introduces Coop, who takes an interest in Sandra’s daughter. Sandra tries to discourage any one from taking an interest in her daughter, which makes Coop all the more determined, because he has revenge on his mind.
Kitty marries a man who she later finds out is already married. He contrives to take both his wife and Kitty west on the Hale wagon train. In order to do this, he hires an old classmate to pretend to be Kitty’s husband on the journey
Eli Bancroft and his family are run off of their farm burned because his pregnant wife is sick and the town fear contagion. His wife then dies in childbirth and he becomes a bitter man. He raises his three sons to be as bitter as he is and proceeds to attack and rob travelers. When he finds that Cooper Smith is taking a widow and her daughter and a couple to a nearby settlement, he waylays them and steals everything from them and leaves them stranded with no food, water.
Cooper Smith starts romancing Sam Pulaski’s sister, Rose, and comes to supper one night and meets Sam, he realizes that he and Sam have met before, and under unpleasant circumstances. For Rose’s sake, they try to get along, but Sam tells Rose she is not to see Coop again.
Gus Morgan is vice-president of the Kansas and Pacific Railroad trying to lay track for Fort Hayes from the east. Gus is driven to finish no matter what it takes. Chris Hale has surveyed the area that Gus’ younger brother, Ethan, thinks the tracks should go. Chris takes both brothers up the mountain so Ethan, who is an engineer, can explain why the tracks should go around the mountain instead of losing men trying to tunnel through it.moreless
The wagon train pulls into Fort Pierce and Chris Hale tries to get the commander to give them an army escort when they leave to help fight the Cheyenne Coop has reported are in the area. The commander does not believe there are Indians in the area and claims he can’t spare the men. Captain Paul Winters tries to come to his friend, Chris Hale’s, aid, but is hindered by his drunken wife.
Molly Kincaid is a white woman taken by Comanche’s over ten years ago who, along with a white man who was taken as a boy, escape and come back to the town Molly was taken from to complete a mission she swore to do after her capture. Kate Crawley, a woman who owns her own freighting business tries to help Molly and enlists Chris Hale’s helpmoreless
Barnaby West and a couple of his friends play several pranks on people while Chris Hale is away from the train. Bill Hawks has been left in charge and he thinks the pranks are getting out of hand, so Bill, thinking like a father, decides on Barney’s punishment, a whipping, which Barney says he is too old to receive. The events set in motion a series of events which cause a lot of confusion on the train.
Coop escorts a young lady from the train to San Sabo where her uncle lives. They arrive in town in the midst of Quanah Parker’s uprising. Santiago Quesada is a renegade who kills Indians for their scalps in retaliation for his family being killed by Indians many years before, but no one knows who he is.
An Indian girl is being taken back to her people to be killed, but the people of a small wagon train on the way to meet with the Hale train refuse to let her go back.
Story of a doctor with four adopted daughters going west with the Chris Hale wagon train.
Coop gets mixed up with a set of twins he knew in the past.
Captain Sam (Cathy Lewis) is a riverboat captain. Her son returns from a voyage and signs up with Chris Hale to take Captain Sam west to a drier climate because of her health. She isn’t aware of what is going on or that he plans to leave her in Arizona.
Miss McIntosh is a prim and proper school teacher who can only travel with the Hale wagon train if she travels with a photographer, Daniel Delaney.
The train stops in a town for supplies and one of the ladies on the train, Bonnie, goes to the doctor to check on her pregnancy. The doctor tells her husband that if she doesn’t stay in bed and get special care, she could lose the baby. They don’t have money for that so he goes to the bank to get a loan. The banker has him fill out the loan papers and then refuses the loan. The safe is still open from a previous transaction so he hits the banker on the head and takes out the amount of money he asked for. The banker wakes up as he leaves the bank and the banker shoots him in the back and kills him. Bonnie collapses and loses the baby and her mind. A man befriends her and convinces her she needs to kill the banker.
Jamison Hershey and his aging Belgian horse, Herman, are heading to California from Chicago because Herman can no longer take the snow and ice. Hershey and Herman are traveling alone and has Indians coming up to them and pulling hairs from Hershey’s legs and riding away and they are puzzled why. Chris Hale agrees to take them on the train, but runs into problems when Herman can’t keep up with the train. Hershey is warned that they will have to be left at a nearby fort if they don’t keep up. A young couple, William and Martha, take pity on Hershey and Herman and William figures out a way to keep them on the train but not slow the train down.
Coop and Charlie go into town for supplies only to find everyone gone and it looks like they left in a hurry. An Indian, Isaaih Quickfox shows up and tells them everyone moved to another town. Just before dark, several people ride into town. One of them is a woman trying to get help to search for her father, who she thinks is lost in a cave with bats in it.
Sam Race (Dan Duryea) sets up a tent city with gambling and girls near a mining camp. Bill and Barney deliver two women from the train to work for Sam. Barney gets the idea that one of those girls changes her mind once she arrives at Race Town. He and Bill go into the town and end up getting into lots of trouble.
John Gillman is found wounded by Abigail, who is part of the orphan wagon on the Hale wagon train. He is brought to the train and Abigail won’t leave him alone even though he tells her repeatedly he wasn’t interested. He soon discovers that she will never be adopted and when the train holds an adoption day where people from the train choose an orphan who they might like to adopt, he adopts her for a day; her one dream is to have a last name.
Coop and Barney go with four hide hunters who have temporarily joined the wagon train to find a herd of buffalo for fresh meat. A small Cheyenne hunting party is also tracking the herd. Coop tries to protect Barney when one of the hide hunters continues to try to bait Barney into a fight.
Bob Stuart and his bride join the Chris Hale wagon train. When Coop sees Bob, he recognizes someone for whom he has sworn vengeance. Two other men also show up on the train and plan to help Coop settle the score. Coop and these men used to ride as guns for hire.
People saying good-bye to friends made on the trip on their last night on the trail before reaching their destination.
An aging trailblazer, Zebedee Titus, brings his beaver skins to trading post for his yearly supplies. He finds the money he gets for his furs isn’t enough to get him through the next year. Barnaby West recognizes Zebedee’s name and is struck with a bad case of hero worship. When he overhears Zebedee’s problem, Barnaby asks Chris Hale to give him a job. Chris hires Zeb because he doesn’t want to tell him he isn’t the man he used to be. Zeb takes offense when he and Duke Shannon are on a scouting mission and Duke has a different opinion of the situation.
Link Cheney is a famous riverboat gambler and as he moves west, he gets into a high stakes game. A man, after losing all his money, accuses Link of cheating and in the subsequent brawl, Link is knifed. Coop takes him to the train and during his recovery his nurse falls in love with him and tries to change him.
The train camps outside of Stark Bluff and Chris Hale sends Duke Shannon into the town for supplies.. The town is owned and controlled by Jeb Stark, a half-breed, and his full-blooded Indian mother. Duke looks up people who came west with the train the previous year and finds disturbing news. In trying to help, he runs afoul of Jeb Stark.
On his way to the nearest town for mail, Coop comes across men holding up a stage, which only has one passenger left alive, Barbara. She is on her way to Fort Gordon to meet her father and fiancé. Coop is shot and together they must travel back to the train on foot and without food or water.
A group of Irish immigrants are stranded and Brian Conlin wanders into the train. However, when the people of the train try to help, the leader of the immigrants, Sean Bannon , refuses. Trouble between them escalates when Coop pays attention to one of the Irish women.
The Chris Hale wagon train has a few spots for more wagons, so he has stopped in a town and starts signing on wagons. The couple next in line after the limit has been reached decide to spend the night near the train, hoping there will be a cancellation and they will be able to go after all. He has just gotten out of jail and wants to start over somewhere else.
Wanda is a clairvoyant and predicts Coop will have trouble on his scouting trip the next day and he does. A couple know of Wanda and spreads the word on the train that she is a witch. A traveling show is part of the train and the owner is killed. Wanda tries to save a boy from drowning, which she has seen in a vision, but the couple who knew her is convinced she tried to drown the boy instead of saving him. The assistant to the show man who was killed tries to “free” Wanda from the devil when in fact he tries to kill her.
Chris, Charlie and Bill are in a town that seems deserted and they go into the saloon, where they have to wake the bartender. Suddenly a woman’s voice is heard and Chris swears he knows the voice. It turns out he does know the voice, Chottsie and her are from the same town. She tells Chris she wants to leave so he takes her to the train, where she wreaks havoc with all the men on the train, which upsets all the women.
Charlie and Coop are taking a wagon of empty water barrels to a spring Coop know about to get water for the train before they cross the desert. Before they reach the water, a group of bandits come by and force Coop to take them to the water and over the mountain. Coop tells them there is water at the base of Echo Pass and he’ll take them if they will let Charlie go. As they move out, Coop hears a shot and thinks Charlie has been killed and swears to have vengeance.
Hector is an inventor but has no money to finance them. Hector has a wife and eight children whose names all start with “H”. Hector and Charlie start talking and find they have visions in common, but his wife, Harriet, refuses to let him make any of his ideas. So Barney starts seeing Hector’s oldest girl, Heather, in order to get plans between Hector and Charlie, so Charlie, Barney and Bill Hawks can build one of Hector’s designs.
While crossing the desert, Hawks, Wooster, Hale, West and Smith all hear a little girl crying. Charlie goes looking for her and comes across a spot where it is freezing and there is a small amount of snow. Barney comes along and feels the same thing, but Charlie won’t tell anyone because he doesn’t want to be laughed at. Some men from another train come to see if the Hale train lost a little girl because they heard the same crying as our guys did. The little girl crying bothers Charlie so much, he makes it his mission to find her and give her comfort.
Bill Hawks comes down with a fever, the train is attacked by Indians and a small patrol of soldiers comes into the fray. The sergeant recognizes a young man on the train and accuses him of desertion. The train is trapped by the Indians with little hope of sending anyone for help. The commander of the soldiers makes a difficult decision.
Coop is in charge of the train while Hale and Hawks are away. Charlie and Barney pick up supplies and a wagon in the nearest town. When Coop goes to welcome the new wagon to the train and get the fee, he gets a shock; he and Richard Bloodgood are blood brothers, but are no longer friends. In fact, Richard plans to kill Coop.
Nancy Styles (Deborah Walley), the spoiled, headstrong daughter of the owner of the company that owns the wagon train of which Chris Hale (John McIntire) is wagon master, is determined to get to Denver to marry the man of her choice, against her father's wishes. She bribes the young couple into giving up their place in the fully-booked journey, and tries but fails to persuade Hale to divert from his route and get her to Denver. In desperation, she persuades young Jeremy (Michael Burns) to run away with her when the train nears the city -- but they're soon lost on the trail and, worse yet, have some larcenous would-be kidnappers in pursuit, hoping to get Nancy's father to part with a serious ransom.moreless