Rancher Gordon Hughes of the Diamond H first became aware of the stranger when he was sitting atop a ridge, making a silent count of the herd Hughes and his son Fred were pushing along. To the rancher s surprise, the stranger s count, despite the distance, is quite accurate. The stranger calls himself Dane and is evasive about his past, yet sufficiently impresses Hughes that he invites him to his home for dinner. Esther Hughes, Gordon s daughter just back from four years of schooling in the East, disapproves of Dane, thinking he is a gunfighter. Fred has distrusted Dane from first sight.