A cowboy story from an odd corner of history, Shelby's attempt to enlist defeated Confederate soldiers to serve under Maximilian in Mexico. Carl had come to Texas with his parents, and after his mother's death, they had moved to their own land on the . He learned riding and roping from the Spanish Julian, made friends of Mexicans, picked up odd jobs with wealthy ranchers, lost out in his love for Julia Allerby to his rival, the fiery Bryan Boswell. With the Civil War, Carl is delivering beef to the Confederates, is caught and imprisoned. With the war's end, Bryan joins Shelby in Mexico; the Allerbys decide to go along -- and Carl rides with them and saves them when Mexican insurrectionists threaten their lives. A bit of the real West.