After five years of virtual banishment because he sold out his small outfit to the Middle Arizona Cattle Company, giving it a foothold on the Mesa Grande range, violent-tempered Joe Bonnyman is summoned back to Lodgepole by his father when it appears that a cattle war between the syndicate and the various rangers is imminent. During his short stay in town, Joe has an unpleasant meeting with Ed Merrill, the brother of a girl Joe had once courted.
Ray Kindred is a fugitive. Most of Kindred's remembered life has involved ignoring danger or fleeing from it. When he jumps off the freight train on which he has been hiding to enter a town at night, he feels he is only ignoring danger, no longer fleeing it.
The second shell exploded before the lamp hit the floor. Then he dove through a hail of bullets into the darkness. If he doesn't escape from the midnight raiders, he's finished and so is every rancher in the valley. Can evil and power be stopped? It will be decided now, in Shadow Canyon.