Young John Roberts thought life in Missouri exciting as he watched the border wars with Kansas turn bloody. But it was the stealing of a horse that got him in trouble. Escaping a hanging, he raced north and hid in a wagon train going west. The wagon-master intended to turn him in at the next fort, but when they were attacked by Indians, he changed his mind. Bounty hunters were soon on John's trail, and when one came close in the Willamette Valley, he left for the Washington Territory. There he became friends with Sheriff Emerson who eventually learned of John's past. Now there was no other place to hide.