The Streeter brothers, Morgan and the older Phil, worked the small ranch started by their parents. Their neighbors, as of the last six months, were the Bradlees, three brothers and a sister. The men were drinkers and fighters and didn’t like the Streeters. It didn’t help matters that their sister and Phil loved each other and planned marriage.
Morgan returns home after a few days away driving several dozen cattle to market to find the family home burned, his brother Phil’s bullet riddled body sprawled out front.
And the Bradlees had cleared out!
They could only be headed to one place: Quemado, a lawless border town. Morgan supplied up and headed in that direction.
Here the story veers. It seems an awfully crowded trail. Morgan meets and makes a new friend, a black clad gunman. A young woman stumbles into their camp, escaped from a pair that had grabbed her. They deal with the pair. Then they come upon a preacher and a wounded lawman, then a young fellow turns himself in, several more fights(one involving one of the Bradlees who falls and breaks his neck.
All before they get near Quemado.
The attraction between Morgan and Marla is obvious from the start, though both fight it. She berates him for wanting to kill the Bradlees, preferring the law to handle it. Morgan seems incensed that Marla worked in a saloon in Quemado as a steerer, one who encourages patrons to keep buying alcohol.
It all works out in the end.
An interesting bit of reading.