Duke Shannon goes to visit his ranch, Shannon's Glen, since the wagon train is so close to it, to which he gave his childhood friend Jim Whitlow a half interest in it. Duke arrives to find a farmer tied up that has been bull-whipped but who won't talk about it and that although the original Shannon glen is rundown, the Shannon spread is now a ranching empire with Jim and his wife Margaret living in a very nice new house. It is due mostly to the use of tenant farmers and Jim's ruthless foreman Hubble who bullwhips them when they don't produce enough yield or try to leave their five year commitments. Duke is greatly upset by this and asks Jim to fire the foreman and offer the tenants ownership of their sections, but Jim seems unwilling to do either saying he needs Hubble because people don't respect him as he has no right hand. This brings up the history between Duke, Jim and Margaret and what really happened while Duke was gone for five years.