Fern Sproull, a young, swaggering opinionated ruffian, dressing and behaving like a cowboy, is determined Hen Randolph will hang for killing her cousin. She's equally determined that a fancy lawyer named Madison Randolph isn't going to get his brother off. Fern has spent the last eight years of her life outriding, out shooting, and out cussing every man in her path, and she's not about to let the man who murdered her cousin get off just because he's one of the Texas Randolphs. But how is she going to know what tricks Madison gets up to unless she follows him around?
Madison Randolph, the brother who abandoned his younger orphaned siblings to go to Harvard during the Civil War, has come to Abilene, Kansas to defend his brother against a murder charge. There's not much love lost between Madison and his family, but he's certain Hen isn't a murderer and he doesn't mean to let him hang. The fact that an obnoxious female who dresses like a man and acts even worse intends to stop him only encourages him to prove he's the very best at what he does. The suave, sophisticated Madison is appalled, first to discover that under all that dirt and bluster is a woman, and secondly, that he's intrigued by her. But Madison soon discovers the female isn't so obnoxious after all and that the ties of blood can never be broken.