Gold discovered out in California excites young Dan Bartlett, but life as a '49er isn't what he expected.
Penniless, hungry and still innocent of life, he takes work holding a few horses, and when his new partner Tom Hodges yells at him to get in the saddle and ride, he naturally does as he's told. Then Dan realizes that they are riding stolen stock and, believing the law is behind them, they head into Nevada Territory, where Hodges remembers having seen a little valley, a place where they can start a ranch.
But en route for the valley, they come across an abandoned gold mine.
It doesn't matter it isn't California gold; any gold draws interest - and when Dan finds himself looking into the barrel of a Colt .45 is when he really begins to grow up.