Max Brand's 1920 novel became a rousing Tom Mix Western less than a year later. A complicated story of love and revenge, Trailin' opens with rivals William Drew (Jay Morley) and John Bard (Cecil Van Auker) battling for the love of Joan (Carol Holloway), the daughter of notorious outlaw Blotto (J. Farrell McDonald). Joan favors Drew, and they marry and have a child. Still jealous, Bard steals the infant boy and leaves for the East, changing his name to John Woodbury along the way. Many years go by and Woodbury (now Bert Sprotte) has become the wealthy and respected "father" of young Anthony (Tom Mix). A vengeful Drew (now James Gordon) suddenly reappears and Bard/Woodbury is killed in a duel. Returning to his roots in Idaho, Anthony finally learns of his true heritage and settles down to marry a local waitress, Sally Fortune (Eva Novak).