This tale is of Clyde Johnson who has just graduated with a degree in geology from William & Mary College in Williamsburg, Virginia. His favorite uncle has invited him to come west to help him find the Sheep Eaters' Gold. While living the life of a mountain man in the Pryor Mountains of Montana Territory an old Crow Indian tells him the legend of the little people, known as the Sheep Eaters. They are now no longer living, but Crow Indian lore tells of them wearing for adornment the yellow metal. She told him it was what the white man calls gold. When Clyde reaches Bellevue, Nebraska, where the immigrants come to join the wagon trains heading west, he gets into a poker card game. The owner of the saloon accuses him of cheating and has his handpicked sheriff arrest him. Inside the jail his cell mate, Dade McCleary, is sentence to hang come morning. Dade forces Clyde to help in his escape. From then on they must avoid the territorial law officers and army soldiers, while they ride to Fort Ransom in Montana Territory. There they will meet Clyde's uncle. During their long arduous journey to Fort Ransom they eventually become good friends. Later Dade McCleary is made a partner in their quest for the Sheep Eaters' Gold.