In the fall of 1890, three New Mexico ranchers and their sons meet in the town of Loving to discuss and organize their annual cattle drive to the railhead in Pecos, Texas. The three sons, ranging in age from seventeen to twenty one, have been accompanying their fathers on the drive for many years, so the three aging fathers agreed that it was time to let their sons make the trip without them. A week later the three sons and a half dozen drovers start driving the combined herd to Pecos where they meet a cattle buyer from Odessa. After selling the herd, the three young men go to the Prickly Pear Saloon to do some celebrating. But when one of the young men gets suckered into a poker game and loses his cut of the cattle money, things take a turn for the worse and the three young men quickly find themselves in a desperate race for the Texas / New Mexico line.