The Dawn Rider, John Lee Tipton, became a wanted man in Kansas by the age of sixteen when he stalked and killed the three Kansas Jayhawkers who had murdered his family. He changed his name to John Randolph and drifted through the West doing range work. Now about thirty, he returns to the Harding ranch in Arizona where he had worked over ten years ago, hoping to reconnect with the owner's son, Frank, and maybe find some work. Instead he finds Frank's widow, Beverly, and thirteen-year-old daughter, Connie, who are trying to keep the ranch going with only one hired hand because most range men won't work for a lady boss. John agrees to stay on and help, but quickly finds himself in trouble when he comes to Connie's rescue.