When Civil War veteran, James McKay, returns home after the cattle drive and an epic battle with a prehistoric bear, he discovers that his beloved wife, Peggy, had just died of a heart condition, a few months after giving birth to their son. In his despair, he rides away with no particular destination in mind. Not long after, he comes upon a small wagon train under attack by a Cheyenne raiding party. He rescues a thirteen-year-old boy from a burning wagon, who seems to be in the middle of events, and becomes embroiled in a robbery with a half million dollars at stake. All events eventually lead to a small town on the Santa Fe Trail. From there the bullets fly and the story takes an unexpected turn. As James tries to ride home, he finds himself in one gunfight after another, and people learn to fear him. Because he is Death, and he is the Gunfighter.