Dunson leads a cattle drive, the culmination of over 14 years of work, to its destination in Missouri. But his tyrannical behavior along the way causes a mutiny, led by his adopted son.

Cherry: There are only two things more beautiful than a good gun: a Swiss watch or a woman from anywhere. Ever had a good... Swiss watch?
Mr. Melville: There's three times in a man's life when he has a right to yell at the moon: when he marries, when his children come, and... and when he finishes a job he had to be crazy to start.
Thomas Dunson: We brought nothing into this world and it's certain we can carry nothing out.
Nadine Groot: Never liked seeing strangers. Maybe it's because no stranger ever good newsed me.
Thomas Dunson: Cherry was right. You're soft, you should have let 'em kill me, 'cause I'm gonna kill you. I'll catch up with ya. I don't know when, but I'll catch up. Every time you turn around, expect to see me, 'cause one time you'll turn around and I'll be there. I'm gonna kill ya, Matt.
[Groot loses his false teeth to Quo in a poker game]
Groot Nadine: Now wait a minute, Quo. You really ain't gonna take a man's only set of teeth, are you?
Quo: Uh huh.
Groot Nadine: Yeah, but I gotta use 'em for eating!
Quo: Come grub, you get 'em.
Groot Nadine: What are you gonna do with 'em.
Quo: My name now Two Jaw Quo.
Groot Nadine: Two Jaw Quo. That's what I get for playing with an injun.
[last lines]
Thomas Dunson: When we get back to the ranch, I want you to change the brand. It'll be like this: The Red River D, and we'll add an M to it. You don't mind that, do you?
Matt Garth: No.
Thomas Dunson: You earned it.
Teeler Yancy: I shouldn't have run away. I should have stayed and put a bullet in you. I signed a pledge, sure, but you ain't the man I signed it with.
Thomas Dunson: You finished?
Teeler Yancy: Yeah, now you can get your Bible and read over us after you shoot us.
Tess Millay: Whoever would have thought that you two could have killed each other.
[Groot complains about the dust]
Groot Nadine: Bet I ate ten pounds in the last sixteen days. Before this shenanigan is over, I'll probably eat enough land to incorporate me in the Union. The state of Groot.
Thomas Dunson: Give me ten years, and I'll have that brand on the gates of the greatest ranch in Texas. The big house will be down by the river, and the corrals and the barns behind it. It'll be a good place to live in. Ten years and I'll have the Red River D on more cattle than you've looked at anywhere. I'll have that brand on enough beef to feed the whole country. Good beef for hungry people. Beef to make 'em strong, make 'em grow. But it takes work, and it takes sweat, and it takes time, lots of time. It takes years.
Sims Reeves: Plantin' and readin', plantin' and readin'. Fill a man full o' lead, stick him in the ground an' then read words on him. Why, when you've killed a man, why try to read the Lord in as a partner on the job?
Thomas Dunson: Take 'em to Missouri, Matt!
Cherry Valance: You're fast with that gun, Matt. Awful fast. But your heart's soft. Too soft. Might get you hurt some day.
Matt Garth: Could be. I wouldn't count on it.
Thomas Dunson: I don't like quitters, especially when they're not good enough to finish what they start.
[first title cards]
Title crawl: Among the annals of the great state of Texas may be found the story of the first drive on the famous Chisholm Trail. A story of one of the great cattle herds of the world, of a man and a boy - Thomas Dunson and Matthew Garth, the story of the Red River D.
Title crawl: [handwritten pages] Early Tales of Texas
Title crawl: In the year 1851, Thomas Dunson accompaned by a friend, Nadine Groot, left St. Louis and joined a wagon train headed for California. Three weeks on the trail found them near the northern border of Texas. The land to the south looked good to...
[Dunson plans to take Don Diego's land from him]
Fernandez: Others have thought as you, seƱor. Others have tried.
Thomas Dunson: And you've always been good enough to stop them?
Fernandez: Amigo, it is my work.
Thomas Dunson: Pretty unhealthy job.
Mr. Melville: You know that young man isn't going to use his gun don't you.
Cherry: Yeah, but I haven't got any such notion.
Thomas Dunson: [Giving Matt back his gun] Are you gonna use it?
Matt, as a boy: [Walking away, intensely] No, but don't ever try to take it away from me again!
Thomas Dunson: [Turning to Groot] He'll do.
Thomas Dunson: Go ahead. Say it!
Nadine Groot: You was wrong, Mr. Dunson!
Thomas Dunson: Who are you?
Cherry Valance: Some call me one thing, some another.
Thomas Dunson: What do they call you most?
Cherry Valance: By my name. Cherry Valance.
Matt Garth: You'd have shot him between the eyes.
Thomas Dunson: [Determinedly] Just as sure as you're standing there.
Nadine Groot: [to Matt] It's funny... funny what the night does to a man.
Nadine Groot: [Matt has his back to Groot; Dunson is walking away to his right] Draw!
[Matt turns completely around; he and Dunson both draw their guns]
Nadine Groot: [to Dunson, cackling] He beat ya'! You knew'd it was comin' and he beat ya'!
Thomas Dunson: [nodding and smiling] He beat me, alright.
Mr. Melville: I'll buy the drinks when it's over.
Matt, as a boy: How did you know when he was gonna draw?
Thomas Dunson: By watching his eyes. Remember that.
Matt, as a boy: I will.
Thomas Dunson: Get a shovel and my Bible. I'll read over him.
Sims Reeves: Well, I don't like to see things goin' good or bad. I like 'em in between.
Matthew Garth: Buster, where's Cherry?
Buster McGee: Cherry? Well he figured there was no need two of us coming. One was...
Matthew Garth: Is she pretty?
Buster McGee: Oh, Matt, do you remember that little filly I used to own?
Matthew Garth: That's what I thought.
Nadine Groot: He didn't know about money, Matt. He never had none. He didn't know what to do.
Matt Garth: You mean he just doesn't know who to fight.
Nadine Groot: Yeah.
Matt Garth: Well that's all right.