After getting involved in a saloon-room brawl in Fort Lord, Dalton is arrested. His situation worsens when an unsympathetic judge sentences him to a year in jail unless he takes the alternative of signing up with the Plains Cavalry. Dalton reckons that anything will be better than breaking rocks, but when he joins Company H - known as Company Hell - he soon regrets his decision. The troopers are a motley collection of prisoners recruited from jailhouses, or gunslingers running from arrest warrants. As his fellow troopers are more determined to destroy the peace than to keep it, Dalton will need all his survival skills to serve out his term and all his ingenuity to defeat their plans.