James Collins leaves his dear old mother and goes West, where he becomes connected with the Bar Diamond Outfit. He finds the life of a cowboy arduous and the pay meager. The possibilities of owning a herd of his own by blotting brands or branding calves, occurs to him, as it has to many others, who desire quick results from very little effort. Six months later, he is a full-fledged cattle thief, branding cattle, under his own registered brand, while ostensibly an honest cowboy in the employ of the Bar Diamond Ranch. He writes his mother of his success and she, never dreaming of the hazardous occupation her son is following, plans to join him in the West.