Wounded Civil War soldier, John Dunbar tries to commit suicide – and becomes a hero instead. As a reward, he's assigned to his dream post, a remote junction on the Western frontier, and soon makes unlikely friends with the local Sioux tribe.
Sylvia's work increasingly takes her away from the three men who help bring up Mary, her daughter. When she decides to move to England and take Mary with her, the three men are heartbroken at losing the two most important females in their lives.
Hick handymen Val McKee and Earl Bassett can barely eke out a living in the Nevada hamlet of Perfection, so they decide to leave town -- despite an admonition from a shapely seismology coed who's picking up odd readings on her equipment.
A woman married to the brutal and infertile owner of a dye mill in rural China conceives a boy with her husband's nephew but is forced to raise her son as her husband's heir without revealing his parentage in this circular tragedy.
A couple encounters a perverted gas station attendant who threatens them with a shotgun. They take a deserted path in Texas to seek help, but only meet up with a cannibalistic clan interested in helping themselves to fresh meat.