Wealthy Texas rancher Jordan "Bick" Benedict Jr. travels to Maryland to buy a horse. There he meets and courts socialite Leslie Lynnton, who ends a budding relationship with British diplomat Sir David Karfrey and marries Bick after a whirlwind romance. They return to Texas to start their life together on the family ranch, Reata, where Bick's older sister Luz runs the household. Leslie meets Jett Rink, a local handyman, and he becomes infatuated with her. On a ride with Jett, Leslie discovers the local Mexican workers' living conditions are terrible. After tending to one of the Mexican children, Angel Obregon II, she presses Bick to take steps to improve their condition.