Bill and Ranger Tom are checking over the forest one last time before winter closes in. They come upon an old abandoned miner's line shack that now has an old hermit living in it. The hermit sends the boys away at the point of a gun.
Ralph, visiting from Col. Anders office, tells the fellas that the hermit is a famous brain surgeon from the east who is grieving the death of his best friend Jim who died while the doctor was operating. The doctor blames himself for his friend's death.
A climber injured in a fall on Old Baldy desperatly needs brain surgery in to live. Bill confronts the hermit/doctor asking him to save the climber's life.