Old Pete has a lot of fears, but his friend and business partner Cheyenne is helping him survive.
Pete was a family man once with a wife and son. But a tragic fire took the lives of his loved ones. The tragedy affected Pete's psyche in such a way that he doesn't like to be indoors for long and he has a severe fear of fire.
Pete teamed up with a tall cowboy named Cheyenne Bodie to haul freight through the Mexican countryside around the town of Rio Hondo. On one trip back into the town, Pete observed some men taking interest in their wagons and visited Cheyenne's hotel room to tell him. Inside he found Cheyenne, a smart, handsome lady, the hotel owner and some men having a heated discussion. Pete's main concern was that the lamp was turned too high.
Later, Pete joined Cheyenne on a dangerous mission to transport a leader in the Mexican rebellion. When French soldiers started to chase them, Pete drove the horses hard. Thankfully, he didn't notice Cheyenne start a massive fire behind them at a narrow part of the road to ensure their escape.
After returning to town safely, Cheyenne told Pete to keep out of the way of the French soldiers, but the local commander suspected them of illegal activity. He had Pete locked up and used his fear of fire to try to get him to talk.
The soldiers finally let Pete go after Cheyenne outmaneuvered the French commander. He was reunited with the cowboy and the lady in the hotel restaurant just as they were on their way to the stagecoach and back to the United States.