In “Racing Clouds”—one of the most heartbreaking episodes so far of 1883—what was left of the wagon train hobbled on its way across a desolate plain but had to stop when Josef (Marc Rissman) and his wife, Risa (Anna Fiamora) were injured when they crossed paths with a rattlesnake.

Risa was thrown from her horse after the venomous snake bit the horse and then Josef was bitten when he stopped to help her.

Meanwhile, Shea (Sam Elliott), Thomas (LaMonica Garrett) and James Dutton (Tim McGraw) investigate a ransacked Indian campground.

 They discover all the women and children have been murdered and their horses stolen.

The three also realize that their tracks will make it appear as if they are the ones who are the thieves and murderers.

The trio decides they must hunt down the real killers and separate from the wagon train in their search. 

With no experienced gunmen to protect the remaining settlers, Cookie (James Jordan) decides he’s going to make a break for the fort and most of the caravan follows. 

With no other options, Margaret (Faith Hill), Elsa (Isabel May) and John (Audie Rick) follow but before they do, Elsa changes out of her Indian garments into her respectful and proper Western dress at the forceful request of her mother.