In 1858 Texas, brothers Ace and Dicky Speck drive a group of shackled black slaves on foot. Among them is Django, sold off and separated from his wife Broomhilda von Shaft, a house slave. The brothers are stopped by Dr. King Schultz, a German dentist-turned-bounty hunter who asks to buy one of the slaves. He questions Django about his knowledge of the Brittle brothers, a trio of outlaws for whom Schultz is carrying a warrant. When the suspicious Ace levels his gun at him, Schultz kills him with a fast draw and then kills Dicky's horse, which falls and crushes Dicky's leg. Schultz insists on paying Dicky a fair price for Django before leaving Dicky to the newly freed slaves, who kill him and follow the North Star to freedom. As Django can identify the Brittle brothers, Schultz offers him his freedom in exchange for help tracking them down.