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. While visiting a town to collect on another bounty, Schultz offers Django a deal: as Django can identify the Brittle brothers, Schultz offers him his freedom and $25 per brother in exchange for help tracking them down.