Gold. Soldiers. Indians. Massacres. Can Charlotte survive life on the trail, or will the wildness of the west tear her family apart?
After bidding farewell to her family, Charlotte drops everything to follow Sanderson to a promised job out west. The journey proves more difficult than any of them could have ever imagined. Wild animals, natural disasters, and a heavy Indian presence test not only Sanderson and Charlotte's strength and endurance, but their faith in each other as well. Meanwhile, Minerva packs up the little rock cottage to journey west in the company of infant Jay Jay and Cotton, just as the peace Sanderson is trying to bridge between the Army and the Snake River Indians begins to fall apart.
“’Shoot it so it won't bite me, Sanderson,’ Charlotte managed, her voice weak. ‘But first tell it I'm sorry for throwing up on it.’ The absurdity of the words rattled in her brain as she lifted a shaky hand to her mouth. After a wobbly wipe across her lips, she drew in a breath and pushed slowly into a sitting position. Still woozy, Charlotte kept her eyes shut as she waited for the earth to quit rolling beneath her. Slowly, she opened her eyes. ‘Did you get the snake Sander?‘ Her eyes focused on the ground before her. A pair of perfectly beaded leather moccasins, the same color as the earth, rose up from it. Her mouth went dry.”