With only a year’s experience under his belt, wagon train scout Gage Pardee knows he still has a lot to learn from seasoned men like his mentor, Culley. But Pardee has no interest in sharing Culley’s tolerance of the Native American tribes that plague their trail West. Indians murdered Pardee’s father years ago—as far as he’s concerned, they’ll always be the enemy. Tragedy strikes when the wagon train’s legendary wagonmaster is killed in a terrible accident, leaving the fate of the entire party up in the air. The group splits, half of them retreating to the East. But a dozen wagons will continue the push West, despite sightings of Indian scouts nearby. In a landslide victory, Pardee is voted to be their captain. But not everyone is happy about the new leadership. Pardee will face as many threats from within his group of emigrants, as he does leading them through the dangerous wilderness of the Great Plains.