After years of hardship, Rachael finally thought her troubles were over after fleeing a plague of grasshoppers in Kansas to start a new life in Missouri. So to go through the anguish of losing her daughters to Cheyenne kidnappers, then find herself afoot and alone on the vast plains of Kansas, should have tipped her over the edge. But though small and slightly built, Rachael is made of tougher stuff than most women and she doggedly followed the Indians across the wilderness for days with no food and little water until finally, even the strongest of women must succumb to absolute exhaustion and dehydration and she lays down knowing she cannot go on, to await death. Her unlikely saviour turns out to be Tall Bull. The Cheyenne Indian who engineered her predicament in the first place and after nursing her back to health, he carries her face down over his horse in a most undignified manner to be reunited with her children. Worse is to come for Rachael and her girls when two violent scalp hunters kill the three Indians who have been left to watch over the three females killing the luckless woman’s eldest daughter in the process. When the ruffians try to take and abuse her and her one remaining daughter, Tall Bull. Once again comes their rescue before allowing mother and daughter to go home. On their way back to Missouri, they are met by nearly a hundred heavily armed gunmen who are hell bent on wiping out as many Indian women and children as they possibly can. Rachael and her daughter Ruth, feel that they owe it to Tall Bull to warn him of the impending massacre of his people and ride back to re-join him, little knowing that their adventure is only just beginning.
The story of a man and a woman and the epic journey they undertake across four states to bring to justice a gang of criminals who robbed Will Ryder and left him for dead on on a bar-room floor. During their journey they encounter danger at every turn with the unpredictable and volatile girl leading them both into peril with her devil may care attitude to any kind of danger. Their travels take them through the desert lands of Arizona, California, Nevada and Utah until they finally catch up to their quarry and their quest for revenge comes to a bloody and brutally tragic conclusion
At nearly forty years old, Jake Madrid thought he had coped pretty well with all that life had thrown at him during his violent and troubled existence.
A rough, tough drifter, cowhand, brawler and gunfighter, he had endured many tests and come through countless battles, some as a soldier during the Civil War and some as a gunfighter facing up to others just like him. So after stealing a horse and pack mule when he found himself broke and friendless in a Texas cow town, he headed for pastures new determined to build himself a better future. But all his grand plans as well as his life, began to do somersaults across the plains when he found himself having to take care of an eleven year old child whose parents had been killed, leaving her an orphan and alone.
That was when his problems really began for she was no ordinary girl, she turned out to be the orneriest, bad tempered, resilient and toughest kid it had ever been his misfortune to meet. She could also out-cuss any mule skinner, shoot as well as any gunman and had a repertoire of expletives the toughest buffalo hunter would be proud of.
However, as their journey to Deadwood across Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska and South Dakota progressed, he found himself saddled with more troubled females who all needed his protection. It was a situation that was completely alien to him, especially as the girl constantly got under his skin with her insolence and bad tempered cussing and he found himself in a constant battle with her as well as having to fight off outlaws and Indians. On top of that, he found himself falling in love with a woman he had rescued from violent ruffians. But, as was usual in those violent times, trouble had a way of finding them and tragedy was never far away.
Rose, a young mail order bride, is taken away from her new husband and step daughter by a Cheyenne warrior and forced to accompany him across miles of Western Plains in order to reach his village where he plans to make her his wife. She makes several attempts to escape, but each time, her efforts come to nothing and she fears he may hurt her as punishment. But far from being the savage heathen he has been portrayed, she discovers a warm, gentle and caring side to his nature and also a sense of humour. Therefore, the only punishment he is willing to inflict is one of humiliation and embarrassment.
Rose has a violent temper and will go off half-cocked at the slightest provocation, so his boyish humour and easy laughter does nothing to quell her growing frustration. Therefore, he is never surprised and even welcomes it whenever she attacks him with her small fists and tries to hurt him, which only causes him to burst into gales of laughter, increasing her frustration even further. However her attacks on the Indian always accomplish the same outcome with the exhausted woman falling into his arms and embracing him fondly.
As time passes, Rose, despite her wishes to the contrary, finds herself falling for the young Indian and on one occasion, saves his life when he is set upon by scalp hunters. After that, passion gets the better of them and it is Rose herself who instigates their first romantic and erotic relationship and eventually she becomes his woman.
However, Rose has a secret which she fails to divulge to him. She is already pregnant with her husband’s baby and fears her new man will shun her when he discovers the truth. But her fears are unfounded and he raises the child, Star Dancer as his own.
Thirteen years later, after tragedy strikes the small band of Cheyenne people she and her mother had been travelling with, Star dancer sets off to find her half-sister, Star, who owns a ranch somewhere near San Antonio, Texas. When the two volatile girls eventually meet, the reaction is like throwing dynamite into flames as they constantly argue and fight until they finally come together to fight a common enemy.
This is a story that scans nearly two decades and could be classed as two stories into one. The first part being about Rose and the second about her daughter who finds herself alone in violent and uncompromising situations as she seeks out her only remaining relative.