This novel won the 1954 Spur Award for best western novel of the year. The story focuses on the eighteen-year-old Dan Nathans who is traveling with his parents and young brother to settle in a region of southeastern Oregon. Dan, who is alienated with his father, goes to work for a local, and powerful, cattleman. He soon finds himself caught in a feud between the cattleman and the settlers. He is also caught between his affections for a young woman, who is believed to be of ill repute, and his own upbringing. The reader sees him mature through the novel.