Kansas in 1857 is a dangerous place to live. Lee Madden, tired of the relentless cycle of violence, joins a westward bound wagon train led by his old army friend, Jake Twelvetrees. Good with a gun, it is Lee's job to protect the settlers on their journey to Oregon from the hostile tribes along the famous Platte River Road. Unfortunately for him, they will not be the only threat. His past catches up with him in the brutal shape of Deacon Swain, a 'border ruffian' out to avenge the killing, back in Kansas, of his younger brother. There are compensations though. After a vicious clash with Pawnee Indians, Lee finds himself increasingly attracted to the newly widowed Martha. The question is, can their relationship survive both his deadly feud with Swain and a determined assault on the wagon train by Sioux Indians in the foothills of the Rockies?