Following his discharge from the Confederate Army, Rawls Slaton slowly made his way on foot from North Carolina to the Texas ranch his father earned as a land grant from Sam Houston after the battle of San Jacinto. Now Rawls and his brother Marcus own it, and it's up to them to do their father proud.Rawls' return home was anything but triumphant. As he approached the house, he heard screams -- and learned soon enough that those screams were coming from Bess, the woman he loved and who was now his sister-in-law, as she gave birth, frightened and alone.Rawls learns that Marcus left eight days ago to take some cattle to market in San Antonio -- a job that should have taken no more than four days. Something was wrong, and though Rawls knew what he had to do, he wasn't sure he was in any condition to do it. Rawls is disheveled, and plagued by physical and mental conditions that the doctors say may improve over time. But time is something that's in short supply. The war may be over, but the battle to save the ranch is just beginning . . .